The Mayor of San Francisco declares a state of emergency to fight the city’s “evil streets”

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The San Francisco states were used nationwide as fodder for Fox News and other conservative media outlets as a sign of the disorder allegedly caused by liberal governance. In San Francisco, opponents of District Attorney Chesa Boudin have tried to use clutter and high-profile incidents of retail theft to drive product recalls. This week Ms. Breed used a more high-pitched language than even the harshest critics of her town.

Their announcement came as mayors across the country grapple with an increase in gun violence, murders and overdose deaths.

Ms. Breed made a list of initiatives aimed at preventing street sales of stolen property, increasing police surveillance powers and pressuring drug users to seek treatment. Ms. Breed said declaring a state of emergency would allow the city to cut red tape and increase resources for the police. She said she had already arrested 23 “people who have held this neighborhood hostage” during a warrant search.

Some who work at the tenderloin said they were encouraged by Ms. Breed’s announcement.

One block from an abandoned playground, Hanh Huynh, 33, said the Vietnamese grocery store she works at has been robbed frequently and that she had recently moved because she was concerned about raising her 2-year-old in the area. Ali Baalouach, 44, said homeless people often stole the groceries he sold in his father’s halal grocery store. “I love the mayor,” he said. “Listen to her, follow the rules and do what you have to do.”

Fatou Sadio, 37, who lives two blocks from Tenderloin and does frequent shopping in the area, said she was glad to hear the city was cracking down on drugs and homelessness. “You go out your door and have to be careful,” she said, “because someone is sleeping there, using needles, and pooping.”

But not everyone welcomed the news from the mayor. Laura Thomas, director of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s Harm Reduction Policy, said Ms. Breed mixed good solutions with bad. “She seems to wrap things that we know are effective with things that are really counterproductive,” said Ms. Thomas.


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