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Cancer charity fights Seattle graffiti and also city fines

Seattle graffiti is enough of a nuisance, but getting a letter from the city stating that you have to quickly clean it up or get fined makes a bad situation much worse.

That’s what Anna Gottlieb — the executive director of Cancer Pathways — has been dealing with for ages, and found herself a bit frustrated recently.

“We’ve been here about 18 years, and all 18 years we’ve always had to deal with graffiti constantly, as well as a parking lot full of hypodermic needles, urine, feces, clothing, and it’s just a tough place to be because we end up cleaning it up all the time,” she told the Candy, Mike and Todd Show.

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“For the past couple years we’ve started getting letters from Seattle Public Utilities saying that if we don’t clean the graffiti right away, we’re going to be fined up to $100 a day, up to $5,000.”

Located in Capitol Hill, Cancer Pathways offers educational and supportive programs for those dealing with cancer throughout the state. Gottleib says that dealing with the constant graffiti has taken away time and resources from their important cancer-related work, reports The Seattle Times.

In the letter that she and numerous other non-profits and businesses have received, the city states that the Seattle Graffiti Nuisance Ordinance requires property owners to remove tags found on their property within 10 calendar days, and within 48 hours if it’s “gang or hate related.” Failure to do so can lead to “fines and legal action against the property owner.” An additional notice was even hand-delivered by city officials.

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Gottleib has never had to pay the fine because she and her team has always removed the graffiti in time, but it’s cost her thousands of dollars over the years, not to mention staff time.

“We buy the rollers, we buy all the supplies, and then our staff has to go out and cover the graffiti,” she said. “We’ve asked the city to help us. What can we do? Because the minute we clean it, it comes back, and then we start getting these letters all the time.”

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