San Francisco mayor gives 3-month update on city's roadmap to revitalize downtown

Lyanne Melendez Image
Tuesday, May 23, 2023
SF mayor gives 3-month update on roadmap to revitalize downtown
San Francisco Mayor London Breed gives her 3-month update on the city's roadmap progress to revitalize the downtown area.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A recent San Francisco Chamber of Commerce survey found that 91% of residents agree that a thriving downtown is crucial to the region's economy. It's been only three months since Mayor London Breed introduced her "roadmap" to revitalize the downtown area.

"Public safety concerns, a spiraling fentanyl crisis, empty offices, shuttered businesses," that was Feb. 9 of this year when Mayor London Breed highlighted several city priorities, including making downtown a clean and safer environment.

On Tuesday, we took a closer look at the Mid-Market area of San Francisco after the city agreed to extend the contracts of the safety ambassadors who provide non-police responses.

MORE: SF mayor's Q&A on drug crisis from UN Plaza cut short after pushback from public

Someone who works on these streets told us, in the past month or so things have slightly improved. A greater police presence seems to be the main reason.

In late March, the Board of Supervisors voted to pay for police overtime in response to the staff shortage within that department. On May 1, the state also deployed the National Guard and CHP patrols to crackdown on drug dealing.

But residents here are mixed about the results so far.

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Monday marks the start of Gov. Newsom's move to crack down on San Francisco's open-air drug market with CHP officers and the state's National Guard.

"Being harassed by people and just the open-air drug market, especially the fact that there is absolutely no enforcement at all especially on 7th and Mission," complained Stephen Bersch, who lives in that area.

"Maybe a little bit of an improvement. Some people have been housed so there's less people on the street," expressed Anne Duddy, a nearby resident.

A recent Chamber of Commerce survey found that 3 in 4 people think the city is on the wrong track.

"That's no surprise to us, we have been calling this out for quite awhile but I do agree with the mayor that change is abound, there is change happening and people are feeling this tipping point, this movement and we know we can do better," explained Rodney Fong of the SF Chamber of Commerce.

MORE: San Francisco's drug overdose crisis shows no signs of slowing in 2023, reports reveal

Phelicia Jones is with Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community. She says it's time city departments turn to community organizations in the fight against drug addiction.

"Trust us with the money and take the handcuffs off us, and let us be an impact in our community because we're the experts, added Jones

Three months after presenting the city's roadmap, Mayor Breed on Tuesday agreed the city alone can't fix these problems alone.

"We've got work to do but let's embrace that work, let's chance those opportunities, let's think bigger than we've ever have before and we will make the magic happen in San Francisco Again," said Breed during a breakfast event hosted by the Chamber.

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