Bob Lee & The Polarization of San Francisco Politics

Now that Bob Lees murder has been solved the city is more polarized than ever. The homeless have been demonized, but it was in fact another tech worker who was the culprit. What a twist.

City leaders are reacting with an “I told you so” mentality circling back to their original premise that San Francisco is indeed safe and continue to ignore the pressing problems and real fears of their constituents. It’s not normal even in urban areas to have to bare witness to the suffering I see living here every day. After my initial fear driving through the theatre district here or walking through Union Square I eventually less afraid, but I was very much effected by the people I saw, but did not interact with. One day I saw a man crawling down the street screaming. He stood up and his knees looked as if they were made of hamburger. I was not equipped to help this person, but I thought about him all day and still do. Is this the society we belong to now? Is this who we are? I’d this the new culture of San Francisco a place once known for freedom, creativity and innovation?

Bob Lees murder and the Marina District beating of the former Fire Chief incited fears of a crime wave in San Francisco. The fear of residents was played out on social media and amplified by high profile leaders like Elon Musk. The story was covered around the world. We now have a sad ending to this headline.

So now what?

We are to return to normal and ignore what we see around us? The city is riddled with crime there is no doubt of that, but what is happening also tears at the fabric of community. Whole Foods is closing in mid-market due to safety concerns for their workers. There were daily incidents of erratic and dangerous behavior and a 30-year-old man died in September from a lethal combination of drugs, according to the San Francisco medical examiner’s office. Medics attempted to revive him, and he was declared dead at the scene. He was covered and carried out of the store while people shopped. It is not normal for people to die in grocery store restrooms. It is unnerving for shoppers and what of the poor man who died? It’s obvious to all of us here that people like this desperately need help that they are not getting.

Bob Lee’s murder put a spot light on crime in San Francisco for a short time, and often statistics were sited that do not support San Francisco being unsafe, but still people do not feel safe. In this year alone 632 assaults were reported and 695 people where robbed and 1466 vehicles were stolen. This is not just petty crime, these incidents impact real people and all who know them.

The political climate tells us this is a complex issue, but it’s not that complex. Get the people who need help off the streets and give them the care and dignity they deserve. A human being does not deserve to die in a public restroom at thirty years old. Prosecute the drug dealers and the criminals that surround them. Honestly, what kind of person sells drugs to homeless people? Why is that tolerated?

London Breed and others can talk about statistics all day long, but that doesn’t change the fact that the horrid conditions of many parts of the city where crime, drugs and homelessness reign have traumatized the people who live, work and go there. These are the workers we need, the businesses we need and the tourists we need to thrive.

I hope that the impact of Bob Lee’s death will not be in vain. As a brilliant change agent in tech perhaps he can solve the impossible problems impacting this beautiful city in death. It’s a noble hope.

Love and blessings to all.

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