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San Francisco Finally Cleans Up Its Streets — for Chinese Communist Dictator Xi Jinping

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This self-serving move by elite politicians is a reminder that crime and other social ills can be successfully addressed — but it takes policy prescriptions and political will. The question is: Will California’s leaders ever seek out solutions that actually benefit their own constituents?


After years of seeing the streets of San Francisco turned into tent cities, drug dens, and a literal dumping ground, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, D, has admitted to initiating a clean-up operation in City by the Bay — not out of concern for his constituents but because of an impending visit from China’s President Xi Jinping.

At a press conference, Newsom outright stated, “I know folks are saying, ‘Oh they’re just cleaning up this place because all those fancy leaders are coming to town.’ That’s true — because it’s true…”

That’s what we call “saying the quiet part out loud.”

San Francisco, once a beacon of the American Dream, has been grappling with escalating homelessness, rising crime, and rapidly deteriorating public spaces. The convenient clean-up operation began in the days leading up to the summit, as city officials cleared homeless encampments and relocated homeless individuals from downtown areas. The focus was on seven intersections in the Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods, home to some of the more concentrated encampments. Residents reported a noticeable increase in police presence and a significant reduction in the number of tents near the Moscone Center on Howard Street.

Here is a snapshot of some of these issues that have spiraled out of control, causing concern among residents and business owners.

Homelessness: Homelessness has long been a problem in San Francisco, a city known for its incredibly progressive, woke, and liberal policies — as well as exorbitant housing costs. The number of tents occupied by homeless people exploded as shelters thinned out to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Despite the city’s efforts to reduce the number of people living on the streets, the situation has exacerbated a raging mental health and drug crisis.

Crime and Drug Use: San Francisco has also recently seen a massive rise in burglaries, shoplifting, and car thefts. Open drug dealing and drug use, particularly involving fentanyl and heroin, are commonplace. The city’s crime surge has been fueled by COVID-19, poverty, homelessness, the defund the police movement, and lenient bail and sentencing policies.

Public Defecation. Yes, people are pooping on the streets and everyone from tourists to schoolchildren are forced to step around the mess. Residents and businesses in areas like Van Ness Avenue and Willow Street have lodged years of complaints over this public health crisis, along with the open drug dealing and substance use, which they claim are falling on deaf ears.

Yet, it seems that the urgency to address these issues only arose when a foreign dignitary — and a brutal communist dictator at that — was due to “grace” the city with his presence.

Newsom’s admission is a stark reminder of the disconnect between the political elite and the everyday American. It’s disheartening to think that the aesthetic appeal of our cities for foreign visitors takes precedence over the quality of life for those who call these places home.

The question San Franciscans must ask themselves is obvious: Why does it take a visit from President Xi Jinping to spur action? Shouldn’t the pleas of the citizens, the very people who elected these officials, be enough?

One can only hope that this incident serves as a wake-up call. It’s time to demand more from our leaders. We need representatives who prioritize the needs of their constituents over international optics. After all, they are elected to serve the people — not foreign leaders.

One San Francisco resident with a large social media following , Mike Solana, commented on the situation first-hand: “I’m downtown sf and there are heavily armed policemen everywhere—underground, drug stores, street corners. ‘how you doing?’ one asked, super friendly, hand on this gun. All in advance of Xi’s visit I guess, but crime has evaporated. It could be like this every day.”

Solana is right — it could be like that every day. But it isn’t. And that should remind all of us that crime is a policy choice.

Liberals like to talk as if homelessness, crime, and drug use are unsolvable problems. To be sure, they certainly can’t be completely eradicated. However, they can be significantly ameliorated with the right policies and the political will to do so, something liberal leaders like Gov. Newsom and San Francisco Mayor London Breed fail to pursue or exhibit.

That is, apparently, unless a brutal dictator is coming to town.

Who you clean up for shows a lot about your priorities. And as just about any business knows, it also shows you who is in charge.

Solana concluded his thoughts by remarking on how “radicalizing it is to finally know for sure that the government is capable of ending crime overnight. It just…chooses not to?”

That might be just enough to turn even a San Fransisco progressive into a Gadsen flag-waving Tea Party patriot, at least for a few days.

While the clean-up operation has temporarily improved the city’s appearance, residents and business owners argue that it’s merely a “Band-Aid” to a severe problem. They believe that once the APEC summit concludes, the police presence will simmer down, the tents will return, and the problems will flare up again. What many San Francisco residents want instead is for their elected leaders to find the courage to bring about a permanent solution.

As San Francisco continues to grapple with these challenges, the recent clean-up operation serves as a stark reminder of the city’s persistent issues. It remains to be seen how the city will address these problems in the long term.

But it certainly is a reminder that solving crime, homelessness, and rampant drug addictions — and yes, even public defecation — is a matter of policy prescriptions and political will.


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