The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) “is a regional economic forum established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific,” according to the organization’s website. There are 21 nations in the group and, besides working together to grow each other’s economies, there’s a lot of business to be conducted on the sidelines.
Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet during the weeklong gathering in San Francisco where both leaders will get an earful from the other about how terrible they are.
The city of San Francisco is expecting 20,000 attendees and half as many hangers-on. The San Francisco Police Department is bringing in hundreds of extra cops from around the Bay area to augment a security plan created by the U.S. Secret Service.
Now, you’ve read a lot on the PJ Media website about the excruciating troubles of a once beautiful city. San Francisco is in the midst of a “doom loop” that appears to be irreversible. But that doesn’t mean that the city’s politicians can’t hide the evidence of decline and spiff up their downtown so that it appears almost like a normal city.
And that’s what they did. The hundreds of tents that lined the sidewalks near the Moscone Center and in the Tenderloin District have been removed. The parks have been swept of homeless residents. The open-air drug markets are gone.
Meanwhile, the city’s shelters are filled to bursting.
“They are very good at creating an illusion and they are very good at performance art,” business owner, Adam Mesnick told The New York Post of city leaders. “It’s a Band-Aid and indicative of a poor administration. And you know, really at this point, the frustration couldn’t be any louder.
“I’ve likened this period of time in the Tenderloin like the Gold Rush, but here it’s the Fentanyl Rush. We have the cheapest fentanyl on the planet and it’s pretty much easy to be highly successful from the bottom.”
City officials, however, have not been deterred from trying to hide the blight, according to emails obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Christopher McDaniels, the city’s superintendent of Street Environmental Services, wrote in a Sept. 25 email the particular streets that should be cleared in preparation for the mega conference.
“With APEC coming, I am concerned about historical encampments that are close to priority areas,” McDaniels wrote.
Deputy Director of Operations DiJaida Durden, McDaniel’s boss, replied and asked about new encampments that popped up near the conference area.
“Are any of these locations on schedule,” Durden asked. APEC “is coming and we need to stay on top of the growing encampments; do we have a plan?”
By Wednesday, certain areas— including the notorious intersections of Van Ness Avenue and California Street, Hyde and Eddy streets, Taylor and Ellis streets— were cleared of homeless tents, according to The Chronicle.
— New York Post (@nypost) November 11, 2023
Some residents are asking why the city can’t sweep the streets and sidewalks clean of homeless, drug addicts, and the mentally ill.
“They started clearing the tents earlier this week and there is definitely a lot more police presence,” SoMa resident and community activist Ricci Lee Wynne told The Post.
“They’ve cleared out the tents that were near the Moscone Center on Howard Street, which tells me the city had the capability to do this all along — instead they just do the bare minimum.”
“Once APEC is gone, police presence will start to simmer down again, the tents will return. And it will slowly flare up again. What we need is a permanent solution.”
That would take more than money. It would take the will to go against the radical homeless advocates and their lawyers and take the city back.