In a Feb. 8 op-ed for the Financial Times, venture capitalist Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital pointed out the irony of how the Golden Gate City "bans plastic straws but permits plastic needles." He also mentioned that "between 2020 and 2022, 1,985 people here have died from drug overdoses." In contrast, Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) infection killed 1,143.
Moritz, whose office is located in Menlo Park just south of San Francisco's downtown, said fentanyl has turned many city blocks into "zombie zones." The synthetic opioid fentanyl is cheaper than heroin, but is 50 times more potent.
Aside from drug abuse, the journalist-turned-venture capitalist pointed out that homelessness in San Francisco is at a nearly 20-year high. Local businesses have threatened to stop paying taxes unless the city cleans up the homeless colonies that have sprouted along neighborhood streets. (Related: POLL: San Francisco residents most likely to move to different city due to high crime rate and homelessness.)
"Beyond the shocking waste of potential, the drug use and homeless tents consume an enormous part of San Francisco's annual $13.95 billion budget. Direct city spending on homelessness has risen from about $200 million for the fiscal year 2016 to $680 million this year," Moritz wrote.
The op-ed was published a day before San Francisco Mayor London Breed delivered her state of the city speech. Moritz predicted that the mayor would likely touch on the city's many ailments lightly and instead focus on its woke virtues.
In her Feb. 9 speech, Breed admitted that the city is facing clear challenges. However, she pushed back against critics alleging that the Golden Gate City is dying, if not already dead.
"I want to make one thing very clear: I am not OK with open-air drug dealing in this city period," she said. Breed added that the San Francisco Police Department has been actively arresting drug dealers and the city has been making progress on getting users into treatment and housing.
In the same speech, however, Breed admitted that "San Francisco's downtown as we know it is not coming back, but it could ultimately be an opportunity for [the city] to re-envision itself." She suggested several actions, including broadening its economic base and protecting existing companies by pausing tax increases on retail businesses, hotels, manufacturing sectors and arts and entertainment.
Days before her speech, Breed rolled out her Housing for All Plan, which will advance a strategy to rework the city's housing approvals and processes and allow for 82,000 new homes over the next eight years.
While critics expressed doubt over the plan, some still chose to be optimistic.
Tonilla Morgan, a small business owner in SF's downtown, said of Breed's speech: "A lot of us here are hoping that this works. We're beginning to see a speck of light at the end of the tunnel now, but we also know not to get our hopes too much up. We're not sure if this will work, but we damned sure want this to work."
Head over to CaliforniaCollapse.news for more stories about the drug and homeless crises in California.
Watch this video about how open-market drug dealing remains rampant in San Francisco.
This video is from NewsClips channel on Brighteon.com.