Supervisor Catherine Stefani’s new website the “Anti-Burglary Neighborhood Network” just launched, purporting to give her district “a way to connect with their neighbors,” and likely an attempt to burnish her tough-on-crime credentials.
It would have been a perfectly fine and clever April Fool's Day joke for SFist to run the headline “Marina Supervisor Launches a ‘Nextdoor’ for the Marina so Marina Residents Can Complain.” Except this is not a joke, this is a real thing. KRON4 brings us the story of District 2 Supervisor Catherine Stefani’s new website Anti-Burglary Neighborhood Network, which Stefani says will “connect residents with community safety resources, current crime data, and other neighbors.”
Thank you to our District 2 @SFPD Station Captains and @SFSAFE for joining me today to launch the network. View the website at https://t.co/kjyvkuOkDj. Today’s webinar recording is also available here: https://t.co/ATQMqgpzkd.— Supervisor Catherine Stefani (@SupStefani) March 31, 2022
So SFist tried out her website The Anti-Burglary Neighborhood Neighborhood Network. It is clearly aimed at Stefani’s District 2 residents. If you’re new around here, that is a rich people district, including the Marina, Pacific Heights, Cow Hollow, and Laurel Heights. It’s also home to what we colloquially call “Billionaire’s Row.”
Let’s just say that District Attorney Chesa Boudin is not terribly popular in this area, and you will not see an overwhelming proportion of “Black Lives Matter” signs in windows. Boudin is not mentioned on the website, though there is verbiage about “Crime has become more and more brazen,” and the site’s Stay Informed/News section is a collection of Marina Times links and articles unflattering toward Boudin with headlines like “SF DA defends his policies as city makes national headlines with highest property crime rate.”
The site says it gives “District 2 constituents a way to connect with their neighbors,” though there’s not much there in that regard, other than opportunities to “Sign-Up For Supervisor Stefani's Public Safety Town Halls” or attend SFPD community meetings. It’s not exactly the Citizen app.
Though there is a very useful section on Garage Security Tips and where to buy security hardware, detailing various deadbolts and latch covers. The Community Safety Resources section is mostly just SFPD links. The Report a Crime section has a Google doc for “to provide an 'on the ground' picture of crime in the district” (and provide campaign material for Supervisor Stefani?) and the Crime Data and Updates section is just the district’s latest screenshot from the SFPD Crime Dashboard.
But looking at that data, we see the same story that every crime data deep-dive gives us — that some forms of crime are up and others are down. That is not a winning campaign message on Billionaire's Row while Chesa Boudin is in office!
Wealthier San Francisco neighborhoods are experiencing crime trends differently from less-wealthy ones, particularly when it comes to money-motivated crimes.— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) February 8, 2022
These maps shows the stark contrast: https://t.co/1WxxHL8c9J
But it is absolutely true that there are two specific, identifiable crimes increasing in District 2. While the Marina and Pac Heights are a walk in the park compared to the crime in the Tenderloin and the Mission, an excellent interactive graphic at the top of a recent Chronicle assessment of crime trends by neighborhood shows that assault and burglaries have increased notably in the district (whereas larceny and theft have stayed flat, or have decreased). This stands to reason; rich people have much nicer things, poorer people with manual and service jobs were economically decimated by the pandemic. Some people were driven to desperate means.
And we are well aware that garage break-ins have been on the increase in wealthier neighborhoods. Moreover, the level of sophistication of these break-ins indicates there is likely some organized theft rings at work here.
Overall, San Francisco is still encountering the exact same crime trends as California and the U.S. at large. But yes, a supervisor wants to and should want to be seen as proactively doing something about a trend affecting their constituents. Supervisor Stefani is obviously positioning herself as the go-to tough on crime figure at City Hall; she is openly furious at statistics that say crime is down, she rails against settlements for police beating victims, and of course there was that one time she referred to homelessness as a “zombie invasion” and called San Francisco an “insane asylum.” (This was before she was in office, but still.)
So if you are the kind of person who thinks San Francisco an “insane asylum” and homelessness is a “zombie invasion,” Supervisor Stefani’s new website is exactly the kind of thing that would make you want to see her serve another term as your District 2 supervisor. Or who knows, it might even improve your opinion of her profile should another job open up because of a recall election.
Images: (Left) SF Board of Supervisors, (Right) Screen Gems Television