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SF Board of Supervisors Re-Appoint Rebecca Delgado Rottman to SF Graffiti Advisory Board

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Academy of Art University Vice President of Community & Government Relations Rebecca Delgado Rottman was re-appointed by the SF Board of Supervisors to the Graffiti Advisory Board, a seat that she has held since 2007. Among her many contributions to the board so far have been to chair the Education Sub-Committee in 2008-2009. As the chair, she led the committee in the development of an anti-graffiti curriculum for the SF Unified School District to educate children about the costs and consequences of graffiti vandalism. The Education Sub-Committee researched best practices in curriculum development and partnered with the SF Arts Commission who reviewed, approved and executed the recommended curriculum entitled, “Where Art Lives.” This program, instituted in 2008, is still ongoing in the SF Unified School District. “Although it is difficult to measure outcome, one thing we know today is that youth arrests involved in graffiti vandalism has gone down,” Delgado Rottman said. 

Delgado Rottman also participated in the planning and production of SF Mayors’ Anti-Graffiti Conferences in 2009, 2014 and will co-chair the Fundraising Committee in 2016. Under Delgado Rottman’s leadership, while she served as Director of Housing & Residential Services at the Academy, she led student volunteers to participate in park beautification, street cleaning, graffiti removal and tree planting in different neighborhoods, parks and schools in San Francisco. This student volunteer program with DPW’s Community Clean Team is still thriving since she first developed it in 2006.

When asked about her passion for the cause and leadership of these remarkable student volunteers, Delgado Rottman shared, “I like to lead by example, so I joined the students at 8:30 a.m. many Saturday mornings. Together, we planted trees, pulled-out weeds in community gardens, cleaned schools, abated graffiti and picked up litter on the street. It was a lot of fun working side-by-side with the students.”

In 2007, Delgado Rottman developed the partnership between the Academy and the Department of Public Works’ Graffiti Watch Program. The Academy’s fraternity, Pi Upsilon chapter of Kappa Sigma removes graffiti on public properties and cleans the streets on 16 city blocks from Post to Pine, intersecting Mason to Leavenworth, every other weekend (17 times a year) when school is in session. The partnership and the program are still going strong. The Academy is committed to this ongoing effort and purchases its own supplies for these students in abating graffiti on public properties.

Delgado Rottman searches out opportunities for public and private partnerships in blighted communities for painting murals in these neighborhoods to reduce crime, improve the quality of life and create vitality, ownership and pride in the neighborhoods. “Although there is not one cure in eradicating graffiti, one of the many things we learned from serving in the Graffiti Advisory Board is that murals deter graffiti vandalism,” Delgado Rottman said. 

The SF Graffiti Advisory Board was established to advise the Board of Supervisors about the problem of graffiti in San Francisco neighborhoods and the downtown area. The Advisory Board also advises the Mayor and the SF Board of Supervisors about graffiti enforcement, clean-ups and prevention strategies. 

Among its responsibilities, the Graffiti Advisory Board has the duty of preparing and submitting to the Board and the Mayor an annual report on graffiti. This includes a review and evaluation of the services and programs in place to respond to graffiti, utilize prevention strategies, as well as recommendations and plans as to a consolidated program of public and private efforts.

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Academy alumna Wendy Ngo and Rebecca Delgado Rottman at City Hall for Delgado Rottman’s re-appointment to SF Graffiti Advisory Board. Courtesy of Rebecca Delgado Rottman.

The board is currently constituted as a 25-member advisory committee. Board members include a representative for the Mayor and each of San Francisco’s 11 Supervisorial Districts, seven city agencies that have responsibilities for graffiti, and one representative for each of the following stakeholders: youth groups involved in graffiti diversion, non-profit organizations related to the city’s beautification, businesses, private or public arts schools and the contracting agency for MUNI shelters. The full board is divided into three sub-committees: education, abatement and enforcement.