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Francesca Pastine, Supervisor Hillary Ronen, and Santiago Lerma listen to neighbors comments about the civil breakdown that occurred during the fourth of July on 25th Street and Harrison Street.

Francesca Pastine started the meeting by pointing out that we are a traumatized community. San Francisco, for the last six years has been dysfunctional and this dysfunction manifests itself worse in vulnerable communities like the Mission.

Our neighborhoods have experienced out-of-control encampments that linger on our sidewalks and in front of our homes and businesses for months and years.

A Housing First policy thwarted the building of adequate shelters with the result that our sidewalks have become ad-hoc shelters.

A building moratorium and hostility to development has dampened potential vitality and much needed foot traffic to large swaths of the Mission opening these areas up to criminal activity, trash, and encampments.

Criminal fencing operations and shoplifting persist.

Our sense of health and well being is often threatened by the low-level and quality of life crimes that we deal with on a daily basis such as conspicuous petty thievery, illegal dumping, chop shops, littering, public peeing, human feces on our sidewalks and front steps, graffiti, and unsafe driving.

San Francisco’s inability to find a solution to protecting the mentally challenged and drug addicted has translated into people acting out every day on our sidewalks in dangerous and unpredictable ways. San Francisco’s lax drug laws means we often have to skirt people shooting up and smoking crack, not to mention they commit crimes to fuel their addictions.

Ryen Motzed, president of the Mission Merchants Association, who has worked in the neighborhood for 20 years, said he’s never seen anything like the current street conditions. In addition to the vending concerns, businesses are also dealing with vandalism, thefts, and generally unclean streets.

Going forward, we want to see real policy reform that restores our neighborhoods to a livable condition. We want acknowledgement that mistakes were made. We want to see the supervisors, mayor, DA, public defender, and the police doing their jobs to the best of their ability and with accountability to the citizens of San Francisco.

We were able to address all the above issues and get an understanding of where we agreed on issues and where we differed. There is a lot of work to be done, but a conversation has started and Supervisor Ronen graciously agreed to meet with us again in four months.



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