State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) has been fighting graffiti since before he became an elected city official in 2002. Now he’s instituting a program for his entire district.
The 11th District includes College Point, Whitestone, Flushing, North Flushing, Auburndale, Bayside, Bay Terrace, Little Neck, Douglaston, Floral Park, Glen Oaks, New Hyde Park, Bellerose, Fresh Meadows, Hollis, Queens Village and Jamaica.
Avella announced in Whitestone last Thursday that he will repurpose an old state grant to allow a graffiti removal business to monitor and remove the scrawlings.
When Avella was a member of the City Council, he funded the company, City Solve, to remove graffiti from his district. “The fight to end graffiti is an ongoing struggle,” he said. “Graffiti is a blight in any neighborhood ... and a serious quality-of-life issue.”
He urged residents and business owners to report graffiti to his district office for free removal at (718) 357-3094.
Although the city has its own antigraffiti program, Avella believes his plan will be faster and provide more monitoring. Aside from buildings, it will include cleaning streetlights, mailboxes and private homes.
In 1991, Avella instituted a volunteer antigraffiti program in the area. Known as the North Shore Anti-Graffiti Volunteers, the group remained in existence until the city took a more active part in removal.