Retailer's 'Graffiti Starter Kit' raises councilman's ire
According to the office of Councilman Dennis Zine, Aaron Brothers is advertising and distributing the kit, which includes paints and markers, as part of its "Artrageous" promotion. Zine wants the store to stop passing out the kits or to post a message for consumers about the “ramifications and penalties of graffiti vandalism.”
"This promotion is an assault on our community and sends a devastating message to our youth. It is unfortunate that Aaron Brothers is not attuned to the impact their actions may have on encouraging vandalism," Zine said in a statement.
The art store chain has special events planned throughout Los Angeles County that will include "tips and tricks from the pros," according to Zine’s office.
City Atty. Carmen Trutanich said in a statement from Zine’s office that the promotion “threatens the quality of life for our city’s residents simply for commercial gain.”
“This city will continue to make a clear distinction between art and graffiti vandalism. Our First Amendment right to self expression does not allow individuals to deface private or public property,” he said.
According to Zine’s office, the city spent more than $7 million last year in graffiti abatement.
A representative for Aaron Brothers could not be reached for comment late Friday.
-- Robert Faturechi
Photo: Councilman Dennis Zine Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times