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Van Ness, San Francisco's Skid Row. (Photo: Sebastian)

Will SF Bay Area Voters Make the Politicians They Elected Pay for Crime Explosion?

‘The city just keeps refusing to do what is needed to be done’

By Katy Grimes, September 27, 2023 8:35 am

Will Bay Area residents and business owners realize the politicians they voted in are responsible for the staggering crime they are now protesting?

Target just announced it is closing its Bay Area stores. Walgreens has closed at least 11 stores in the city since 2020. CVS closed seven stores since last year, including shutting another store down less than a week ago. Theft cost Target between $700 and $800 million last year. They company predicts it will cost $1.2 billion this year.

Cotopaxi, Nordstrom and Saks Off Fifth, Amazon Go storesAnthropologie, several other high-end Union Square stores and department stores, and the flagship Whole Foods store closed or are Leaving San Francisco this fall. Higher-end stores have cited break-ins and crime as major reasons for leaving.

Today’s headlines tell the story:

    A security consultant and former police officer told the Globe, “The city just keeps refusing to do what is needed to be done. Get more officers, increase the number of prosecutions, and give economic incentives for these businesses to stay. Right now they are just not getting any.”

    He gets it.

    “More than 200 small business owners in Oakland shut their doors for a couple hours Tuesday to take time to voice their concerns about rising crime in the city,” NBC Bay Area reported Tuesday. “The strike came just days after the city admitted to missing a deadline to apply for millions of state dollars to fight retail theft.”

    Business owners described “brazen” and “frequent crime” as the source of business closures, and the lack of police response, KTVU reported.

    On former Sacramento Sheriff John McGinnis’s radio show Tuesday, a retired Oakland crime scene investigator called in to discuss the crime, and said former Mayor Libbee Schaff’s policies, including cutting/defunding police was a huge influence in the spiking crime.

    In June 2021, the Oakland City Council passed a budget Thursday which cut $18.4 million from the police budget, redirecting the funds to “violence prevention measures” and social services, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Even then, the Mayor had proposed a small increase to the police budget after watching the spike in homicides and violent crime following her police cuts.

    “Police staffing has also fallen one officer below a 2014 voter-approved measure that requires the police department to have at least 678 sworn officers on staff,” the AP reported.

    This caused Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf to push to stop planned cuts to the city’s police department, Newsweek reported Nov. 2021.

    “Schaaf said although she still supports the diversion of some funds to social services, in order to curb the increasing violence, she’ll ask the city council to stop the reversal that is supposed to take effect next year, according to The Associated Press.”

    Too little, too late.

    Demonstrating just how useless, ineffective and incapable of addressing reality they are, the “Oakland City Council unanimously passed a resolution this week, authorizing nearly $30 million in grant money to be used to provide violence prevention and intervention services to youth for the next two years. District 5 Councilmember Noel Gallo said the funding would go to several nonprofits,” KTVU reported.

    The new Mayor, Sheng Thao, announced in August that the California Highway Patrol, in collaboration with the Oakland Police Department, will “assist in traffic enforcement along high injury corridors in Oakland. The goal is to target reckless driving, auto theft, sideshows and highway shootings while allowing OPD officers to focus their efforts on solving violent crime.”

    They will also be funding “the Department of Violence Prevention” to assist in its “mission to deter crime and disrupt the cycle of violence.”

    How about just funding more police on the streets given that police data show Oakland violent crime is up 19% in the 12 months before Aug. 27. Homicide is down 10% over the same period, while total crime is up 28% over the same period. Car theft is up 52%, and theft from vehicles is up 47% over the same period.

    Van Ness, San Francisco’s Skid Row. (Photo: Sebastian)

    San Francisco crime data are just as bad. A 2021 Hoover Institution report by Lee Ohanian found “San Franciscans face about a 1-in-16 chance each year of being a victim of property or violent crime, which makes the city more dangerous than 98 percent of US cities, both small and large. To put this in perspective, Compton, California, the infamous home of drug gang turf wars, and which today remains more dangerous than 90 percent of all US cities, is almost twice as safe as San Francisco.” That was two years ago.

