SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A man who used social media to help close the open-air drug markets in San Francisco appears to be making progress. The city has now installed physical barriers on the sidewalk where rampant drug use was taking place.
“You don’t know how happy I am to come outside and see my street corner nice and cleaned up like this,” said Ricci Wynne who is an anti-open-air drug market activist.
It is something Wynne has been working hard to achieve by using social media to highlight an open-air drug market here on 8th Street and Mission. KRON4 spoke to Wynne about the situation while he was at that location on Wednesday.
However, this is what it looked like one day later.
“They enacted the fences up,” Wynne said. “Everything is looking great. Kids and their parents can safely take the bus”
This was not exactly the case back in July when he shot this now-viral video. “Bye kids! Y’all get home safe okay,” Wynne said in the video.
However, his recent jubilation was short-lived. On Friday, he woke up to an all-too-familiar scene.
“It’s not going to change overnight obviously,” Wynne said. “It’s not really that different really. It’s kind of the same. People using. A lot of trash. Debris. It’s kind of like it shows up overnight. The one thing I can say is that the fence represents a change in the ideology behind what is going on. I hope at least that’s what it’s showing and it’s not a political ploy.”
“We need to try some different approaches and let’s see if this works,” said San Francisco District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey.
Like Wynne, Dorsey is also a recovering drug addict. He too lives in the area of 8th and Mission.
“This is a problem,” Dorsey said. “This is something that kids are seeing that they shouldn’t have to. I, myself as a person in recovery, have walked by that sidewalk and had a cloud of drugs. So, we have to make sure we are being active in how we are approaching this. Let’s try this. Let’s try some fencing. Then we have some programs that I call right-to-recovery programs to better incentivize people who are trying to get into recovery.”
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Wynne says until the open-air drug market is closed, he is not giving up using his videos to bring about a change.
“It seemed like it was going nowhere, but this has galvanized me to keep doing what I am doing,” he said.