San Francisco Mayor London Breed made her budget position clear with city department heads Monday. She wants homelessness, behavioral health and street cleanliness to take priority as the next budget is considered.
Breed made the announcement during a press conference at Union Square with business representatives who say they will also contribute to keeping the streets clean.
Rodney Fong, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, said they will launch a StreetCareSF Campaign in 2020. The program will work with the private sector and the recently approved Union Square Business Improvement District to provide additional street cleaning services.
“Chamber of Commerce cares about our city and is stepping up, putting its money where its mouth is.”
He added that residents should call their district supervisors to advocate for better street conditions.
The City recently lost a major annual convention, Oracle’s OpenWorld, which will instead be held in Las Vegas next year. The Oracle event has taken place at Moscone Center over the last several years.
Convention-goers for years have complained about homelessness and the dirty streets.
The mayor said she made it clear to city department heads that the budget should prioritize the issues that contribute to those conditions.
“This year’s budget priorities, they must be on dealing with many of the challenges that we know San Francisco faces around homelessness, Mental Health SF, as well as people who are struggling with substance abuse disorders.”
Speaking about the OpenWorld convention loss, Breed said:
“We have conventions booked up in this city for years to come. So, trust me, we have maybe lost one large convention, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t someone to take their place.”
The mayor added:
“Let’s not be discouraged by someone choosing in this one particular instance to move their convention because we’re going to make sure that we work with those others who are waiting in line to be a part of San Francisco.”
San Francisco Travel CEO Joe D’Alessandro said he backs the mayor’s call to prioritize street condition improvements during the next budget cycle.
“We support the efforts of the mayor and ask the Board of Supervisors to please prioritize the quality of life and condition of San Francisco’s streets for everybody on those streets.”
San Francisco Travel said over 25.8 million people visited The City last year and spent over $10 billion.