Billboard Graffiti Targets Vallone Jr.
City Councilmember Peter F. Vallone Jr., chair of the Council Public Safety Committee, an outspoken critic of graffiti and the author of a number of strong anti graffiti laws has once again become the target of a graffiti vandal. A gigantic billboard on the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge has been tagged by a graffiti vandal with a special message for him “F#%K VALLONE”.
“If criminals are mad at me, then I must be doing something right,” Vallone responded.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently signed into law two anti-graffiti bills authored by Vallone. These bills ban the possession not only of spray paint, but also of permanent broad tip markers, etching instruments or any other graffiti tools by anyone under 21, and make it a crime to sell graffiti instruments to anyone under 21. Another Vallone bill in the package holds owners of buildings with six or more apartments or commercial buildings responsible for cleaning graffiti from their buildings.
Vallone has also blasted Sony Corporation for promoting criminal behavior by placing graffiti-like advertisements on various walls in New York City. The graffiti shows various characters using a portable PlayStation game system but is not clearly marked as advertising. Vallone is calling on Sony to donate $20,000 to a local New York City anti-graffiti program.
In the past, Vallone has taken on Time Magazine for ads promoting graffiti and Atari and Ecko Corporation for hosting a graffiti street party in SoHo. The event, while advertised as a street fair, was actually a commercial event used to promote an Atari graffiti video game. At Vallone’s urging, Bloomberg revoked the permit for the street fair. After a court allowed the graffiti fest to occur, at the event Vallone was drawn being dragged into hell along with Mayors Bloomberg and Rudolph Giuliani.
Vallone’s stance on these graffiti events and his efforts which helped bring about the arrest of one of New York City’s most notorious graffiti vandals have led him to become a target of numerous graffiti thugs. One individual was even arrested after he left a threatening message on Vallone’s answering machine. Various graffiti Web sites have even taken notice of Vallone’s stance calling him a “graffiti hater” and warning “not to tag in a graffiti hater’s neighborhood”.
Vallone also recently led the fight to arrest one of Astoria’s most wanted graffiti vandals, Oliver Siandre, aka KIKO. Siandre now faces up to seven years in jail for causing thousands of dollars worth of damage.
“We are sending a message to him and any other miscreant that defaces our neighborhood: We will find you and you will go to jail,” Vallone said when Siandre was indicted. “This is an unprecedented indictment for a graffiti punk.”