SEATTLE — Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell announced on Oct. 27 detailed elements of his One Seattle Graffiti Plan to beautify Seattle and address a surge in graffiti.
“Not only does tagging and graffiti detract from the vibrancy of our city, there are tangible impacts on communities targeted by hate speech, small business owners whose shops are defaced, and residents who rely on City signage for information and guidance,” said Harrell in a news release. “Incidents of graffiti have dramatically increased throughout the pandemic, and progress requires a One Seattle approach, where we work together to advance proven solutions, reduce silos, and tap into our greatest resource—our community.”
The plan includes enhanced staffing and resources for Seattle Public Utilities (SPU)’s Graffiti Rangers, allowing them to easily remove graffiti using specialized equipment and effectively discourage re-tagging.
Also, new resources will be offered to victims of vandalism and existing resources will be made easier and more equitable to access. SPU’s Graffiti Rangers will also offer City abatement services at low- or no-cost to eligible property owners.
The City will engage with artists, businesses, volunteers, and others to create outlets for murals and artistic expression.
Working with the City Attorney’s Office and Seattle Police, the plan will also increase enforcement of graffiti offenses.
Since 2019, incidents of graffiti reported by the public have grown over 50%, including nearly 20,000 reports of graffiti and tagging in 2021.