California Governor Gavin Newsom recently caused an uproar in San Francisco with his recent admission that the city is being “cleaned up” to make it look nice for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit. The summit will host a dozen foreign leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“I know folks say, ‘they’re just cleaning up this place because all those fancy leaders are coming into town’ – that’s true because it’s true,” Newsom said. “I’m so excited about showing this place off to 21 fancy foreign leaders from around the world.”
This “cleaning up” looks like nothing more than a band-aid solution to the growing issues facing the city including crime, homelessness and overdoses. Business owner Adam Mesnick said “they are just essentially herding the problem around but offering no long-term solutions.”
This lack of action on these issues has led to many retailers heading out of San Francisco and, with 80% of residents citing crime as a major issue, many are questioning whether they would even vote for their incumbent mayor in the next election cycle.
The thought of shaky politicians like Newsom who are only interested in fixing things up for the appearance of a summit is troubling. It’s possible that without major events in the city, Newsom wouldn’t have addressed the issue and it shows a serious lack of dedication to addressing major issues in California.
He is not the only politician who is resorting to superficial amounts of effort when trying to address major issues in the city either, as many of San Francisco’s elected officials are failing to take constructive and serious action when addressing problems like crime and homelessness.
It’s clear that San Francisco residents are in need of a strategic and thoughtful long-term solution to address the city’s many issues. Unfortunately, leaders like Newsom have thus far failed in this regard, instead opting for performing quick ‘band-aid’ solutions only when events like the APEC Summit come around.