Lorain councilman battling graffiti problems in unconventional way

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LORAIN, Ohio - A local councilman comes up with an unconventional approach to stop a mystery graffitist who has tagged about 35 structures across the city of Lorain in recent weeks.

The person has spray paint “bombed” public bridges, private businesses, abandoned buildings and even vehicles.

Most recently they “hit” the Lorain Boys & Girls Club on Pearl Ave.

That’s when Lorain 6th Ward Councilman Angel Arroyo got involved.

“At a point I’m like man this is making my neighborhood look like trash.” said Arroyo, “How can I turn a negative into a positive?!”

Arroyo took his concerns to Twitter and several other social media sites, speaking directly to the person behind the spray paint in his videos.

Almost immediately the videos took off, receiving well over 30,000 views, because Arroyo wasn’t looking to punish the perpetrator, but to refocus their talents.

“Let’s show these kids, lets grab them and say hey let’s work together to beautify our community,” said Arroyo, who wants to work with the “street artists” covering up the offensive graffiti with artistic murals. “I’ve seen it in Chicago and you see it in Detroit.”

The response has been overwhelming. So much so, Arroyo and others have begun organizing an Urban Art Showcase to take place sometime in April.

Many young artists contacted him, as did businesses and community leaders from across the country wanting to help out and/or donate paint.

Arroyo realizes vandalism is illegal and he certainly isn’t condoning the behavior, which is punishable by jail time and hefty fines depending on the damage. However, he thinks this solution will stop the problem and prevent future graffiti hits.

“You know the business owners are mad and they have a right to be frustrated,” said Arroyo, “But we have to find a way take something negative and turn into positive and let it become productive and beautify the community.”

Click here to contact Councilman Angel Arroyo and learn more about the upcoming Urban Art Showcase.