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tv   [untitled]    April 26, 2011 2:00pm-2:30pm PDT

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[applause] >> thank you. i'm paul henderson with the san francisco district attorney's office. i'm the chief of administration there. i know ed was just talking to you about some of the stuff that we talked about from this morning. and those of you that don't know just how important this issue
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is, this was the focus topic this morning on n.p.r. and so the interview this morning was with ed and myself discussing graffiti and its problems with the city. he said it was a little controversial, but i think he was really understating it. when i got back to my office, penal were saying, i didn't realize you were so mad -- people were saying, i didn't realize you were so mad. you were really mad. you were really angry. it really wasn't anger, it was passion. it really was. this is something i feel so strongly about. right before the interview took place, and i encourage you guys to go listen to it later, they told me, now, we're going to have some artists come in. they didn't want to be here with you because they don't want you to see them. but they don't want you to give them too hard of a time with them on the radio. and i was like, well, that's going to be a problem. i mean, we can have the discussion, but i don't know how much i'm going to be able to -- i'm not going to not respond to the things that they were going
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to say. as ed said, the things they were saying and the things that were most offensive was when they were trying to defend the work that they were doing and saying it really is art and what we do is we try and choose places that don't matter so much, like the areas off of third street. and those of you that don't know, i'm from san francisco and i grew up off of third street and it was exactly in the bay view that i felt like these are the communities that we have to protect as well. everyone has a right not to live in graffiti. and all of you -- i see so many of the faces here from all of the neighborhoods that i talk to. you know, i recognize every single enabled that i go to wants to talk about these issues and we can see even here. just from a show of hands, how many of you have seen graffiti in san francisco this week? just seen it. right. ok. and so you understand, you know, when i'm on the phone and talking to these people on the radio, and you know those of you that i've seen in your different communities, this is a
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passionate thing that everybody cares about because they all see it. they all know about it and they all want to know what is a solution? what can we do to do better and improve san francisco to address this problem and the blight that graffiti creates? and so i just got to say i just want to acknowledge, not just the people on the panel and all the hard work that we're doing, and i think that's great and wonderful, but i just want to acknowledge all of you for coming out here and spending this time because people have to understand that this fight is a collaborative. it can't be done by the police department alone. it can't be done by the department of public works cleaning up by themselves. it can't be done by the district attorney prosecuting cases alone. all of us have to work together and we need the public, we need the community, and so wh i'm hoping is that from this presentation, from the speakers that you're hearing from and the information that's being provided to you and that you're learning from today, a that all of us take that information and we all become agents of change, right? so we take this information and we go back and we are talking to
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our families, we are talking to our friends, we are talking to our communities and we are telling them the things that we've learned today about how we can improve graffiti, about how we can do a better a job of holding people that decide to break the law in san francisco accountable. and i just wanted to share all of that with you. i look forward to seeing all of you down in the criminal courts sitting on my juries as we take these cases to trial and as we try and prosecute the people who are damaging our city and reducing the values of our properties and communities here in san francisco. thank you so much. it's been a real pleasure. i'm so excited to see all of you here. thank you. [applause] i got all excited and forgot that i'm introducing the next speaker. and so without further ado, let me introduce to you one of my favorite supervisors, bevan dufty from the board of supervisors. [applause]
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>> i told paul he has good taste since i'm the only supervisor in the room right now. but rose is going to call david chu and get you in trouble after this session. >> [inaudible] >> i saw him. i was here. i watched him with great respect and affection. >> [inaudible] >> so let me see. if you've got an empty seat next to you, can i have you put your hand up? there's some folks in the back. can i encourage people from the back, you don't have to pay more to it. it would be a great thing to make us feel like people are comfortable. i would also like to take a moment and ask my good friend rebecca dell gado to stand up and get a great round of applause. everybody who is involved here. [applause] >> i think that there are probably video pirates that are going to come after mohammed, because he has been duplicating this so much. i can tell you. he is so excited to have this
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tool, that he insisted that i take my daughter's barney video watching machine and view this at home. and i really think it is an excellent tool. i see that my friend and colleague admiral from this year with the school district and other colleagues from the school district. i think it's incredibly important that we have a tool. i know the demographics are such that there are a lot of slackers ta are in the vanguard of tagging, but i do think it's important that our young people establish a value of understanding that fundamentally, graffiti is disrespect. it's disrespect for people, it propagates violence, ma -- misogyny, it says that some neighborhoods of our city should be treated differently than others because as a city, we always battle against both the perception and the reality of neighborhoods being treated differently. and to the extent that we have neighborhoods that are not as aggressive in the battle against graffiti or that happen to be
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subject to more tagging because of their geography or the fact that there are areas that are more isolated from public view, it does separate our city and i think it creates a division that's bad because we value as san franciscans that we're a collective that really embraces diversity. i think that what tagging does is it really undermines some of the values of san francisco because we're blessed to be such a naturally beautiful city and the city has such beautiful people, and to have the environments that children go to school in or seniors ride muni on or people come out and see on their own houses and properties to see this blight affixed to this is really a way of making someone a second class san franciscan. i think that's intolerable. i want to say that i authored legislation at the board of supervisors which required that whenever a city replaces a street sign that has been tagged, that it had to be replaced with a sign that had graffiti sheeting on it.
