For the past 30 years, the Greater Ridgewood Restoration Corporation (GRRC) has sponsored a very successful antigrafitti program. Run mostly by volunteers, the GRRC has scripted a marvelous story about a community-based effort to eradicate the atrocious scribblings and scrawlings which turn neighborhood buildings into eyesores.
Due to the dramatic economic downturn gripping the country, the GRRC has lost much of the funding provided by its federal, state and city elected officials. Undaunted by this fiscal challenge, Ridgewood’s crusaders against graffiti have decided that they would try to reach out to the community and request donations so they could continue their work.
The GRRC graffiti program has indeed taken a hit, reducing its work hours from five to three days a week, with only one cleaning crew operating instead of two. Nevertheless, the GRRC managed to remove graffiti at 261 locations this year.
With so many of your hard-earned tax dollars being spent on wasteful “programs and entitlements,” it makes one wonder why something as successful as this particular service has been denied. Chances are that if the question were posed to the average taxpayer, they would prefer their money going to something as worthwhile as graffiti removal. Unfortunately, the taxpayer rarely has a say.
As the economic picture worsens and money gets tighter, this community—like so many others—is facing a mortgage and foreclosure crisis. At present, there are hundreds of properties on the lien sale list, and many of these buildings are starting to show the signs of decreased maintenance.
Now more than ever, the GRRC anti-graffiti program needs to run full throttle. The criminals look for places to spray their gibberish and cruise the neighborhood looking for structures that seem unattended so they can do their mayhem.
There are many concerned residents and businesses in the community who have reached into their pockets and made contributions. So far, about $7,000 has been collected, but in order to make the program work, $25,000 is needed.
Whether you are a long-time resident, a new homeowner, or a concerned tenant, the well-being of the community is up to each and every one that calls this neighborhood home. Regardless of size, every donation is accepted and appreciated.
For those interested in this campaign and in their neighborhood, a tax deductible contribution can be sent to the GRRC by mail to 68-56 Forest Ave., Ridgewood, NY 11385, by phone at 1- 718-366-8721 or online at www.ridgewoodrestoration.org.
Let’s do our part to make our communities graffiti-free!