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Downtown San Francisco on the Verge of Collapse

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

The recall this past Tuesday of San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin has elicited an onslaught of articles by sympathetic, liberal news outlets admitting the city is in a terrible state — including the latest and most surprising from the flagship paper, the San Francisco Chronicle.


On Friday, the San Francisco Chronicle published an interactive article titled “Downtown S.F. on the brink: It’s worse than it looks.” The article took readers on a virtual walk through the center of the city highlighting all of the abandoned offices and empty storefronts.


The Chronicle reported“The downtown area, the city’s primary economic driver, is teetering on the edge, facing challenges greater than previously known, new data shows. The wounds suffered by the economic core are deep, and city officials have yet to come up with a plan to make the fundamental changes that some economists and business leaders argue could make the area thrive again.” Office vacancy is up nearly 300%; convention attendance in the city is down nearly 90%.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that office attendance in San Francisco is down 52% from what it was before the coronavirus pandemic. In April, the real estate website SocketSite reported that “the amount of vacant office space in San Francisco has ticked up to a pandemic high of 18.7 million square feet versus under 5 million square feet prior to the pandemic.”

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Crime, homelessness, the delay in schools reopening, and outrageous pandemic restrictions resulted in a mass exodus from the city and a preference for many tech employees to work from home. While many of the tech companies have continued to thrive, the irony is that many businesses that exist to serve them and their employees have struggled to stay afloat in the post-pandemic landscape. 


The Chronicle went on the state the following: “Over time, multiple tax revenues for City Hall could be at risk: property taxes, from emptied buildings that drop in value; sales taxes, from businesses that are struggling or gone, and others. That could lead to a reduction of public services, [Stanford University economist Nicholas] Bloom said.”

The left-wing magazine, The Atlantic published a haunting essay this week by San Francisco native Nellie Bowles about how the town became a “failed city,” one in which Good Samaritans cannot even call an ambulance for an injured homeless person without being confronted by “advocates” who urge the patient not to go to the hospital. Why would they do that?

Bowles wrote, “The reality is that with the smartest minds and so much money and the very best of intentions, San Francisco became a cruel city. It became so dogmatically progressive that maintaining the purity of the politics required accepting—or at least ignoring—devastating results.”
It is enlightening that liberals are starting to wake up and realize that changes need to be made starting with the removal of far-left progressive governance, but it is going to take a lot more than the recall of one far-left official. It is going to take a complete overhaul of the political leadership across the entire state of California.
You can view the SF Chronicle’s interactive article on the state of Downtown San Francisco here: