Oakland Gardens Councilwoman Linda Lee announced a district-wide initiative to clean up graffiti in the area on April 18. The initiative was driven by community members and comes in partnership with the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC).
As part of the initiative, Lee is encouraging local residents and business owners to either call or email her office to report any graffiti in public spaces or on business storefronts. Those seeking to do so can reach her office by phone at 718-468-0137 or email at [email protected].
According to Lee, the street art can negatively impact the neighborhoods and businesses around which it is created.
“Graffiti that covers our local businesses and defaces our public spaces isn’t just an eyesore, but it impacts our quality of life,” Council member Lee said. “Eastern Queens is known for our diverse local businesses and beautiful open spaces. Residents — many of whom are raising families here — feel a real sense of joy and civic pride in their neighborhoods, but that sentiment is ruined when we see businesses or public works defaced with vulgarity.”
QEDC will be removing the graffiti from brick walls, fences and shutters by power-washing and painting. This work will accelerate once the weather in the city gets warmer, as the conditions will then be more permissive.
Ten locations have already been directed by Lee’s office to be cleaned since she became councilwoman. Most of the work on those locations has been done over the last few weeks, as the warmer temperatures over that period of time have made the cleaning significantly easier.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation runs Graffiti-Free NYC (GFNYC) as a cooperative effort alongside the New York City Department of Sanitation and the Office of the Mayor. Council members provide discretionary funding to the program via allocation to the QEDC.