San Francisco mayor London Breed did not mince words in a press conference this week as she announced a police intervention in the Tenderloin district in order to end “all the bullshit that has destroyed our city.”
It’s rare for mayors to use the present-perfect tense to describe the destruction of a city they govern. But brazen crime, drug overdoses, and homelessness in San Francisco have made national headlines in the past few weeks. “In recent months, we’ve not only seen a number of high-profile incidents of brazen robberies and car break-ins but also street behavior and criminal activity, especially in the Tenderloin, that has become far too normal and cannot continue to be tolerated,” Breed said.
Mayor Breed unveiled plans to increase funding for police overtime to stop drug dealing, update surveillance methods, and stop street vending in “problematic” areas like the U.N. Plaza to curb the fencing of stolen goods. Although the push includes some infrastructure-based fixes — like more frequent cleaning, public toilets, and streetlight coverage — it is a departure from Breed’s overall messaging, which has prioritized removing police from frequent interactions with the homeless and those with mental-health issues. “San Francisco is a compassionate city, but our compassion cannot be mistaken for weakness or indifference,” she tweeted. “We need a safer San Francisco, and we need it now.”