I was part of a News Tribune team that participated in Saturday’s Operation Graffiti Cover-Up sponsored by Safe Streets. If you read today’s story about the local graffiti
problem, you know it’s not only creating blight in the community, but it’s also draining budgets of local agencies like Metro Parks and school districts as they try to quickly get rid of gang tagging on their property.
More than 200 residents from around Pierce County gathered at the South End Neighborhood Center before going out and cleaning up 102 graffiti sites. (Puyallup and Lakewood held separate cover-ups.) The TNT team worked with some great folks: an East Side mom and her girls, a MultiCare employee and her girls, and a Habitat for Humanity mom and her boys (who got almost as much paint on themselves and they did on the graffiti).
Our group painted over gang tags at three sites along South McKinley Avenue. Even though it was raining lightly, we were able to cover up a lot of unsightly graffiti.
I’ll definitely participate in any upcoming cover-up event. My only suggestions for improving it would be to cut the speechifying by at least half before sending us out to paint, and ask people to bring their own paint rollers if they have any. We could have worked even faster if our group had had more rollers and fewer paintbrushes.