San Francisco city council backs mayor on Tenderloin crackdown

On an 8-2 vote, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors backed Mayor London Breed’s plan to implement an emergency declaration in the city’s troubled Tenderloin neighborhood.

The mayor needed their support to extend the emergency for a 90-day period. Otherwise, the emergency decree would have expired last Thursday. The lengthy meeting went past midnight, so that the actual vote did not occur until Friday, Christmas Eve.

On its face, the declaration allows the mayor to bypass some city rules and regulations on setting up treatment centers for drug addicts and the mentally ill in the neighborhood. However, opposition to the measure centers on the belief that it will be used to step up law enforcement efforts in the area.

As the New York Post reported,

Deaths from drug overdose have increased more than 200 percent in San Francisco in the past three years. In 2020, over 700 San Franciscans fatally overdosed, more than the number who died from COVID-19, according to the emergency proclamation. 

For his part, the leftist San Francisco district attorney opposes the effort, arguing that putting people in jail “will not solve this problem.”

Although the vote was expected to be closer, the larger margin and the 90-day period gives the mayor some breathing room to implement her preferred approach to chaos in the area.