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Downtown ‘ambassadors’ welcome visitors, workers back to San Francisco

Visitors, commuters and office workers heading back to downtown San Francisco will get warm greetings from ambassadors wearing bright orange jackets with the words “Welcome Ambassador” written on the back of the jackets.

The officially launched Monday launched the two-year, $12.5 million Welcome Ambassadors Program, that city leaders said will bring back a “welcoming presence” to many of The City’s business areas, including Moscone Center, Pier 39, the Embarcadero and Union Square.

Once fully operational, the program anticipates to deploy 50 ambassadors throughout The City. The program had a soft launch Oct. 7 with 25 ambassadors working at different locations. Officials said ambassadors had recorded 92,000 intersections with the public as of Friday.

Jerold Chinn/SFBay San Francisco Mayor London Breed helps launch the Welcome Ambassador program in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, November 2, 2021. (Jerold Chinn / SFBay)

Mayor London Breed said Tuesday at press conference at the Yerba Buena East Garden that the ambassador program was not to only welcome back people to The City, but to also make people feel safe:

When people are moving about San Francisco, they know that these bright orange jackets mean that they can get help.”

Jerold Chinn/SFBay District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney helps launch the Welcome Ambassador program in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, November 2, 2021. (Jerold Chinn / SFBay)

District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney, whose district includes many of the areas tourists visit as well as the hotels they stay in, said the program will benefit visitors but also residents who live in the area:

This isn’t only going to be about a better place for visitors, this is also going to be about a better place, a safer place, a cleaner place, for the people who live here.”

Many museums in the South of Market Neighborhood are also excited to have the ambassadors lead visitors to the many art institutions in the area, including the San Francisco Museums of Modern Art, the Jewish Contemporary Museum and the Children’s Creativity Museum.

Museum of African Diaspora Executive Director Monetta White said:

Our museums and cultural institutions can only flourish and continue to enrich our city if we have visitors coming to them. That is why we are thrilled to have the welcome ambassadors now helping visitors find their way around the city and discover new experiences in Yerba Buena and beyond.”

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