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it had been a situation where we were not doing that because of the additional cost and it seemed to me unwise that we would make that investment and take the time and invest in the labor to replace that sign and not to make sure that it was more protected than the sign than existed before it. i chair the san francisco county transportation authority, which administered the half cent sales tax. it does everything from planning and building the central subway to funding parra transit. but we've invested $1.4 million in graffiti coding street signs around san francisco. i think that what you can see the war we were really losing three years ago, we're gaining ground on now. i think that that's an important thing to people. [applause] i do want to say that people have talked about mohammed. and for me, the theme of what i want to leave you with is zero. i really like that. i think that zero is what we can do. we are a city that has
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demonstrated that we have vision and we have creativity. we have the ability to affect wait sanctuary city and a health access problem and city government and our school system. lots of creative approaches. i think that we are ready now to take it on and to demonstrate to world that we can achieve zero. we can stop graffiti. we can coordinate ourselves as a city working together from city departments, part nerg with property owners -- partnering with property owners, community groups and non-profit organization, people from young to old and demonstrate that we can get a grip on this problem and we can stop it. i think what mohammed has demonstrated from an operational standpoint, and i would be the first to admit i would be you should great duress if he was my boss because he is on it all the time. i even made the mistake on asking for slack on saturday during cleanup and he put me down three flights of stairs. i know what strong leader he is.
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i want to share with you that he's also a mentor. on that day we were out with henry alvarez who is the new public housing director. he talked about the ways that mohammed has mentored him as the department head and to help him get not just a handle on this, but in terms of managing his work force and making a productive environment within the public housing arena. and i think that's something that we don't have enough in city government. i think that too often we get into what we're trying to accomplish, what we're trying to achieve, where are we going, and not enough time is spent on really mentoring one another. i think that is something when people become department heads, they become commissioners, they take responsibilities in city government. there isn't enough of that. and i really want to salute, not just the mohammed that we know as our battle general, our mr. clean, but as someone who recognizes the importance of investing in the human capital of this city and mentoring. i think fundamentally, we are on the brink of doing things. i think the city is cleaner. i think that from an operational
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standpoint, we're doing things that have never been done before. our friends from golden gate disposal are here in terms of what we're achieving with recycling and what we can do with come posting. i really think our goal has to be zero. it is unaccept to believe have a city this beautiful where the people matter that much and to have it defiled with tagging. i think it is totally counterintuitive to what we represent. creativity is one thing. tagging is absolutely another. and i think we can be proud. i think we can speak up. i fully believe that each of us should walk out of here today convinced that we can change this. i'm a believe. i'm a believer in what've seen in recent years with the leadership. ed lee is here, our city administrator. mohammed. we have never had stronger leadership in this arena that can do things. i don't think we have ever had more commitment on the part of
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people in this city who want to see our city government succeed and restore the faith of people. i'm intrigued. is anyone from the court system here? is anybody here from the san francisco superior court? i will tell you that i have visited with the prior presiding judge and appealed to having a graffiti judge. i know that we have a community justice center that paul henderson is very involved with. i'm on the advisory committee. i know some cases will hopefully come there. have you had any graffiti cases to date? >> no. >> ok. but i pledge to you to take my homework out of here. james mcbride is the new residing judge. i pledge to youly go personally visit with him and share with you the things that i listen and hear and make my commitment to redouble that effort. i think fundamentally unless there is real accountability and, and chris who is here from the police department. i think that we've got a tremendous effort that is going to apprehend people, to identify and to keep faith with the
