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Chula Vista Forced to Downgrade Its Graffiti Cleanup Program


Aired 1/17/11

The Chula Vista Graffiti Abatement Program gained a lot of attention four years ago, with its innovative approach to cleanup -- but that was before the budget cuts.

The graffiti cleanup truck sits idle inside the Chula Vista Public Works gara...
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Above: The graffiti cleanup truck sits idle inside the Chula Vista Public Works garage. Budget cuts have forced the city to almost eliminate the program

— Graffiti may be a popular art form. But for the city of Chula Vista, it is an eyesore that it can no longer afford to clean up.

At one point, the city had a six-person cleanup crew that removed graffiti within 48 hours. They also had a truck with a machine that allowed them to provide color-matching paint on the scene.

But with drastic budget cuts were instituted this week, Chula Vista's graffiti program has been devastated.

"I don't want to be thinking about what's going to be happening now on Broadway, where all the stores are at, and all the commercial areas let alone our hot spots," says Norma Rodriguez-Espinoza, who is in charge of the program. "The hot spots were places where we normally used to go at least once or twice a week to clean up."

From now on, the city will only be responsible for graffiti on public property. But Rodriguez-Espinoza says she worries about taggers having their way throughout the rest of Chula Vista.

"We had an excellent crew out there that was on top of it and now we're going to see what's gonna happen--residents are going to be on an uproar. And that was one of the programs that was cut besides our Park Rangers and other essential programs."

The yearly budget for the program was almost $360,000 dollars. The budget now is less than $50,000.

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Avatar for user 'hboooo'

hboooo | January 17, 2011 at 8:17 a.m. ― 6 years, 2 months ago

Good..maybe well start to see some culture back in the streets...ef the buff!!!!

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Avatar for user 'Mike808'

Mike808 | January 18, 2011 at 7:38 a.m. ― 6 years, 2 months ago

hboooo. What's your address? I want to put some "culture" on your property.

I don't want to see someone's tag spray painted on my property. I wouldn't mind seeing actual art and that's something that the city or community should probably set aside an area, a billboard or something where people can express themselves. But if it's not available, don't break the law, petition your case and get something legal set up.

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Avatar for user 'aztlan619'

aztlan619 | May 7, 2011 at 5:37 p.m. ― 5 years, 10 months ago

dosent anyone feel that revenge is quite a foolish way to apprehend a problem? mike808 why should we be limited on our own self expression. im not in favour for painting someone's house but come on a public space?that would not be able to exist in this conservative city. when i see a city with graffiti(to some extent) i see a city flourishing in arts and culture.regardless on where we stand graffiti will not at all go down

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