For the second time in her 2-week-old administration, mayor London Breed takes an impromptu tour of one of the grittiest parts of San Francisco.
On Thursday, KRON4 talked to the mayor who says she wants an unvarnished look at what residents in these areas experience every day.
“The care of streets is the concern of residences, businesses, everyone,” Breed said. “You’ll see the grime on the sidewalks.”
“So, how often are they power washed?” Breed asks the head director of the Fix-It program.
She is asking about the problems that exist South of Market and what’s being done to correct them
The pair, along with a few of her staff and some members of the media, walked down several blocks around Sixth Street and Mission, getting a first-hand look at grime on the streets, homelessness, and the evidence of hypodermic needles that litter the ground.
“It’s a public health issue–the needles, the feces, the garbage, in general,” Breed said. “It’s something we need to address, and it’s not just about cleaning it up. It’s also about changing behavior.”
She says that’s why she’s proposing safe injection sites to get needles and addicts shooting up off the streets–and to give them a place where they can ask for help getting clean.
But opening up a city-sponsored shooting gallery could bring serious consequences from the federal government, which they need to carefully consider as they move forward.
“I wish we could open one yesterday, but I also need to be responsible in the approach,” Breed said. “It’s not just about the mayor….I’m gonna take responsibility. I got to protect the citizens of the city…They’re putting their lives on the line to work at these facilities. I don’t want them in jail, so I need to make sure I am responsible in my approach. That’s what this is about. The goal is to get it done as quickly as possible”
The mayor says she is going to aggressively push to try to make safe injection sites a reality by the end of the year.