Following the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco, Mayor London Breed defended her city and claimed that the people who visit are surprised to discover that things in San Francisco “aren’t as bad as what they thought they were.”
During an interview with ABC’s Martha Raddatz last weekend, Breed said while things in San Francisco aren’t perfect, the city is continuing to “work aggressively” to solve some of its “most pressing problems.”
Breed said the recent APEC summit gave the city an opportunity to “build on the economic prosperity” that she knows could exist when relationships with Asia are “solid.”
Acknowledging the damage the pandemic lockdowns did to the city’s reputation, Breed defended her decisions saying that the choices she made saved lives. She claimed that in the long run, San Francisco became “a leader” during the pandemic.
When discussing San Francisco’s reputation for crime and homelessness, Breed said the attention the city’s received has not necessarily been fair but acknowledged that the city has “challenges” that it is “dealing with.”
Breed also dismissed the exodus of businesses, arguing that the empty office and retail spaces in downtown San Francisco don’t tell the full story about the city. She said while the downtown might be empty, the city has created “new neighborhoods where people want to be” that are not dissimilar to what the downtown once was.
Breed, who first narrowly won in a crowded special election in 2018, insisted that her administration has brought progress to San Francisco’s crime and homeless problems.
While the city is not among the most violent in the country per capita, it has faced higher rates of property crimes and theft than most cities.
Public perception of San Francisco as a high-crime, unliveable place continues to dog the city as well.
According to a July Gallup poll, only 52 percent of Americans view San Francisco as a safe place to visit or live.