**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
August 21, 2012
Contact: Aja Worthy-Davis (212) 788-7081
COUNCIL MEMBER LETITIA JAMES INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO RE-IMPLEMENT CITYWIDE ANTI-GRAFFITI TASK FORCE
Task Force Would Report Data to Mayor and City Council
(New York, NY)— At tomorrow’s Council Stated, Council Member Letitia James will introduce legislation to re-implement the Citywide Anti-Graffiti Task Force in order to assess the scope of illegal graffiti throughout New York City— specifically bias-related graffiti and gang tags. The task force would additionally examine the effectiveness of existing provisions meant to curb illegal graffiti.
The legislation would require the New York Police Department Commissioner to serve as Chairperson of the task force. Annual reports would be sent to the Mayor and City Council.
In June 2012, the Brooklyn Bridge was defaced for the first time since 1998. That same month, synagogues in Brooklyn neighborhoods such as Borough Park, Kensington, and Williamsburg were plastered with swastikas. And recently, a Holocaust Memorial in Sheepshead Bay was defaced with profanity over victim’s names. Throughout many communities, gang graffiti aimed at intimidating others and marking territory remains prevalent.
“An anti-graffiti task force will help create safer neighborhoods by recommending long-term solutions through collaborative work, and assessment of anti-graffiti programs Citywide,” said Council Member Letitia James. “The task force would additionally review the progress of other jurisdictions.”
The Anti-Graffiti Task Force was first implemented in New York City by Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 1995.