SAN FRANCISCO—New legislation was introduced Tuesday, May 10, that could assist store owners with graffiti clean up. 

The proposed legislation would allow business owners to sign up for a two-year pilot program where the Department of Public Works will clean up graffiti at no cost to the owner. If a business owner signs up for the program, DPW will regularly visit their location of business and paint over graffiti. 

“This will support our small businesses, revitalize our streetscapes and generally help us recover,” said Myrna Melgar who serves as a member of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors. 

In the City of San Francisco, businesses are held responsible for graffiti damages to their buildings. If a store owner is cited by the Department of Public works for graffiti they are expected to remedy the issue within 30 days or else pay a fine. 

Graffiti removal violations were put on hold during the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic and were restored just last month. 

“First their shops are vandalized, and then the city comes along and hands them a ticket. Honestly, it must feel like a slap in the face,” said San Francisco Supervisor Hillary Ronen in a 2021 press release regarding the suspension of graffiti violation issuance. 

Melgar added Tuesday after the proposal was made that, “If we want our economy to recover, The City needs to put a little more elbow grease to spruce up our storefronts and public amenities.”