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public and we do need our courts to be with us in this effort. and you have my pledge. i want to say the community benefit districts i think have been a tremendous boost to us in recent years. they've worked so diligently. as large as union square and small as noah valley to make sure that tagging is just not allowed to remain anywhere, and i just say that our city government is really ready to work with you. i am tremendously inspired by mohammed, but the people at the department of public works and by all of you being here. i want to thank mayor newsom for giving me the opportunity to represent him and i hope we can give him a gift of a zero graffiti city by next year. thank you so much. [applause] >> thank you. also joining with us today is my counterpart at the recreational park department, dennis kern. and chuck levy is from "the
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chronicle." please give them a hand also. please -- [applause] >> ok. it is now time for us to take a few questions. we'll try and answer them. we'll just take a few. remember, you have those post-its in your folder. and if we don't get to your question, please, you know, write down that question and take it and stick it on the board behind. we do have quite a packed y general da and we have about another hour and five minutes to go. and the second half of our presentation is really exciting because it's going to talk about new programs and things that we are doing to include people -- some of those vandals, we are trying to give them an opportunity to change their lifestyle. i will introduce leon, who is also from the graffiti advisory board, but also the executive director of san francisco bureau. and he is the fiscal agent for this. leon. [applause]
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>> thank you, mem. before we take question -- thank you, mohammed. before we take question and answer, we have about 15 minutes for that. after the forum this morning, one of the people who -- she listened in, but i don't think she called. her name is amanda. she wrote in to kqed. i just wanted to read it. i live in western addition, and used to support the movement. i'm assuming she means the movement of graffiti tagging. she says, but now i feel that taggers are cowards. part of the anonymous experiment -- part of the noums expression culture that hides in the darkness and actually undermines true free speech. my understanding from the police is that these are suburban young adults, not over own city kids. regardless, they don't tag specific hithes. they burden the working place folks who can least afford to repair it or fight it. for those of us who live around graffiti, it just feels like
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bullying. it is not a victimless crime. you are telling the kids and adults who live there that anyone can do anything to their world. we are subject to a continuing vision of our helplessness. it truly affects our mental health. and her name was aman dasm so with that, we'll take some questions. yes, sir? >> can i just add also that those of you that want to hear that forum, it is online. so you can go to kqed to hear the whole discussion and hear the callers and their questions, talking about graffiti in san francisco. they said it should be up by this evening. if you want to hear it, you can. >> perfect. yes, sir? >> i'd like to say what a great job 311 and public works does on the graffiti that's on the public places. i'm sorry. [applause] a great job. you call it in, not enough people know, but if you call it in, if it's on a mailbox, if it's on a utility thing, a pack bell thing, they will paint it out within probably two days at the most. they do a terrific, terrific job. >> yes. >> so that's the good news. my question is that i have
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researched that there is a software program that the city could buy, costs $60,000 a year, where if you can submit photos of the graffiti -- because i think paul might have a problem, when the police arrests them, he has one count. he has one count. he has a misdemeanor. if tough data base where this tag is repeated 60, 80, 100 times, you now have a felony. he's heading to state prison. we start sending some of these repetitive taggers to state prison and the word gets out on the street that we are a zero tolerant city, you will see a huge reduction in graffiti. so why are we not having that computer system implemented? >> it's a great system. larry can answer that. >> we actually are. they now belong to the data base. we do input our taggings in the data base. we're linked up all the way from here to san jose. we've just gotten trained. so we are a part of it and that
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is another tool that we are going to be using in the fight. >> how the pictures getting put into the data base? >> the pictures are taken by d.p.w. staff, by volunteers, by p.d. -- >> by the public. and i know the police department also has -- >> [inaudible] >> the public will have the ability in the future to submit photos, but for right now, if you want to send photos, you can send them directly to us as an attachment. and community groups throughout the city do that on a regular basis. which is very helpful to us because we can have damage here in the mission and we can look at this and say it's the same guy. he's been going through different neighborhoods. >> and i think 311 also has the ability to send an e-mail to them and you can attach that photograph to the 311 request and if you did it in that way, then they actually have, you know, the number of taggings -- because that's the person's significant and that's how the d.a.'s office would actually go after multiple tags.
