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Political and Economic Stakes Are High for San Francisco This Week

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A welcome banner hangs on a walkway near the Embarcadero in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
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San Francisco has been going through a rough patch in recent years, which raises the stakes for the city as it hosts a massive economic conference of Pacific Rim nations this week.

Dan Walters with a serious expression

Dan Walters

CalMatters

Opinion

The city is besieged by what some call a “doom loop” of often violent street crime, a drug abuse epidemic, a flight of corporate and commercial business and – most visibly – rampant and extremely visible homelessness.

San Francisco’s civic ills have so far defied officialdom’s efforts to restore the city’s once envied status as a global icon – in part because Mayor London Breed, who could face a dicey re-election next year, squabbles incessantly with the city’s Board of Supervisors over every fine point of policy.

Breed, on behalf of the city and her own political career, hopes that the thousands of government officials, corporate executives and international journalists attending the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Commission, or APEC, gathering will depart with positive views of her city.

‘Desperate’ Attempts to Clean up Blight

About the Author

Dan Walters has been a journalist for nearly 60 years, spending all but a few of those years working for California newspapers. He began his professional career in 1960, at age 16, at the Humboldt Times. CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters. For more columns by Dan Walters, go to calmatters.org/commentary.

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Dan Walters has been a journalist for nearly 60 years, spending all but a few of those years working for California newspapers. He has written more than 9,000 columns about the state and its politics and is the founding editor of the “California Political Almanac.” Dan has also been a frequent guest on national television news shows, commenting on California issues and policies.

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