California Democrats hastily cleaned up San Francisco last week ahead of the upcoming state visit between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
On Friday, The New York Times described the scene in the city as one of “teenagers frantically cleaning up after a house party with their parents on the way home.”
“On Market Street, the city’s main thoroughfare, maintenance workers resurfaced uneven sidewalks and installed plywood over empty tree wells,” the Times reported. “Nearby, a crew gave a long-derelict plaza a makeover by turning it into a skateboard park and outdoor cafe with pingpong tables, chess boards and scores of potted plants. Elsewhere, workers painted decorative crosswalks and new murals, wiped away graffiti, picked up piles of trash and removed scaffolding to show off a refurbished clock tower at the Ferry Building.”
Why the sudden clean up after years of decay? Xi will be arriving Wednesday. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference, which began Saturday, will draw 21 world leaders from Pacific nations along with 30,000 people to the Golden City. Democrat California Gov. Gavin Newsom admitted last week the quick cleanup effort was provoked by “fancy leaders” who are “coming to town.”
“That’s true,” Newsom said.
As government officials work to power wash transit stations and clear homeless encampments in major areas, residents openly wondered what took leaders so long to clean up one of California’s largest cities.
“What about the people who are here year-round?” Marc Savino asked a local Fox affiliate.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed pledged cleanup efforts will continue even after the conference closes.
“We will continue to do everything we can to maintain cleanliness in our streets,” Breed said at a press conference.
For years, deteriorating health and safety conditions in California’s fourth-largest city have made San Francisco an emblem of American decline. Rampant crime and homelessness have left residents exposed to safety hazards while the jewel city of the West Coast remains prohibitively expensive to live in. Instead of implementing aggressive efforts to clean up, as residents saw last week ahead of visits from foreign leaders, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors prioritized leftist activism. In March, San Francisco leadership moved forward with a plan to hand out slavery reparations of $5 million per person to people who never were slaves, paid for by residents who never owned slaves.
In August, The Wall Street Journal published a feature on San Francisco’s downward spiral, openly wondering in the headline, “Can San Francisco Save Itself From the Doom Loop?”
“Downtown San Francisco now trails nearly every other major urban center in economic health,” the paper reported. “Retailers like Nordstrom and Banana Republic have announced in the past few months that they are closing their downtown San Francisco stores. The owner of the city’s biggest mall, located downtown, is handing it back to the lender rather than continue to make debt payments.”