Friday, May 2nd 2008
The Downtown Business Association (DBA) has re-appointed Natalie Turner as the Graffiti Program Coordinator for the summer of 2008. Rounding out her third summer with the DBA, Ms. Turner brings to the table years of experience working in the social sciences with the public and youth throughout Red Deer and Central Alberta.
Natalie is currently a University of Calgary student entering her final year of an Honours Degree in Sociology with a Minor in Criminology; she also has an associate's diploma in Communication Studies. Pairing her education and field experience Natalie has developed her thinking on the importance of communication within social institutions and the public. "The DBA works on many initiatives to make our downtown cleaner and safer, I am pleased to be back, to be involved in the evolution and growth of the Graffiti Program," says Natalie.
The Downtown Business Association's Graffiti Program works in partnership with The City of Red Deer, the RCMP, community organizations, and downtown businesses to raise awareness of the necessity for education and community engagement in eradicating graffiti. That partnership has resulted in the new Graffiti Hotline. (If you see graffiti, call 356-8908).
The Graffiti Program will continue to encourage reporting and removal. Natalie says that "understanding graffiti is simple - if graffiti is placed on your property without permission it is illegal. It is a cost to the property owner that many cannot afford and not to mention a nuisance." Statistics show that prompt removal of graffiti drastically reduces the likeliness of other occurrences from happening. In addition to removal, reporting graffiti is strongly encouraged as it provides authorities with the necessary means to substantiate statistics and retrieve evidence for possible prosecution.
"A key component of the program is being a resource to the community and exploring innovative approaches to removal and prevention," says Laura Turner, Executive Director.