Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sean Nelson wants Lemon St. murals removed

A city council meeting stirs up controversy over what some people consider art
By: Jacquelyn Rumfola of the Daily Titan - click on title for entire article

Fullerton City Council member Sean Nelson caused discordance with some community members when he recently called for the take-down of several Fullerton murals off Lemon Street, deeming them gang-related.

At a City Council meeting, Nelson recommended the immediate removal of the murals located between Valencia Drive and Orangethorpe Avenue, saying he believed the depictions accepted and validated a gang mentality.

During that meeting on April 1, Nelson specifically referred to one mural that contains a picture of a low-rider car and bares the inscription, "The Town I Live In."

"That thing that says the city I live in with the low-rider car -- Don't kid yourself, I've seen these gang members," Nelson said at the meeting. "The exact script that that's written in, on the bridge overpass over Lemon, is tattooed on the back of these guys necks and they identify that as a logo as being part of their gang. I think our city needs to take responsibility, like, tomorrow and get rid of that nonsense."

The comments were made in response to an updated report, given by Capt. Greg Mayes, on gang activity.

Around 25 to 30 community members attended the Fullerton City Council meeting on the evening of April 15 to voice their disapproval of Nelson's remarks.

Community members, some being "low-riders" themselves, explained that not everyone who owns a low-ride vehicle is a gang member. Speakers referred to "low-riding" as a hobby, comparing it to fixing up a hot-rod.

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