This month, the city council’s Public Works Committee will consider a new graffiti ordinance, which aims to bolster Oakland’s current vandalism laws by inflicting harsher penalties on offenders and offering support for property owners frequently targeted by graffiti writers. The “Graffiti Enforcement Program” proposed by City Attorney Barbara Parker and District 3 representative Nancy Nadel, would enhance a section of the city’s municipal code which presently only addresses graffiti abatement procedures and prohibits the sale and possession of pressurized paint cans and markers to minors.

Read More

Oakland Community and Economic Development Agency has partnered with service organizations to create job opportunities for out-of-work youth while mitigating blight in the city’s commercial corridors. The city’s partnership with Men of Valor, a non-profit re-entry program in East Oakland that provides housing, job training and other services to high school drop-outs, recovering addicts and the formerly incarcerated, has proven so successful since it began in June—removing about 114 graffiti markings from 88 businesses along Foothill and International boulevards—that in October CEDA decided to expand the program and take on new partners.

Read More

Nearly 30 years ago, in 1983, Dan Fontes was under Highway 580 at Harrison Street in North Oakland painting on a massive round concrete highway support beam. With cars speeding by, he diligently worked on his piece of art: a realistic depiction of a 30-foot tall giraffe craning its neck up toward the freeway. As Fontes painted, a police car pulled up…

Read More
closeup shot of woman painted in mural, arms outstreched

Hundreds of street murals brighten Oakland’s walls, painted by local artists, graffiti writers and collectives, like the Community Rejuvenation Project. Some are “bombed”, i.e. done without permission, on the fly, usually at night. Others are commissioned by private businesses and public institutions. This audio slideshow is a preview of some of them.

Read More