While one group has already been campaigning to recall San Francisco's progressive district attorney just over a year after his swearing in, a second committee has formed with perhaps different political leanings than the first, but the same end goal.
The second group calls itself the San Franciscans for Public Safety Coalition, and as the Chronicle reports, the group says it is a "broad-based coalition of San Francisco community, neighborhood and small business leaders," though it's unclear how many members it has at present or who they are.
We already know that the Recall Chesa Boudin website and the original recall campaign that began several months ago is being led by local Republican commentator and onetime SF mayoral candidate Richie Greenberg — with help from tech investors David Sacks and Cyan Bannister, whose own home was broken into in recent months and who has been outspoken on Twitter about the need for tougher law enforcement in SF.
Those who may agree that Boudin should be recalled or that he bears some blame for the current state of crime in the city, but who don't want to hold their noses and get in bed with Republicans, may be more inclined to lend their signatures to the San Franciscans for Public Safety Coalition's campaign instead. Greenberg's group has a head start but is still a far cry from collecting the needed signatures to put a recall on the ballot — per the Chronicle, Greenberg's committee has raised $170,000 and collected 7,000 signatures as of Monday, and they'll need to gather 51,325 signatures by August 11.
Two groups pushing back against the recall have already raised some $200,000, including a $100,000 donation from a PAC that's fighting a recall effort in Los Angeles to oust former SF DA George Gascón, who became DA in LA County at the same time that Boudin was elected here.
The impacts of the pandemic have voters angry with mayors, governors, and other leaders across the country — and in many cases, one could argue that any impacts relating to crime have everything to do with pandemic-related economic inequality and unrest, and little to do with political figures or their policies.
Still, a string of high-profile cases of serious crimes in San Francisco involving repeat offenders who were let out from or kept out of jail in the last year have caused many to point the finger at Boudin and his outspoken views on decarceration. The controversy was highlighted on a recent episode of 60 Minutes+.
The new recall campaigners say that their group includes more LGBTQ members and people of color than the other group, but it's not clear how they plan to outpace the first group out of the gate when it comes to signature collection.
As SFist reported recently, crime statistics from the SFPD show that violent crime has been down overall in the last year, and some property crime was down as well. But burglaries were up over 50% year over year, and the general perception of the city and its streets seems to have worsened in the last 12 months, in part due to those several high-profile cases, including two that involved vehicular homicides and suspects believed to be under the influence and driving stolen cars.
There have also been an uptick in violence against Asian Americans in San Francisco, and some very brazen daytime robberies contributing to residents' perception of lawlessness — including one KPIX reporter who's been mugged at gunpoint twice in recent months and had his cameraman's camera stolen, though the camera was retrieved in both cases.