Delia Jasso’s first 10 days in office were going great until she caught a cold that was going around City Hall. But she powered through, and took a few minutes to sit down with me this week. The District 1 Council Member said Oak Cliff’s craggy sidewalks top her agenda. Jasso said she walked almost every street in her district while she was campaigning. Some of the sidewalks are 80 years old, and "in desperate need of repair," she said.
"Everybody’s talking about walkable streets and riding bikes, and so we’ve got to make sure our infrastructure is what we need it to be for the future," she said.
Graffiti is second on Jasso’s list. She is troubled by statistics showing that kids between the ages of 10 and 14 are responsible for most graffiti, as well as anecdotes indicating that tagging becomes addictive. "I think we have to ask ourselves, ‘Why are these kids doing this?’" she said. "Is there nothing else for them to do?"
More after the jump.
Jasso said she would consider ordinances to regulate the sale of spray paint, but she’s mostly concerned with "education and prevention." Lots of cities have looked for ways to stop graffiti, and none has had much success. New York City’s efforts to rid the city’s subway system of graffiti was documented in the 1983 film Style Wars. I bring it up not only because that’s a classic documentary, but also because Style Wars does a good job of explaining the conflict between graffiti as an art form and graffiti as a criminal act. And Jasso seems to understand that clash. Part of her plan includes a graffiti clean-up day, on Sept. 26. As part of the festivities that day, Jasso is considering a graffiti art contest.
"We really want to look at graffiti in a different way," she said.