Crime & Safety

Brands flee⁠i⁠ng San Franc⁠i⁠sco as cr⁠i⁠me r⁠i⁠ses

September 7, 2023

Crime & Safety

September 7, 2023

A new video has shown the effect of crime on the once-vibrant city of San Francisco – empty storefronts left behind as big brands have been left with no choice but to leave. Some due to the first-hand effects of crime, and some due to the lack of foot traffic that has been the result of the skyrocketing drug use and crime in the city. 

A partial list of stores that have recently abandoned San Francisco includes:

  • Crate & Barrel
  • Whole Foods
  • Target
  • CVS
  • Office Depot
  • Old Navy
  • Nordstrom
  • Anthropologie
  • H&M
  • Marshall’s
  • Gap
  • Banana Republic

It’s not only retailers that are leaving the city behind. Recently, the federal government told employees in San Francisco to work from home for the foreseeable future for their own safety. A mixture of factors is creating what some economists refer to as an “urban doom loop” that sends cities “spiraling into economic and social ruin.” In fact, the city is on pace for its deadliest year yet with an increase in overdoses of 40% over last year. 

Those we entrust with our safety aren’t taking the steps necessary to make it happen. An employee at a remaining Target store said they have been forced to keep products under lock and key and are still experiencing thefts about every 10 minutes. Now that theft under $950 is a misdemeanor in California, there’s little incentive not to steal. It’s a similar situation with drug offenses in cities around the state. 

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins blamed the city’s judges for releasing people accused of drug offenses before trial, saying “We do everything we can and you can see the same person out on the street the same day.” 

We’re past warning signs. Cities are suffering and we can’t afford to ignore it any longer. By working together, we can make cities safer and help them thrive. Crime robs the entire community of so much – not only of material goods, but of the ties that bind us together, trust and the opportunity to achieve one’s own American dream. All too often, it hits minorities the hardest. That’s why even groups like the NAACP are calling for increased police funding to keep communities safe. 

Most Americans can agree on reasonable solutions, regardless of race. By fully funding the police, plus better recruiting and training for police officers, strengthening penalties for repeat and violent offenders and embracing community policing, we can make our communities safer and stronger. Let’s not let other cities go down the path San Francisco is on and, instead, work together for safety before it’s too late. Every American deserves better – and it’s possible.