A week after announcing plans for an immediate “increase in police presence to deter criminal activity and a community ambassador program to connect people in need with services, and provide a welcoming presence for residents, workers, visitors, and businesses,” along Market Street, between Powell and 8th Street, and on the Tenderloin blocks bordered by Larkin and Eddy, as well as around U.N. Plaza, Mayor London Breed has announced plans for a further expansion of the community ambassador program downtown.

In addition to stationing around 50 Community Ambassadors at downtown transit hubs and tourist destinations in the Union Square, Financial District, Fisherman’s Wharf and Chinatown neighborhood, the proposed “Downtown Recovery Plan” includes a series of weekly, open-air “events and activations” in July, August, September and October, the proposed SFWednesdays program, and a million dollar cleaning and “beautification” of Hallidie Plaza.

And if the proposed $9.5 million Downtown Recovery Plan is approved as part of the Mayor’s proposed two-year budget next month, ambassadors could be on the street by late summer.

An additional $8.8 million has been written into in the Mayor’s proposed budget to provide ongoing funding for the aforementioned “Mid-Market Vibrancy and Safety Plan,” the launch of which was funded by way of existing City resources.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Juan Doe

    I’m a Breed fan but this is an expensive band-aid that will come off in a few months and waste taxpayer money. It’s a real shame.

    • Posted by Notcom

      Actually it’s a very INexpensive ‘Band-aid’..at least in comparison to the hundred-of-millions of dollars it spends on similarly intangible ideas.

    • Posted by AY

      A $9.5m donation to the Chesa Boudin recall campaign would be a better investment, and that’s coming from someone who voted for him.

      • Posted by Jack

        Sorry but that’s ridiculous. All Boudin has done ‘wrong’ is file charges against a couple of killer cops. If the SFPD wants to take that as a pretext to start slow-walking investigations and telling citizens they won’t arrest people ‘cause the DA won’t charge, that means we need to clean house at the SFPD, not fire the first decent DA we’ve had maybe ever.

        • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

          Sorry, but describing Chesa Boudin as “the first decent DA we’ve had maybe ever” is ridiculous. If the SFPD arrests suspects after lengthy investigattions and the DA won’t charge them, responding to that behavior by ceasing to waste police time and resources on procedures that go nowhere is entirely understandable.

          And if you “cleaned house” at the SFPD, then the people cleaned out would eventually be replaced by people who would respond to the lack of action by the DA in the same manner, so your house cleaning isn’t going to accomplish anything without a new DA.

        • Posted by Pat

          Apart from vowing not to prosecute criminals… and the results are predictable.

        • Posted by Jake T

          Chesa is a mediocre progressive DA. He’s barely more effective than Gascon in terms of progressive reforms yet keeps bumbling from one PR black eye to the next. Claiming to be data driven while citing aggregate statistics of crime trends and ignoring Simpson’s Paradox doesn’t help his street cred; neither does coming out as opposed to cash bail reform on the ballot.

          • Posted by Notcom

            It’s taken mankind a million years to evolve to the point that we can misuse per-capita rates in public policy discussions. Upgrading to ‘Simpsons Paradox’ methinks is hoping for too much.

          • Posted by Jake T

            I work professionally on criminal justice reform, and the community is lukewarm about his tenure so far. The only people who remain ginned up about him are the rabid know-nothings whose only loyalty is to reactionary culture war.

  2. Posted by Dave (Seattle dude)

    Been there, done that. This has all been tried before for decades and the Mid-Market area has actually gotten worse during those decades.

    The Mayor might want to address the out-of-control shop-lifting if she wants to really do something to help small businesses. Walgreens has closed 17 SF stores in the past several years. CVS now may close some stores as it has gotten so bad. The Diamond Heights Walgreens is having a huge problem – I was there a few weeks back when some guy walked out with a handful of unpaid for items. The clerks are told to do nothing and why should they as it might put their lives at risk.

    • Posted by Arnold

      Just popped into Target at 225 Bush to pick up a hair product and was intimidated out of the aisle by a homeless thief stuffing his backpack. These criminals are unpredictable – hard to know which are simply deranged/in their own world, and which are violent. More and more foot traffic in the financial district these days, but still more homeless vagrants than we had pre-pandemic.

