Last Thursday, March 18th, the Portland Graffiti Task Force hosted the second annual Regional-Portland Graffiti (Abatement) Summit, organized and hosted by the Office of Neighborhood Involvement.
The all-day event, free to participants thanks to our generous sponsors (see below), was held at McMenamin’s Kennedy School. It was attended by 150 people representing more than 20 law enforcement agencies, multiple municipal agencies from the Metro area, local elected officials, community volunteers, and 10 representatives from Seattle WA city government. Gresham Councilor Shirley Craddick attended and helped me give out the Graffiti All-Stars awards.
The keynote speaker was Constable Valerie Spicer, of the Vancouver BC Police Department. She shared statistics from her PhD research indicating many graffiti vandals become involved in drugs and violent crime. Officer Matt Miller gave a stirring presentation about Porltland's graffiti abatement work.
Among the many presentations, the attendees heard from two neighborhood volunteer graffiti cleanup teams: Powellhurst-Gilbert team, established in June 2009, and Overlook Livability Team, established in January 2010. Together these two teams have more than 50 members who participate once a month to eradicate graffiti and litter in their respective areas. Kenton will soon launch their Livability Team, under the leadership of North Portland Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Wells, 503-823-4098.
Thanks to the non-profit Friendly Streets and the Portland Business Alliance for major sponsorships, together with frontline sponsors Goodbye Graffiti, the Hillsboro Police Department, , DeAngelo Brothers, Inc. and NW Enforcement, the Graffiti Summit was inspirational and educational. Please join a neighborhood Graffiti Abatement team, and join us next year.
For more information about participating or initiating a neighborhood graffiti cleanup, please call Graffiti Abatement Coordinator Marcia Dennis, 503-823-5860, or see the Office of Neighborhood Involvement's graffiti abatement pages.