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A Guide to Kicking Your Neighborhood's Ass into Shape

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When your neighborhood kind of blows, the key to putting it on the right track is persistency and not giving up after being stonewalled by the first person you try to get help from. The LA Weekly today publishes a talk with Allan DiCastro, the president of the Mid-City Neighborhood Council, and finds how he has slowly but surely taken his neighborhood to a better place.

One example is graffiti. "When he first started years ago, he was reporting 189 graffiti incidents a week to the police," explained the Weekly. "He called every week, week after week, telling the police of the location of the latest ones. Slowly but surely, the number went down with DiCastro still calling. Now, through his and LAPD's own sheer persistence, the number is 10 or 15, he says."

We've seen this work first hand and encourage anyone with a graffiti problem in their neighborhood to fight it. In our case, we consistently reported graffiti to 3-1-1 or via the city's graffiti online form. It took only a few minutes a day until the graffiti slowed down, reducing our reports to the city.