Mayor’s office says new plan to address graffiti will cost nearly $1 million

Oct 27, 2022, 3:48 PM | Updated: 3:50 pm


Mayor Bruce Harrell announces new plan to address graffiti issue in the city. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

In 2021 alone, the city of Seattle reported 20,000 incidents of graffiti.

Mayor Bruce Harrell announced a plan Thursday that he hopes will address the growing problem.

The mayor’s office said in a news release that implementing early priorities of the plan will rely on $944,000 in the mayor’s proposed budget.

Rantz: Mayor Harrell offers Seattle a bandage for crime surge — it needs sutures

Over the past three years, graffiti has grown by more than 50%. Harrell said he is implementing new strategies.

“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,” Harrell said in a news conference.

“Incidents of graffiti have dramatically increased throughout the pandemic,” Harrell continued. “Progress requires an approach where we work together to advance proven solutions, reduce silos, and tap into our greatest resource – our community.”

Harrell plans to enhance staffing and resources for Seattle Public Utilities’ Graffiti Rangers, creating more assistance to reduce graffiti on private property and more support for volunteers and others connected to the clean-up effort.

The plan includes different new rules for enforcement. The mayor hopes to increase fines and arrests for graffiti offenses, “striking a balance with larger penalties for the most prolific taggers and expanded diversion options for low-level offenders.”

The proposal is part of the mayor’s “One Seattle” plan. The mayor’s office hopes to prioritize high-impact policies and programs that could be implemented at lower costs.

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Mayor’s office says new plan to address graffiti will cost nearly $1 million