EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. — About a little over a month after Black Lives Matter El Dorado County adopted parts of Highway 50, the Adopt-a-Highway sign with the group's name was vandalized.
Black Lives Matter El Dorado County sent ABC10 photos of the vandalism, which appear to show the "Black Lives" text of one sign crossed out and another sign that was completely removed.
Michelle Greene, the organizer and founder of Black Lives Matter El Dorado County, described the vandalism as outwardly racist.
"It's a means of intimidation, and it was specifically centered around black lives," Greene said. "So to me, that says the problem isn't with the sign. It's the fact that 'black lives' is on that sign."
Placerville City Council voted in April to remove the noose from its logo, which Black Lives Matter El Dorado County advocated strongly for, saying it was a racist symbol. Greene says someone might have been triggered by that memory after seeing the highway sign with the group's name.
Black Lives Matter El Dorado County adopted four stretches of Highway 50 in June that covers a total of roughly 10 miles across Placerville, Camino and Shingle Springs. The permit, through Caltrans, consists of a five-year commitment to clean along the adopted highway at least 12 times a year.
According to Caltran’s website, participation could include removing litter, planting trees or wildflowers, controlling vegetation, and removing graffiti.
Greene told ABC10 in June that adopting Highway 50 had been in the works for about a year. The group’s goal was to have Black Lives Matter associated with something positive.
“The purpose of the Adopt-a-Highway is not to advertise, and it is not to have a political discussion," Greene noted. "I think it’s a way for us as an organization to participate in our community in a really active way.”
ABC10 reached out to Caltrans but a spokesperson said information on the incident would be available Friday. Green said Caltrans was alerted to the vandalism, and said Caltrans will replace the stolen sign and the sign that was spray-painted if they can't remove the graffiti.
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