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yes, ma'am? there's a microphone coming. >> i'm president of the northeast neighborhoods. i would like to ask how effective -- i mean, saying the best defense is a good offense. how effective is this resistant pain that can be done? i mean, whenever there's graffiti, does it really help to paint that resistant stuff over it? >> is that larry's question? >> it does help because you're able to remove it a lot easier. you're talking about the protective coating? if it's done right, then you're able to remove it a lot easier. you're not exxon substantiately painting. you're just going out with a rag and removing. >> does it really resist so they don't paint again? >> the idea is the more that you continually abate, they usually end up going somewhere else because it doesn't stay up long enough for them to get any
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credit. let me just say, though, having that paint doesn't help all the problems. here's where we get the biggest problems and here's where we get some of the more difficult nuances. when they are on statue. we don't want to paint our statues in this paint. this is a historical city. brick ware. you don't want to paint your brick to just deter the graffiti. if you have a porous etching and the paint soaks in, a lot of times it's just not practical to use that paint to preserve all of the environment. and the real solution has to come from stopping the graffiti, not just the preventative measures. because it's just so expensive. that's how big the problem is. >> want to get someone in the back? >> i just want to understand -- you guys saying we should -- i want to know why you -- what do you think about -- [inaudible]
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-- helping him become president with the graffiti writers that got convicted 12 times. also he's from the city -- using this city for years. i just wanted to know your opinion on obama hiring a graffiti artist. >> i'm not sure -- >> i would say one word is permission. >> there was no permission granted by them. >> that's the only difference to me. >> just permission. cool. >> where's the microphone? there in the middle, the man standing up. >> a graffiti watch in hayes valley. despite going to the supervisor and the rest of you, there's a situation where there's a business, a dry cleaning business, laundry business. the front is on hayes street, the back is on the alley street, linden. used to have a white van. he parked on linden. now it's been hit about 15, 25 times. he's now moved it to the front on hayes street. i spend time cleaning up on hayes street and this van is sitting there overnight. it's a mobile object.
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and what can you do about it? does it have to have any legislative work done on that? >> i'm not sure on that. do we know if there is legislation on trucks or moving cars? >> it's a state code that we would need for motor vehicles. if you provide it to 311 and provide the license plate, d.p.w. will go out and find out who owns that vehicle and talk to the business owner of the vehicle. >> [inaudible] >> yeah. >> take the license plate on that? >> yeah. >> all over the city -- in that film, three or four different pictures of those. >> absolutely. i think we could use better stay law to help us for some of the panel trucks that you see that are tagged. it would be nice if they would give localities better tools to address that. but for what you're describing, i think a report to 31 1 will do the truck. >> we have about five more minutes. so how about this lady here? >> i live near 280.
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and the exit and entrance both on caesar and the posts for the freeways -- it's always full of graffiti. i know it's not the city's responsibility, but how can we get something done about it? >> larry? >> the call -- the caltrain guy -- is fib here from cal-train? >> having work for them before, they are pretty responsive. you can use 311 and you can also go directly to their web page. we also meet with them on about a quarterly basis. so we bring that issue up. we constantly discuss proceedings. both on the freeways and on the on and off ramps. so we are aware of that and we're trying to work with them as we're all going through this. but it's an ongoing battle. so as fast as they go and cover
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it -- >> yep. so just 311 on everything you see. we have about three more minutes. how about the man standing up on the left side? i'm going to make the mic runners work. >> a question about -- [inaudible] -- i notice that now there are a lot of -- the city is using green paint on posts and things of that nature. is in -- are you trying to improve on the walls for example and trying to match the paint? because frequently what happens is if you have gray walls and somebody comes in with brown paint and paints over, it's a perfect -- it's a perfect piece for them to tag. it's actually framed. >> it becomes a canvas. >> right. exactly. >> as you drive around the city, you see a lot of green walls, green garbage can, green poles. several years ago when we started to abate graffiti, it
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became very costly for us to start going around and using different colors. we joined hands with the public and one of the things we came up with was one color for our street furnitureture and one color everybody can use to start with this graffiti. i can tell you, it's made a huge difference. the green walls look nice and we could do other things nice with them. for now, at least we are fighting off those vandals by using this green color. >> three more minutes. right there? >> if question is for mohammed. there's a whole lot of graffiti between caesar chavez and silver. there's this one doughnut shop on silver that i'm very close friends with the owner. it gets hit like once or twice a week. and also those vans and trucks over there, like box trucks, they always get hit. and, yeah,