A New York Post report Saturday blames years of "woke," progressive policies for turning San Francisco from a powerful American city to an open-air drug market.
"Open drug use has been normalized to the point there are blocks where the entire sidewalk is filled with people passed out or getting high," Kevin Lee, a San Francisco resident who is in recovery himself, told the Post. "There is not enough emphasis on creating access to treatment."
Mayor London Breed said during a press conference on the issue Oct. 5 that the "open-air" drug dealing is destroying the city.
"People are angry with what they see and experience: the brazen drug use and sales during broad daylight," Breed said. "We know what's at stake. The sale of drugs on our streets, they are killing people."
District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said during the press conference that the city has had some 1,700 drug overdose deaths since 2020 and that she is committed to ending the current situation, blaming previous progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who was recalled earlier this year, for "decriminalizing" open drug use in the city.
"We see the results of that out on our streets every single day," she said. "We have to have consequences."
Open Secrets reported in July that many large political donors poured $7 million into the effort to recall Boudin, who ran for office in 2019 to end "racial disparities" and bring about criminal justice reform.
The city is seeing downward trends in many areas since taking on such "woke" policies, including a 21.9% vacancy rate in downtown office space since the end of the pandemic, compared to a rate of just 5.9% before COVID, according to the city.
According to the city's data, some downtown areas are battling vacancy rates of more than 40% to 53%.
San Francisco County experienced the nation's second-largest population decline, down almost 6.5% from July 2020 to July 2021, and was behind only New York County, which lost almost 7% of its population during the same period.
While San Francisco has seen an increase in jobs in the professional, scientific, technical service and information industries, growing between 10,000-20,000 new jobs respectively, it has lost jobs in almost all the other industries, including government, manufacturing, construction, financial services, retail real estate, management, and leisure and hospitality, which shed almost 40,000 jobs alone during the period.
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