OUR CITY IS UNDER SIEGE from the outdoor advertising industry. Since 2002, when the city banned all new off-site advertising signs and started a program to find and remove illegal signs, hundreds of new signs have gone up, and the illegal ones have remained, blighting our neighborhoods and degrading our quality of life. New types of billboards have appeared-brilliantly lighted electronic signs with messages changing every few seconds, and huge vinyl and fabric signs hung from the sides of buildings, often covering windows and obscuring architectural details. It seems this industry won’t be content until every space in our city is filled with commercial messages, and we’ll be unable to drive our streets or walk in our parks and plazas without being faced at every turn with an exhortation to buy a product or service.
WHAT CAN WE DO?? It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of a deep-pocketed industry that fights tooth and nail through the courts and political system to get its way. But we don’t have to accept this onslaught against the public spaces that belong to all of us, not just to Clear Channel and CBS and other outdoor advertising companies. We can fight back, and we can prevail. But it’s going to take hard work, organization, and lots of effort by volunteers willing to take some time from their busy lives to help this cause.
If you want to get involved in the fight to save our city from this onslaught, we want to hear from you! Even If you only have time to send an e-mail and make a telephone call on a specific issue to your city councilperson, you can make a difference.