De Blasio promises ‘Cleanup Corps’ to tackle SoHo graffiti

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Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday promised his pricey new cleanup crew will tackle the city’s graffiti problem highlighted by The Post’s front-page story on the vandalism in Soho.

But maybe not for another month.

“On the question of graffiti, you’re going to see a big impact from the Cleanup Corps. They’re going to be out there, they’re hiring up as we speak,” de Blasio said during his daily press briefing.

“You’re going to see a particularly strong impact going into July, August as we get ready for everything to come back off the summer,” Hizzoner added. “We’re going to address the graffiti issue across the board and it’s one of many things we’re doing to bring this city back.”

De Blasio — who said he’s “very proud” of the $234 million initiative — claimed that hiring 10,000 New Yorkers for the cleaning program will “make a real impact” when it comes to graffiti in places like Soho.

Mayor Bill de Blasio blamed the perceived decline in quality-of-life partially on the coronavirus pandemic.
Mayor Bill de Blasio blamed the perceived decline in quality of life partially on the coronavirus pandemic.
Matthew McDermott

Business owners in the ritzy Manhattan neighborhood told The Post an increase in graffiti is keeping customers away.

“The graffiti isn’t great for walk-in traffic,” said Brianna, a hairstylist at Thomas Taft Salon.

The comments on the graffiti come as the mayor came under attack from candidates during Wednesday’s mayoral debate for his handling of quality-of-life issues.

De Blasio on Thursday blamed perception of declining quality of life on the pandemic — the same excuse he gave for increases in shootings and homelessness and a decrease in the police clearance rate.

graffiti
Mayor Bill de Blasio said he expects a “big impact from the Cleanup Corps” on combating New York City’s graffiti.
Stephen Yang
Graffiti is seen in SoHo.
The “Cleanup Crew” initiative will cost $234 million.
Stephen Yang
Business owners say that the graffiti drives customers away.
Business owners say the graffiti drives customers away.
Stephen Yang

“We’ve all been through something very, very challenging, with COVID, with [a] global pandemic, with a perfect storm of societal dysfunction because … when hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs, when schools were closed, houses of worship were closed, life ground to a halt, that disrupted everything,” the mayor said.

“We are still, not shockingly, dealing with the impact of that. But we will come out of this,” he went on. “We will fight back crime as well. I think it’s understandable that people are concerned and want to talk about it.”

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