Air date: May 29, 2014 http://www.theheartofdetroit.org
It’s colorful, but it’s not art. It’s graffiti, and it’s often dangerous. Holly: Dollar signs means we are selling narcotics, quite often we will see a red tag…and they will cross out with blue and now you’ve got two gangs in a rival turf war here. Holly Clements knows graffiti — and her grass roots organization No More Broken Windows is set on eliminating it. The name came after Holly encountered one particular victim. Holly: There was a woman who had some graffiti on her garage her family had come and painted over it, and the gang members came back and they shot out the windows of her house. Holly’s group goes to houses and businesses, covering the dangerous drawings. Holly: Your number one defense against gang infiltration is to just cover over the graffiti. Mitch: And yet many people are afraid to just cover the graffiti. Holly: They are, for fear of retaliation. Holly says you shouldn’t back down. Holly: We’ve done one gang leader area four times. It took us four times, but after the fourth time, it has been a year and a half, and they haven’t added to it. It is done. It’s clean. Right now No More Broken Windows is fighting with its own money and materials. Holly: LA spends over 7 million dollars to eradicate graffiti, Chicago, over 2 million, Detroit, zero. They spend no money. I am pretty much it. Mitch: You’re it? Holly: I’m it Mitch: And you’re not even a nonprofit. You have to take this stuff out of your own pocket. Holly: I do. Holly could use some donors for paint, rollers, other supplies — and a truck would be a godsend, since now she’s using her own vehicle. Holly: We’ve got people waiting, ready to take control of their city. The police have said that since 2008 when we started doing this that we have probably saved 20 lives. Giving our property back to our citizens, Holly Clements and No More Broken Windows are trying for a clean sweep and safer streets here in the heart of Detroit.