SF Mayor London Breed gave an interview to KTVU on Wednesday, pushing back on Governor Ron DeSantis and his hackneyed campaign video shot in the Tenderloin, and saying that the Biden administration is doing its part to help SF turn the corner on drug dealing.
"He's using the oldest playbook in politics to get attention," Breed said, speaking to KTVU today after the release of DeSantis's Twitter video. "Unfortunately, in politics, the old playbook of focusing on the negative and targeting places like San Francisco have been unfortunately the norm, so we need to turn that around."
DeSantis spoke of seeing "people defecating" and "smoking crack cocaine" and, standing at the corner of Hyde and Geary streets, proclaimed of SF's leadership, "They're doing it wrong here."
Breed didn't deny that DeSantis might have seen these things, but she said, "The people who live in the Tenderloin, have businesses in the Tenderloin... those are the people we should actually be listening to."
The mayor talked about federal government (DEA) interventions that are ongoing, with the help of House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi and President Biden — whom, KTVU notes, Breed didn't get to meet while he was here. And Breed noted that Biden's team is focused on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in November, which is happening here in San Francisco — and they don't want any embarrassments, surely.
"The Drug Enforcement Agency, the US Attorney’s office and other agencies are actively engaged in conversations to assist us in dealing with the problems related to some of the challenges we are having around the open-air drug dealing," Breed said. And, regarding the November conference, she said, "This is one of the biggest international events that we are going to be experiencing, and so [President Biden] is well aware, we are working closely together to deal with these challenges, and my hope is that people will start to see and feel a difference in the coming months."
As for the upcoming Pride weekend, Breed said that the SFPD will be getting assistance in keeping the city safe.
"For Pride in particular it won’t just be the police, there’ll also be private security and other undercover security," she tells KTVU. "We’re going to have the whole city and the areas where we know people are going to celebrate the most covered. Our plan is to make sure people have a joyous, safe and exciting Pride this weekend."
Breed also addressed the rolling shootout on Sunday, which stretched from busy Pier 39 to Embarcadero and Howard — and one suspect vehicle involved, a white Infiniti, is still at large. On Tuesday, Breed spoke briefly about the incident, calling it "very isolated" and "targeted" — stressing that the public shouldn't be concerned about visiting the city.
Speaking to KTVU, Breed said, "At the end of the day, what we want to say to people is this is a major city, and major cities, like New York and other places, we have challenges with crime. When we look at the data in comparison to other places, it’s not as significant as most people think, it’s just all eyes are on San Francisco [right now]."
And, since we're coming up on an election year, we can expect more shots across the bow about our shithole liberal city from Trump et al in the coming months.
Top image: Mayor London Breed speaking during a news conference on March 17, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)