Graffiti is a huge problem throughout Los Angeles. It impacts businesses, billboards, schools, public places and our homes. Some vandals even deface beautiful murals and public art pieces. The destruction and defacement of murals and spaces in our neighborhoods leaves a lasting effect on our quality of life.
I'm proud to report that this week the City Council unanimously voted to approve my anti-graffiti law to keep our communities clean, beautiful and safe. The new law will crackdown on graffiti crimes by doubling the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of graffiti vandals from $1,000 to $2,000 in each case.
In the Second District, I launched a community campaign to remove graffiti blight from our neighborhoods and to ask residents to do their part by reporting graffiti vandalism. Over the course of a year, the campaign -- #NoTag CD2 -- has made a dent in graffiti vandalism in the southeast San Fernando Valley. Many people have contacted my office by phone, email and social media to notify me when they see graffiti vandalism. My team then jumps into gear to get the graffiti removed in less than 48 hours.
Last year, our community campaign was responsible for the removal of nearly 1.3 million square feet of graffiti from 28,000 locations. As chair of the Budget and Finance committee, I also helped allocate $7.5 million in the 2015-2016 budget to remove graffiti from our neighborhoods.
Our collective efforts are making a difference in this fight, but we can only succeed in stamping out graffiti blight if we keep working together both in City Hall and in our neighborhoods.