Thanks for bringing this subject front and center, it has been a source of concern and frustration of mine since I moved here a couple of years ago. I have to admit I was very surprised by the amount of graffiti and tags and tagging displayed in our city and my neighborhood, very near the area of Las Positas that you refer to. I am very grateful for our Graffiti Abatement Program, which does seem to be an endless battle.And I do believe we need to face these questions, as you had stated. In doing so, a most important point has to be addressed which I feel you didn’t mention.
These taggers are responsible for destroying property. There needs to be more accountability and responsibility - I understand it is difficult to catch them and maybe that is where we first need to put our energies – more curfews, more neighborhood patrols by police and volunteers, restitution, and consequences.
Furthermore, I’m not buying this [excuse of] frustrated artistic energy with no forum for expression. This community is one of the most philanthropic in the arts that you will find, with numerous art programs. As well, these young people come from local families, whose parents and families have lived here for years and worked two to three jobs just to be able to live here. I’ll surmise these same young people have at least two of the latest electronic gadgets including a cell phone. Tags, slaps, and bombing are not art! They are a very expensive defamation of property and the perpetrators should be held accountable. Personally, as I see it, in a language they will understand, taggers are haters.