    Ohanian says “one important deficiency is too small of a police force.” He also identified “the 800-pound gorilla in the room” – rampant drugs. “There are now many more drug users in the city than high school students.” Ohanian said, “San Francisco politicians have chosen to accept drug use in the city, along with the crime, mental illness, and homelessness that accompany drug abuse.”

    “Drug abuse is facilitated by providing clean needles for addicts, which results in used hypodermic needles being disposed of everywhere, and by tacitly allowing several neighborhoods to become de facto open-air drug markets. And drug users and drug sellers have flocked to San Francisco, largely because they know that their trade is acceptable.”

    We Californians take arrows daily for living in this failing state and voting for the dysfunctional, corrupt and incompetent politicians we end up with. It’s tempting to ask “who votes for the Bay Area politicians?” But also remember that most people vote for the lesser of two evils – i.e. our choices of politician usually aren’t real choices. And normal people typically don’t run for public office only to have their personal lives destroyed if they aren’t backed by big labor.

    So yes, voters can hold their politicians accountable – especially locally. But it will be ugly and very uncomfortable until real change is realized.

    How bad does it have to get in San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, Fresno, Redding, and other California hellscapes before the people take back their cities?

    230828_Citywide Weekly Crime Report 21Aug23 - 27Aug23
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    18 thoughts on “Will SF Bay Area Voters Make the Politicians They Elected Pay for Crime Explosion?

    1. Think they’re capable of making the connection???
      That would require critical thinking (rational) skills….

    2. Great article! It proves the age-old knowledge that appeasement to bullies never works no matter what form the bullies come in. Most Californians have been distracted since the 1990’s, we grew complacent towards paying attention to the quality of our government. (You could argue that it started earlier, I recall taking a sample GED test before graduating from high school in the late 70’s thinking that I had learned the material tested in junior high school). So now California finds itself at a crisis point with the quality-of-life worsening in every measurable metric and our bigger cities teetering on total chaos. So where do we go from here. There is still room for the state to fall further into chaos which requires no action on our parts, or we can energize and educate the folks that there is an alternative to this chaos. Deep down the folks are yearning for a positive change. As you point out it will require hard work and a deep commitment to bring it about. Society used to gear towards making things better for the next generation to come which helped keep things in proper perspective. That genuine hope for the future needs to be reignited.

      1. The NFL team left Oakland but the raiders are in full force. The former mayor, Libbee Schaff enabled violence and crime to escalate. Didn’t she fire the police chief without warning after promising to support her? Didn’t Oakland’s prosecutors trade places with San Francisco’s after the City recalled Chesa Boudin? This is the result of converting these cities into Sanctuary status. Organized drug cartels became the brokers of death and destruction.

    3. Not only in the San Francisco hellhole but throughout California the pendulum is not swinging back as we have historically come to expect. If someone were to do a retrospective just on THAT, I think we’d clearly see the pattern of societal correction. But it’s just not happening anymore, even in an atmosphere that is shockingly unacceptable and unlivable on every possible front. (Likely more evidence of election rigging of every sort.) Do we really think that London Breed putting her foot down re out-of-control S.F. crime would not be welcomed with open arms at this point, even by the residents who have progressive mashed potatoes for brains?
      Eventually the bill has to be paid, and if that time is not now I’d like to know when it is. The political “leadership” and elite class who think they are immune from these ills are ALSO being directly affected now. Why poop in your own beloved sandbox? They know what needs to be done. And yet they continue to do everything they can to RUIN the once-unique, iconic, magically beautiful, prestigious jewel of San Francisco in a way that we can only conclude is purposeful. Who is holding the gun to their heads? And before you say WEF, Soros, Klaus Schwab, the Open Conspiracy, some have rather amusingly said (Ed Dowd) that they are starting to think there are faceless people in control behind THAT crowd.
      Or is the explanation simply that S.F.’s (and Oakland’s, et al) leadership are like teenagers who won’t clean up their rooms?

