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Queens Chronicle

Scrubbing vandalism off Queens buildings

Councilwoman launches graffiti removal initiative for businesses

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Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:52 am, Thu May 2, 2013.

City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) launched a graffiti cleanup initiative last Friday to remove tag names and gang signs spray-painted on business buildings.

“Graffiti is something I do not tolerate,” Koslowitz said.

The councilwoman partnered with CitySolve Inc., a Brooklyn-based graffiti removal company partially funded by lawmakers such as Koslowitz, to provide free graffiti cleanup to businesses in the 29th Council District struck by vandals.

The company, which formed 15 years ago, has cleaned about 75,000 properties in 100 neighborhoods throughout the city.

The initiative kicked off at Ming’s Laundromat on Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills, where the councilwoman, representatives from CitySolve and volunteers removed the paint.

The group continued down Queens Boulevard, removing graffiti from several storefronts between 73rd Road and 73rd Avenue.

According to Koslowitz’s office, the partnership with CitySolve is in response to several graffiti complaints lodged by residents in the 29th District.

Prior to the kickoff, CitySolve surveyed the Forest Hills area and noted a “recent epidemic of graffiti plastered on storefronts, underpasses and subway stations, most of which appear to be gang symbols.”

“It’s not only a visual eyesore but it diminishes the quality of the neighborhood,” Koslowitz said. “Partnering with CitySolve is the first step in sending a clear message that any form of vandalism will not be tolerated and quickly removed.”

Business owners are encouraged to report any vandalism to their establishments to the NYPD but are expected to remove the tags on their own dime.

Koslowitz’s initiative will continue through the year. Any business owners who wish to receive removal services can do so by contacting her office at (718) 544-8800.

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