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OPINION: Graffiti Removal

Below is a submission from one of our local readers regarding graffiti in the neighborhood. If you have an opinion or topic you’d like to write about, please contact us at

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Church Hill People’s News.

July 22, 2019

TO: The Church Hill Association

RE: Graffiti Issue

The Church Hill Association is asking for $5,000.00 for graffiti removal from the brick wall surrounding Richmond Hill.

The graffiti problem has been an ongoing one for years. I drove by on July 22nd and the weeds are so tall that you can barely see the wall. The City of Richmond is supposed to keep this area mowed. They do not!

It is a waste of money to remove graffiti and not address the issue of recurring vandalism. Planting will not deter graffiti artist. In addition, new plantings may die because there will be no funds to water and maintain them.

Motion sensitive lighting will deter them. Richmond Hill should invest in motion sensitive lighting. The brick fence belongs to them.

Most importantly, the City of Richmond has a program that will remove the graffiti free of charge. This is administered through the City of Richmond, Department of Public Works. The last time a CHA committee got their hands on $5,000.00 was at least six years ago and to date there has yet to be a full accounting of how and where this money was spent, if it was spent and how much of that $5,000.00 remains.

Jean McDaniel

We recently heard from the CHA asking for help giving funds cleaning Taylor’s Hill Park. A group of volunteers as well as Richmond Hill have been cleaning up the park and trying to take better care of it.


Olivia 08/04/2019 at 12:23 PM

Here’s a suggestion- why don’t we pay someone to vandalize the wall but call it a mural? Seriously, rva has countless things it could be focusing it’s energy on. I don’t think “cracking down” on graffiti is one of them. Please, just please don’t encourage calling the cops on people for stuff like this. It’s just not worth it.

Granted, the graffiti does usually suck. So, there’s that. I haven’t seen a single mural that’s been tagged after it’s been put up. That being said MURALS.

Community, Love & Understand.

Moving back to the Hill! 08/04/2019 at 2:28 PM

It is odd that the CHA is asking for funds for graffiti removal. I called the City Department of Public works a month or so after I moved here years ago when a neighbors fence was tagged while he was out of town. Another neighbor told me about the FREE service. (Church Hill is great like that 🙂 ) The City crew was out within a week and removed it.
I can see $5,000 being raised for a “structural restoration” if the wall itself had issues but that is not the case here. I could see $5,000 being raised for a local mural artist (or an artist competition/prize) to create another signature mural for RVA, but that is not the case here. Bare brick is a blank canvas for graffiti and WILL be tagged again, and again.
CHA, what’s the background story here? Has the City said no to removing the graffiti? Have they said they don’t have the funds to remove it? Or have they said that they can’t take it on for an inordinate amount of time? Are you intending to pay the City to remove the graffiti out of the $5,000 or hire an outside contractor? Details please.
FYI – City Graffiti removal site:

jean mcdaniel 08/05/2019 at 9:16 AM

I have two friends that have commented on graffiti article but they are not showing up.

Church Hill People's News 08/05/2019 at 3:09 PM

Should be good now Jean!

Debra 08/06/2019 at 10:37 AM

The graffiti removal task force for the City of Richmond has already been contacted by Richmond Hill, and they were informed that the extent of the damage was beyond their capacity. As outlined in the Presidents Letter in the August CHA newsletter, Richmond Hill and concerned CHA members are exploring several ideas to address the graffiti to include it’s removal, the creation of a group to advocate for the maintenance and upkeep of the site surrounding the wall and the possibility of a mural to detract from future graffiti following the clean up. The CHA is simply organizing a fund raising campaign to raise money for the project. Please consider joining the many neighbors and area businesses by contributing to this community effort.

Zora 10/30/2019 at 5:28 PM

I completely agree with Olivia!! Also, this is the perfect opportunity to include artists, former and current neighbors, and Church Hill families to partake in something that captures the history and feelings associated with being a Church Hill resident. Though complex and bothersome to several neighbors, graffiti is a form of art that speaks to social injustice, beauty, artistic expression, etc. What a great opportunity to create connectivity, honor the past, and work towards a positive future through art!


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