On the same day that San Francisco emerges from a six-week-long lockdown, Mayor London Breed delivered her third State of the City address to a virtual audience, trying to focus on better days ahead.
"You don't really need me to tell you the state of our city," Breed said at the outset of her Thursday morning address. "We are anxious, we're frustrated, we're impatient, and we are lonely. I know it because I feel it myself. And I know in many cases folks are hurting even more than that."
Breed went on to attempt to rally pride and hope in the city's residents, asserting that "we are at the start of an incredible recovery."
"We aren’t just going to go back to the way things were," she continued. "We aren’t just going to repair. We are going to reinvigorate. To come back even stronger. We will put people back to work. Our businesses will flourish. Opportunities will expand."
The city has vaccinated 7 percent of the population over the age of 18 as of today, a total of 53,383 residents — who have all received their first doses. And Breed hailed the doctors and nurses at Laguna Honda Hospital, in particular, and those working in hospitals across the city over the past year, saying, "They are heroes. They are the best of us."
Breed celebrated the "lives we've saved" during the pandemic, with the city having one of the lowest mortality rates of any in the country. And she said she hoped that in future years, people will look back and remember this, and not the frustrations and economic losses they suffered. "Take pride in that," she said.
And she stressed that the city will continue to support businesses that are slowly reopening, and those that have yet to be allowed to.
"We will continue our work to cut the red tape for small businesses, because it’s more important than ever... It’s already working,” she said. "We’ll build on this success and make it even easier to turn an idea into a thriving small business."
She went on to say that San Francisco "will also help music venues, clubs, and bars— who have lost so much — get reopened and get back on their feet."
Addressing the topic of homelessness, Breed pointed to a new 200-bed Navigation Center in the Bayview, and she said her Homelessness Recovery Plan would include "the largest expansion of permanent supportive housing in the last twenty years."
On the topic of housing, she pledged to continue to push for more housing supply as demand returns (saying "and that is a ‘when’ not an ‘if’"), and she said, "And can we finally put to rest the fantasy that supply-and-demand doesn’t apply to our housing situation?"
She also had some words for everyone "writing obituaries for San Francisco." "We've read all these before," she said. "We've proved them all wrong before. And we'll do it again."
"Cities aren't just collections of buildings," she said. "If they were, the year 1906 would have been our last. Cities are people... Cities are passion, and culture, and vibrancy and change. But look, we San Franciscans have thick skin. So we'll show the rest of you how we bounce back. And when you get restless and you want to come dance to live music or see Steph Curry do his thing on the court, eat the world's best restaurants, drink at the best bars... we'll be happy to have you."
The full speech, below.