      1. I like your passion good comment. You are correct in that this time it looks like they have beaten everything down and it looks like evil has won and that society seems to be unrepairable. Since the beginning of time there has always been a battle of good (God) verses evil (Satan) and mankind has been the battlefield. This day and age the battle is still playing out the same. But as long as we have breath there is hope. I do believe that there is a deep state that consists of those you named and many others at all levels of government (Obama, Biden, Newsom Pelosi…….), right in front of our eyes that have manipulated laws to “rig” elections and steal power that was not intended for them. We can look back throughout history and see when it seemed that evil was going to totally triumph, and a miracle took place that allowed good to win. I believe we are at such a moment like that in world history. We need a miracle from God that changes the tide of this battle and causes good to win. To answer your next question of when this miracle will take place. That I do not know but my prayer is that it will take place soon. When we see a miracle, we need to go on the offensive retake what has been stolen. Until then we need to ask God for a miracle that will bring about radical change.

        1. Hal, I’m seeing that you and I are extremely like-minded. These ARE spiritual matters and after I wrote my two cents and then saw your comment I wanted to reply to you that I am often buoyed by your optimism and recognition of these fundamental forces, which I often find to be helpful. So thank you. Much of this is indeed out of our control but I agree we need to do what we can when we see the opportunity.
          I have been at this for a long time; almost 20 years of direct and active involvement locally and on the state level. I can tell you that there have been successes, and I as well as others, who may appear from afar to be banging their heads against a wall, know from experience that as few as a handful of people, each person playing his role, can make a big difference even in a state of some 40M people, if they play their cards right. It keeps a person going to remember that.

          1. Count me in. Katy has my contact information. I want to see a radical change and am willing to do what it takes. I worked for local government for over 20 years in positions that had a lot of interaction with State and Federal Agencies, and I have seen some of what you are talking about. My wife is still employed for a local agency for the next couple of years until she retires. If by the time she retires California is in the same mess. I might be forced to move out of state like several of our friends have. I’m motivated and willing. Don’t grow weary of doing good. God’s best to you and yours.

    4. It’s going to take something REALLY major and really personal to wake people in California up! Power off for a month, being robbed at gunpoint 3 times, hyperinflation, unable to pay bills, serious reduction in quality of life! it’s all coming and it’s a great feature of the communism / fascism they’ve been asking for. My heart goes out to the 30% left in California that are sane.

    5. I had difficulty reading the article because I could not stop laughing at its title! San Fransicko is nothing more than degenerates being governed by degenerates.

    6. We cannot vote our way out of this as the Leftists engineered the rigged fake elections years ago here. Why would we keep gruesome Newsome or allow any of these crazed corruptocrats to stay in power ? They don’t need voters at – why ? because they have all the ballots needed by fraud to sway whatever election they want.

    7. I thought the politicians, in response to public outcry over George Floyd, Michael “Don’t Shoot” Brown, BLM etc., ran on a platform of rendering law enforcement and the justice system ineffective. The politicians delivered what they were asked to deliver and now the public are getting it, In Mencken’s words “Good and Hard”.

      1. @ProtectFreedom a goodquestion that answers itself.
        I was once out to lunch with a couple of friends who are very liberal minded. I kept my politics to myself at the time. They pronounced they could NEVER vote Republican. I asked why. They really did not have answer, other than I have always voted for a Democrat. Surprised that I even posed the question they asked me, would you?
        I said Yes, I have and will continue. I said you have just had lunch with a Republican voter! Awkwardness ensued. They just assumed I voted like they did!
        So, @ProtectFreedom, I do not see things changing. It is sad how some are married to a Political party for the sake of loyalty,belonging and not what is always best for society. When will they realize it is an abusive marriage? How many black eyes and bruises can they sustain?
        I will continue to look up and pray up.

    8. Voting has become another crumbling institution in California. As long as you send ballots out like junk mail, your election security is also junk. The stakes are too high to allow honest elections. Expect the incumbents to squeak by on a “votes to order” narrow margin.

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