San Francisco Mayor Proposes New Curfew to Curb Rampant Crime and Drug Use

Crime rates are a tricky beast, with various things influencing both the rise and fall of crime. Republicans have made “rising crime rates” a significant part of their platform for reelection this year, and have been discussing the rates of crime in various jurisdictions as evidence for how the Democrats are failing America.

Violent Crime on a Downward Trend

This is not such a simple issue, though. And, in general, it’s disingenuous to say that rates of crime are rising as a monolith across the country. It’s a statement that isn’t supported by fact, though that doesn’t necessarily change the way people feel about their personal safety.

Source: Pexels/Brett Sayles

The fact is that, according to independent statistics, violent crime is on a downward trend in America. Rates of murder and assault are down, and in most cities across the country, individuals are significantly safer now than they were even just three years ago.

Crime Spiked During the Pandemic

Rates of crime spiked during the pandemic, which is part of the reason why America is seeing such a downward trend in criminal activity. Economic uncertainty as well as social tensions of the time culminated in a significant increase in assault, theft, and murder, which all occurred at the same time as public sentiment towards police was at a social low.

Source: Pexels/Charles Parker

Those elevated rates have slowly come down as the economy has stabilized in the wake of the pandemic, though. Of course, there are some cities where this is not the case. New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. are all cities that are seeing increasing rates of crime rather than decreasing, and it is these cities that Republicans have pointed to as an example of how Democratic leadership is failing the people.

Causes Wrapped up in Social Issues

Of course, the conversation around crime rates is a nuanced issue. The reasons behind crime are wrapped up in various social problems that are often emotional to discuss, things like poverty, racism, and classism.

Source: Pexels/Ron Lach

Republicans don’t like to address any of those concerns, though. It’s much easier to say that Democrats are failing American citizens by refusing to address crime, than it is to acknowledge what is causing those high rates of crime in the first place. Democrats are not innocent in ignoring the plight of constituents, of course, but Republicans are particularly guilty when it comes to this specific issue.

City Mayors Are Attempting to Help

Republicans love to use the talking point that Democrats are letting crime run rampant in their cities, without doing anything to try and stop it. As with many other issues, though, this statement is disingenuous, and ignores the reality of the situation.

Source: Pexels/Joel Kueng

The truth is that many cities are implementing various measures to attempt to stamp crime out. Some of these measures address the primary cause of crime, such as food insecurity or poverty, and others address the results of crime, such as higher rates of theft and property damage.

New Legislation in San Francisco

In San Francisco, a proposal from Mayor Breed falls into the latter category. New legislation would institute a curfew in a section of the Tenderloin district, a subsection of San Francisco that is known for its seedy character and reputation for crime.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

The Tenderloin unfortunately sees significant levels of squalid conditions, as well as homelessness, crime, illegal drug trade, and prostitution. There are also a significant number of liquor stores and strip clubs that add to the seedy reputation of the neighborhood, a reputation that Mayor Breed is attempting to address.

Praising the Measure on Twitter

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Breed praised the measure. “Shutting down open air drug markets requires strong enforcement and new approaches,” she wrote.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Foundations World Economic Forum

“Last year, SFPD doubled the arrests of drug dealers from the year before. This year we are continuing that work and federal agents are bringing even more enforcement.”

Further Details on the Legislation

A press statement released on Tuesday revealed some further details on the measure. The Mayor’s office said that it would also introduce legislation to “prohibit some retail establishments selling prepacked food or tobacco products from operating between 12 AM (midnight) to 5 AM in part of the Tenderloin.”

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Pax Ahimsa Gethen

The proposal, understandably, has been met with mixed reactions from business owners as well as residents of the Tenderloin.

Comments from Local Business Owners

Assistant chief David Lazar spoke on the issue in an interview. “Our challenges still occur at night. Crowds of people that are there selling stolen property, selling narcotics. We have drug users all over. And the problem is that when you have businesses that are open, like liquor stores and smoke shops, it just attracts more people.”

Source: Pexels/Brett Sayles

Another individual, Tim Benson, who owns a local restaurant, said that a curfew may help the neighborhood deal with crime. “The police have been much more active, [Department of Public Works] has been out helping the cleanup effort. But it seems to be mostly a daytime issue. And at nighttime, it’s sort of still a wild, wild west.”

An Issue of Livelihood

The measure is an admirable attempt to try and address some of the issues that have come with the crime rates in the Tenderloin, but some residents point out that the issue is not necessarily the crime, but their livelihoods.

Source: Pexels/Vision plug

“The reason why we want it to stay open is because we have to make more money to pay rent, to pay bills, phone bills, internet bills, and we have employees,” one worker told KTVU, choosing to remain anonymous on the issue.

A Curfew Wouldn’t Address Homelessness

And others point out that a curfew wouldn’t address the primary cause of many of the issues at all. Notably, homelessness.

Source: Pexels/Timur Weber

“People are still homeless and they’re still out here all night long, so the markets don’t really have anything to do with the crime,” a local San Francisco resident said on the issue. They went on to say that the curfew plan wouldn’t “work at all,” expressing frustration that city leadership seems to be missing the point.

High Rates of Crime, and Homelessness

The Tenderloin is an area of San Francisco with some of the highest rates of crime and homelessness in the city. Rising costs of rent and groceries have forced many people to make difficult choices regarding their situation, and unfortunately, many people can’t afford to move, but they also can’t afford to pay rent either.


This creates a toxic environment where homelessness is on the rise, and with it, crimes related to social status. When you can’t afford your rent or groceries, it’s understandable that you might have to turn to theft or other crimes in order just to get by. It’s a commentary on the failure of cities like San Francisco to care for their citizens.

Center of the Fentanyl Crisis in San Francisco

And unfortunately, this area of the city is also the center of a significant drug crisis. The Tenderloin is the center of the fentanyl crisis of San Francisco, with usage of the drug increasing steadily since 2019. Rising numbers of people are overdosing and dying from the use of the drug, and the Tenderloin district is home to many of these people.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/United States Drug Enforcement Administration

Some measures have been taken that would begin to address this issue, such as the opening of free health clinics and the funding of homeless shelters. The issue of drugs on the street is separate from issues of poverty, though, and it’s a problem that the San Francisco mayor and police force have been working diligently at stamping out.

Mayor Breed is Listening

Mayor Breed commented on the curfew, assuring residents that she was listening. “Tenderloin residents, businesses, and workers deserve safe streets not just during the day, but also at night. We are working with and listening to the community as we continue our efforts to make the Tenderloin safer for everyone. This is an idea for the community, from the community.”

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

The bill has yet to be passed by the Board of Supervisors, but it seems likely. Measures like this one are popular for trying to stamp out crime, and San Francisco needs as much help as it can get. Residents deserve to feel safe in their city, and if a curfew will help address some of the problems that are making people feel unsafe, then a curfew is what should be done.

What do you think?

188 Points
Upvote Downvote
James Cross

Written by James Cross

James Cross, an enigmatic writer from the historic city of Boston. James' writing delves into mysteries, true crime, and the unexplained, crafting compelling narratives that keep readers and viewers on the edge of their seats. His viral articles, blog posts, and documentary-style videos explore real-life enigmas and unsolved cases, inviting audiences to join the quest for answers. James' ability to turn real mysteries into shareable content has made him a sensation in the world of storytelling.

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

New Study Explores Why Movements Slow Down With Age

Kevin O’Leary Dismisses Biden’s Proposed Billionaire Tax: “It’ll Never Happen”