Bruce Harrell does not like graffiti. The new mayor will be in the Chinatown-International District Monday morning to unveil what his administration says will be a new “major community volunteer effort” in partnership with public, private, and nonprofit organizations. It will involve an issue that has repeatedly been a pet peeve for Harrell over his years on the council and on the campaign trail will apparently be in the crosshairs.
Monday’s Harrell administration media event will center around a “volunteer activity and graffiti clean,” according to a press release.
UPDATE: Monday, Harrell announced a “One Seattle Day of Service” citywide volunteer event will take place on May 21st “with over 2,200 volunteer opportunities across more than 80 different activities throughout all seven City Council Districts.”
“I love Seattle – and I know so many neighbors share that same passion for our city and want to be part of making it a better place,” Harrell is quoted as saying in the press release on the announcement. “As my administration works to tackle urgent challenges, I hear every day from Seattle residents looking for ways to be part of the solution. Today, I’m excited to announce the One Seattle Day of Service – a new opportunity for everyone to get involved and give back.”
The one-day volunteer events are being organized into three categories: Cleaning and beautification, Gardening and restoration, and Helping neighbors in need. You can sign up for two to three hour volunteer shifts here.
The announcement comes in the neighborhood where the mayor touted success in a “hot spot” policing initiative to clean up the area around 12th and Jackson and target street crime with an increased police presence.
Graffiti has held a special place in Harrell’s focus on public safety over the years, sometimes becoming the center of his statements on concerns about street disorder and policing, and, at other times, a tangent during speeches and media events as he has appeared around the city.
Earlier this winter, graffiti and vandalism as a public safety issue was escalated in the city by media like “The Ari Hoffman Show” on Seattle’s KVI AM 570 as other concerns like clearing homeless encampments were increasingly addressed by the administration.
Meanwhile, Capitol Hill maintains its love/hate relationship with the art form with paid street muralists mimicking street artists to cover buildings and advertise, while some taggers make you angry and others make you chuckle.
At Monday’s media and volunteer event, Harrell is slated to be joined by Jon Scholes of the Downtown Seattle Association, Monisha Singh of the Chinatown-International BIA, Quynh Pham from Friends of Little Sài Gòn, and representatives from the OL Reign and Seattle Sounders who play on nearby Lumen Field.
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