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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

LA City Council Moves Forward With Increase In Graffiti Fines

Los Angeles is cracking down on graffiti vandals. ATVN's Kim Leoffler has the story.

The L.A. City Council voted to move forward with a plan that would double the current fines for vandals who paint over murals. The plan also doubles the reward for people who report vandals who deface murals to the city.

Councilman Paul Krekorian led the motion to introduce this plan. "We are known throughout the world for this wonderful public art that we have. There are few cities in the world that have the mural heritage we have," he said.

He also noted that it is much more expensive for the city to remove graffiti from murals rather than from a white wall. "Because of the extra burden on the city, I think it merits an extra criminal penality and an extra reward."

But some street artists do not feel the plan is necessary. Man One is a professional mural and graffiti artist. He thinks that the city should create a new program to help the vandals, who he says are mostly kids, rather than fine them. "Maybe what they should do is take the energy these kids have from doing stuff like that and teach them how to remove graffiti from a mural," he said.

The city council will vote on the plan once it is drawn up by the city attorney.

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