Saturday, July 25, 2015

RIDICULOUS: We Report 25 Gang Tags, City Does Nothing

Top: Our city service request marked "closed."
Middle: Our photo of gang symbols at Marovitz Golf Course on July 14.
Bottom: The same location on July 20, after the tags were "removed."
For the second summer in a row, CWB Chicago editors last week documented significant gang tag activity along the lakefront north of Belmont Harbor.

And, for the second summer in a row, we submitted reports of the graffiti so the city could remove it.

And, for the second summer in a row, the city closed out our requests as "completed" without removing a single speck of the gangs' tags.

The tennis courts, baseball fields, Sydney Marovitz Golf Course, and lakefront seawall are great places to grab some sun and take in a game. But, as we have reported frequently, the area becomes a magnet for gang bangers at sunset.

So, you'd think that the city would want to—oh, I dunno—remove the gangs' spray-painted threats to kill each other. Especially when a group of citizens takes the time to fill out the tedious online forms and submit pictures of every tag.

But, no. Not in Chicago. Instead, Streets & Sanitation crews did absolutely nothing and then marked all of our graffiti removal requests as "complete" less than 24 hours after we filed them.

On the City Data Portal, our jobs are closed out as "completed" or "completed-duplicate" even though all of our photos were of different tags and we intentionally used different addresses for each case.

All together, we documented nearly 25 sets of gang tags along the Rec Drive seawall. Here are some pictures from before the city "removed" these gang tags and after the jobs were "complete." Let's take a look!

The city says this gang-related "diablo" tag was removed.  Our photos from July 14 and July 20 seem to tell a different story:

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Here are four before and after sets. Photos on the left are from July 14. Photos on the right were taken July 20—after the city "removed" the tags.

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27 comments:

  1. Our hood used to get tagged a lot (Roscoe Village), but not so much anymore. I will say every time I contacted "Mayor Daley's Graffiti Busters" , good name BTW, they came next day. I hope that unit is still working Rahm.... step 1 in fighting crime is too NOT have the City look like a set from the Warriors movie for fks sake.

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  2. As its obvious a city employee reviewed the service requests and marked them completed when in fact nothing was done, someone should be held accountable.
    Whether that is a data entry clerk, street crews, or supervisors, someone should face disciplinary action.

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    Replies
    1. Agreed.....and why isn't the local news outlets covering this? Channel 2? Tribune? Neighborhood papers?

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  3. Someone tagged the building next to us -- the building is right next to the sidewalk, no setback, easily accessible. We reported it for months. The people in the building reported it for months. Nothing happened. I contacted the alderman's office and the staff member looked it up. The original report had been closed out and marked "inaccessible to city crews." So every subsequent request, and there were more than 50 subsequent requests, was closed out, no questions asked. It took a photo from the alderman's office to get it taken care of. The City That Works doesn't always work that well. Hard to believe that one lazy city worker, whether it was a clerk or a Graffiti Blaster, was able to have more than 50 claims denied just by denying the first one. You'd think there'd be a checks and balance procedure. If more than 50 requests come in on one tag, something's up.

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  4. The city that doesn't work. Thanks for nothing Rahm.

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  5. I'd estimate about a third of the tags I report are not removed, but the reports are quickly marked as completed.

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  6. Wow! I wish you would forward this piece to every paper and TV station in Chicago. This is outrageous and a classic example of wasted taxpayer money. Someone should be fired for malfeasance.

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  7. Didn't you guys have to call the city out on the same b.s. last year? Unbelievable. Thank you for everything you do, CWB.

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    Replies
    1. Thank *you* for your support and for caring about our neighborhood.

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  8. Does it matter that they're on Chicago Park District property? Can you report it to them?

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  9. I think Pam Zekman from CBS would like this story.
    She would probably also video the city employees napping when they should be working.

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  10. Rauner is closing the Illinois State Museum, so these young Rembrandts have to show their work somewhere.

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  11. What about copying this story to the Better Government Association? There needs to be an investigation.

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  12. Not excusing city inaction, but is it possible that report is closed out because area reported is not accessible to graffiti blaster vehicles? Is lakefront land under the purview of the Chocago Park District? I am only asking.

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    Replies
    1. In addition to blasters, the city also paints over graffiti in harder-to-reach areas. That is what they did after we reported on their inaction last year.

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    2. It's impossible to put a gas-powered pressure washer and 20 gallons of pre-mixed media on a cart?
      Good lord.
      Again, Thanks CWB. We are fortunate to have somebody willing to tell the truth in this neighborhood.

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  13. The city that works BUT not on days that end in "Y".....................

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  14. Once again .... TUNNEY!!!!!!!!!!!!
    How about some leadership here?
    How about anything at all?
    Maybe you could do some 'constructive loitering' over on the lakeside after dark.
    Good god man, you couldn't lead a narcoleptic convention in a napping contest.

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  15. Have you ever thought maybe more and more people in government are gang members also? Remember when the FBI shut down the ENTIRE Latino Chamber of Commerce because of its gang ties? I'm sure that runs in most city departments.

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  16. BTW, it's not just tagging city workers ignore. I reported a large tree branch on the verge of collapse on Kenmore and I checked back 24 hours later and it said the incident was resolved. Resolved? The tree branch still hung perilously close to landing on someone's head or car for weeks after. I would have taken matters into my own hands if I had a saw, but I'd probably be arrested for defacing public property. For the record, during the big wind storm in June the branch eventually did fall on someone's car. It was a mini cooper so some poetic justice was had after all.

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  17. I , once called 911 on some taggers at Addison and Ashland. they were tagging two different apartment buildings on Addison. I called 911, the operator did nothing. the taggers saw me on the phone, they left. I followed them to their black Toyota and called 911 with a car description, 3 tagger description, direction, license plate. etc.... I saw a squad car coming. I flagged it down and asked the female officer if she was here for the graffiti call.? she replied 'no". she said " she had no such call".. I told her the story and they just left southbound and she could catch them. she drove off in the direction of the station. did nothing. 15 minutes later I get a call from 911 saying that hanging up on them is a crime. false reports are a crime. I said '" YOU HUNG UP ON ME, AND I REPORTED A CRIME TWICE, AND YOU DID NOTHING!!!!". THE operator hung up on me.

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  18. This used to be a strength of the city of Chicago. I hate to say something nice about Daley, but yeah, under Daley, this seemed to work a whole lot smoother...

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  19. Maybe I'm just getting old but things just seem to be getting worse exponentially. Add the projected $ shortfalls and increased taxes of every kind and I think we're throwing in the towel. Will be renting in Skokie until we figure out whatr the do long term.

    Keep fighting the good fight CIWBT!!!!

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  20. Tag Rahm's mailbox and watch how fast it gets fixed.

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  21. I think the building is slated for demo soon anyway to make way for some development, but the one example of gang graffiti/tagging that really ticks me off is at the SW corner of Elston and Sacramento. A beautiful, colorful, playful mural was painted on a plain brick wall, and within days, some douchebags had put their gang tags all over it. The tags get painted over, and it gets tagged again -- rinse and repeat. Just drove past yesterday -- a Latin Kings tags are back yet again. Not just a blight on the neighborhood, but ruining some beautiful artwork, too. Makes me wish the property had motion-sensor tasers.

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    Replies
    1. Milwaukee and Sacramento, not Elston.

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