It’s getting so lawless in San Francisco that government agencies are telling their employees to work from home.
The Bay Area’s reputation for and encouragement of open-air drug use has turned this once pristine region of the Golden State into a distinct shade of brown. Literally.
We are certainly witnessing the rapid disintegration of San Francisco, a city with enormous advantages in wealth and geography, but a serious disadvantage in the realm of common sense.
Officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services told employees working at—and you just can’t make this up—the Nancy Pelosi Federal Building on 7th Street and Mission to steer clear of the building for “the foreseeable future” because street conditions were so deplorable.
A local ABC News affiliate went to the Pelosi Federal Building to check it out. The result was like something out of an absurd scene from the Middle Ages in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”
The female reporter asks a man, who is slumped over and apparently doing some form of drugs: “Do you realize you’re in front of a federal building and you’re doing drugs?”
“They don’t care,” the man responds. “They said we can.”
In the television station’s video, the reporter speaks to another man who has been doing fentanyl and is walking around with his drug paraphernalia, giving needles to someone else.
She asks another man if he is using fentanyl or heroin.
“No, I shoot fentanyl and crystal [meth] together,” he responds, while taking a bite of his potato chips.
The video ends with a shot of a man and woman randomly tussling on the side of the street.
What a progressive paradise they’ve created in San Francisco.
The reality is that when you combine this laissez-faire approach to drug use with an unwillingness to punish small and big crimes, you end up with a city stuck in what is called a “doom loop.”
“Urban doom loops start with a triggering event tied to a core industry, like when manufacturing jobs started to leave Detroit in the 1970s,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “Tax revenue falls, services suffer, businesses close and disorder moves in. Residents leave, commuters and shoppers stay away and the cycle is self-reinforcing.”
You might as well put San Francisco’s picture in the dictionary for “Doom loop.” The question is, how bad will it get before something changes?
Downtown sections of the city are looking battered as businesses take extreme measures to deal with local crime, or in many cases just close their doors for good.
Walgreens drug store locations have been closing in the city because rampant theft and property crime is not only driving away customers but literally eating into their profits.
Some Walgreens locations have chained up freezer sections because pizza and ice cream gets cleaned out overnight. But robberies aren’t happening because people are starving. All kinds of goods disappear from shelves because there is little that businesses or law enforcement can do to punish the thieves.
A stirring plea for change to Gov. Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, and the city’s Board of Supervisors from a prominent local business appeared in the Sunday Chronicle.
“Today, as we prepare for our 166th holiday season at 250 Post Street, we fear this may be our last,” reads the ominous letter from John Chachas, CEO of Gump’s, a luxury retail store near Union Square.
Chachas’ letter says that the city is suffering from a “tyranny of the minority,” in which the uncurtailed actions of the few threaten the many.
“The ramifications of [COVID-19] policies advising people to abandon their offices are only beginning to be understood,” the letter continues. “Equally devastating have been a litany of destructive San Francisco strategies, including allowing the homeless to occupy our sidewalks, to openly distribute and use illegal drugs, to harass the public and to defile the city’s streets.”
Here’s the full letter, which is worth a read:
With all the natural advantages San Francisco enjoys, many of the city’s issues could be solved by serious leadership and firmer adherence to traditional justice over social justice.
Unfortunately, ideology intervenes.
Instead of focusing on solving the main issues—open-air drug use and general lawlessness—city leaders generally are sprinting faster on the road to perdition.
San Francisco’s annual budget shortfall has been widening at an alarming rate. That’s what happens when you strangle the economic goose that laid the golden egg. The city so far has managed to avoid a full-on fiscal implosion, but prospects for the future appear grim.
With fiscal and economic prognostication worsening, do city leaders have a long-term plan out of this mess? Nah.
The San Francisco City Council doubled down on a farcical racial reparations plan that would cost the city an estimated $175 billion. That’s more than the entire budget of all but a handful of states. Council members appear to be “serious” about this plan. Well, at least as serious as the city government can be about anything.
There are perhaps a few people in the City by the Bay who get it, like the CEO of Gump’s, but they’ve been drowned out by the insanity.
Seneca Scott, who runs the community organizing group “Neighbors Together Oakland, recently called the Bay Area the “promised land of milk and fentanyl.”
“They’re coming here for the safe and easy access to their drug of choice and the ability to also steal to support those habits because there’s no rule of law,” he said.
It’s a fitting description for a place increasingly filled with people who look like they’ve been wandering 40 years in the wilderness.
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