      • Posted by JoFo

        Is the natural solution then to move toward all-delivery in SF? Much of what I buy now is from delivery nowadays- Amazon Now, InstaCart,… though I still like driving to Costco, and as it happens it’s hard to stuff costco items in one’s bag.

    • Posted by tfourier

      Prop 47 and Prop 57 are completely responsible for the current situation. Courtesy of Jerry Browns “mystery donors” and people like Reid (Netflix) and Zuckerberg who donate $1M plus to the Prop campaigns.

      Of course rich kid bozos like Boudin dont help either. But until Prop 47 / 57 and all the other “justice reforms” are reversed the current mayhem will continue. When you lock up all the petty criminals crime rates collapse. When you release them again crime rates explode. This very simple fact is beyond far too many voters in SF and in the rest of the state.

      Or the fact that most serious crime is committed by people with prior criminal records. Usually petty. Most serious crime is committed by those with petty crime records. Lock up the petty criminals and surprise surprise , the serious crime rate falls too.

      We actually had the perfect experiment in the 1990s in California. In the early / mid 1990’s not only were crime rates at historical highs but California ranked first or second in all categories. Then Three Strikes passed clearing the streets of petty criminals. Not only did crime rates collapse but they fell fastest in California. But the early 2000’s California was ranked about average in almost all crime categories. A completely reversal of the previous 40 plus years record.

      In the last 10 years Three Strikes has been slowly dismantled and crime rates have exploded again. At the current rate we will be back to 1990’s levels pretty soon. Already large number of crimes are not being reported because there is no point. Because no one will be prosecuted. Just like back in the 1990’s before Three Strikes took away local prosecutors discretion to prosecute. Every criminal who is not locked up just means lot more crime victims.

      • Posted by SFRealist

        Not a fan of Boudin, but how is he a rich kid? I thought his parents were in prison through his entire childhood.

      • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

        Your “very simple fact [that’s] beyond far too many voters in SF and in the rest of the state” isn’t beyond anyone who was living here and voting at the time Three strikes was in effect. You left out some key facts in your tirade.

        The problem was that the State couldn’t afford to keep all those low-level criminals locked up, and judges were ordering them freed due to prison overcrowding. Reversing Three Strikes had to happen because the budget outlays for prisons was on it’s way to taking more of the state budget than education. Three Strikes had to have been slowly dismantled just due to simple accounting and the amount voters were willing to spend on warehousing criminals in state prisons.

    • Posted by jimbo

      it all can be traced back to the drug dealers in SF who literally have no consequences for killing hundreds and getting the rest so hooked that they’ll steal, murder or do anything. The DA has got to go. he’s now let off at least 7 violent repeat offenders who’ve gone on to kill someone

  3. Posted by Kyle

    It’s too hard to actually fix the real issues. Crime, homelessness, drug abuse, mental health. We can’t even talk about it.

  4. Posted by Sad in Diamond Heights

    I am completely saddened and appalled by the current state of “petty” crime in San Francisco. I am all for the window dressing the mayor is proposing but it’s not really going to get at the real problem…I was at Diamond Heights Safeway in broad daylight for quick stop to pick up an item and in the 10 minutes I was in the store my back window was smashed in and my car ransacked. When I spoke to the manager he said, yeah you shouldn’t park near the edge of the parking lot or by the exits…$2,000 in repairs later…

    • Posted by Neighborhood Activist

      Happens every day, and many people don’t even bother to report it to the police any more. That allows the Boudin folks to claim that “crime is down!” when the real story is that there’s so much of it that people have decided it’s futile to report it.

    • Posted by Cave Dweller

      Another abhorrent artifact of liberal attitude towards petty crime — second hand marijuana smoke in (all) reasonably popular public spaces.

      I get it and support responsible ingestion for medicinal or recreational purposes.
      But public spaces? No enforcement. None.

  5. Posted by Louis

    Its a pathetically, embarrassingly small gesture to recover downtown SF from its ghost town state. If someone was on the fence about investing here (meaning corporate or institutional ##) — given homeless squalor, retail wipeout, slow office occupancy comeback — this might tip them toward NO. SF has been getting away with puny investment in downtown for political reasons and because they could get away with it for so long now. Will come home to roost.

    • Posted by Ohlone Californio

      I don’t know what sort of speed people are looking for here, given that we only went to yellow tier 3 weeks ago.

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