Gov. Newsom gathers SF leaders to address fentanyl crisis, downtown revitalization

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Thursday, May 25, 2023
Newsom talks to SF leaders about drug crisis, downtown revitalization
Governor Gavin Newsom gathered prominent San Francisco city and business leaders Wednesday to try and help get the city back on track.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Governor Gavin Newsom gathered prominent San Francisco city and business leaders Wednesday to try and help get the city back on track and tackle some of its most pressing issues.

The meeting was held in Sacramento and not open to the public or media.

"He realizes that we can be doing better. He realizes and I think was frustrated with what he saw on his most recent trip to San Francisco," said Rodney Fong, SF Chamber of Commerce president.

Fong was one of those in attendance.

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He tells ABC7 News about the top issues discussed, including addressing the drug crisis on our streets, rebuilding the city's downtown and addressing the doom loop narrative.

"San Franciscans need to stop being victims. You can turn this into a self-fulfilling prophecy. And we need to take action," Fong said.

In April, Newsom launched an operation with the CHP and National Guard to try and break up fentanyl rings in the city.

A goal Mayor London Breed also promised to tackle during a tense meeting with the Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

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"We cannot allow these conditions on the street. People need to feel safe, they need to feel comfortable. They need to want to be here," said Jim Wunderman.

Wunderman, the CEO of the Bay Area Council, was also in the meeting.

He says despite the very real problems San Francisco faces, it's important to remember there's still a lot of positive things going on here.

"The city is still a center of the innovation economy with the largest private startup companies: decacorns worth $10 billion, pentacorns $5 billion, unicorns $1 billion are centered here. The numbers are actually off the chart," Wunderman said.

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Wunderman says while places like downtown and the Tenderloin continue to struggle, other neighborhoods are thriving.

With so much innovation happening on our doorstep, he believes, the current rough patch will ultimately prove to be just a blip.

"This is one of those times where we're in a bit of a lull, but I wouldn't be surprised one bit to see San Francisco experience another boom cycle," he said.

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