Frustrated city leaders seem to be out of options.
“Fentanyl seized by CHP in SF’s Tenderloin enough to potentially kill 2.1M people, ABC7 News learns,” reported Liz Kreutz for ABC Bay Area News on June 15, 2023.
“Feds to help San Francisco fight fentanyl crisis,” wrote Sergio Quintana for the outlet on the following day.
“I’m so proud of the Biden administration for the leadership role they’re playing and the attorney general for recognizing that violence and drug use in our community needs to come to an end,” said Rep. Nancy Pelosi of the move, which at any other time might have been considered draconian by the citizens of San Francisco, to say nothing of their Congressional representatives.
“New numbers show in the midst of the current crackdown the city set a new record for fentanyl deaths,” according to ABC Bay Area News. “In May, 63 people died, the most deaths in any month since the city’s medical examiner started tracking overdose deaths in January 2020.”
“346 people died from drug overdoses in San Francisco in 2023,” reported Amy Larson for KRON4 on June 16, 2023.
While San Francisco city officials have been anxious to tackle the three hydra threatening the city — crime, homelessness, and addiction — not much seems to be working.
“Video shows new $250K barricades installed to deter alleged sex work in SF destroyed,” reported Stephanie Sierra for ABC 7 News on June 16, 2023.
“San Francisco preschool caught in crossfire of violent neighborhood battle over empty lot,” reported Sierra the previous day.
A team reporting for Good Morning America was advised against filming in downtown San Francisco by the show’s producers last week: The area is too dangerous.
Good Morning American isn’t the first news team to run afoul of San Francisco’s growing crime problem, which is closely related to its other major challenges of addiction and homelessness.
“The challenge in my district, candidly, and — or north of my district in San Francisco is we’ve got to get some of the crime under control,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) told CNBC during a Friday interview. “We’ve got to get the homelessness under control.”
“I don’t know if it’s missing in the state, but we have to do a better job of saying, if you go break into a Walgreens, there have to be consequences,” Rep. Khanna continued. “Now, I don’t think that means you lock someone up for ten years and destroy their lives. But it also doesn’t mean that you just let them go without consequences. And so, the pendulum has swung too far on one side and you have to have common sense.”
“Progressive Backlash in California Fuels Democratic Debate Over Crime,” reported Shane Goldmacher for the New York Times on June 8, 2022. “Election results in San Francisco and Los Angeles were the latest signs of a restless Democratic electorate that remains deeply unsatisfied and concerned about public safety.”
A year later, and the progressive electorate in California is as restless as ever, perhaps more so.
“The Root Causes of San Francisco’s Disorder,” opined the Wall Street Journal’s Allysia Finely on June 18, 2023. “Covid lockdowns hastened the city’s decline, but it won’t recover as long as it clings to progressive obsessions.”
“Author Shelby Steele and his son, Eli, were filming a documentary in San Francisco last week when someone broke into their rental car,” wrote Finley. “In the 10 minutes we were gone our SUV was broken into and nearly $15k of cameras stolen,’ Eli tweeted. “‘Called 911 & they hung up twice.’”
Plenty of other San Franciscan’s have been experiencing the same frustrations over the past year in particular. San Francisco’s police force and emergency services are suffering from a crisis of understaffing and low recruitment numbers.
“Welcome to another day ending in the letter Y in San Francisco,” quipped Finley for the Wall Street Journal.
“Nearly half of the mall’s retailers have closed since 2020 as San Francisco has lost some 7.5% of its population — a larger share than any other major city,” the WSJ reporter wrote. “Those leaving are by and large affluent. According to the Internal Revenue Service data, about 14,700 San Francisco taxpayers with an average adjusted gross income of $415,000 moved to other states in 2020 and 2021. Tens of thousands more flocked to the Bay Area suburbs.”
Can anyone save San Francisco?
“Even Superman equipped with a light saber would not be able to govern San Francisco,” complained Michael Moritz for the New York Times in “Even Democrats Like Me Are Fed Up With San Francisco” on February 26, 2023.
In the months since Mortiz’s guest opinion piece appeared in the New York Times, things have only gotten worse for San Francisco.
The slide is likely to continue in the warmer months to come, when crime generally rises in any given year. City officials and San Francisco residents must brace for the problem to worsen before it gets better.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)