Sage tweets from down by the bay

A reader just directed me to a thoughtful Twitter thread about the disaster unfolding daily on the streets of San Francisco. A lot of what the writer says seems equally true of Portland. I've tried to use a gizmo that puts the whole thread together in one place, here. For regular Twitter types, the initial tweet is here.

Here is part of what she writes:

The people who come to San Francisco to do drugs have typically run through the social capital of their family and friends. 

They commit crime, get in fights, trash the neighborhoods. You see this all over town. 

Not all homeless people are like this... 

I am concerned that in attracting this highly addicted type of person to San Francisco we are reducing services for the homeless population that we already have. 

If we did not have the open air drug markets, we could likely house all the homeless people from SF... 

In fact, I would venture to say that if we were to shut down the drug markets at least 75% of our homeless population would leave San Francisco. 

We could likely house the remaining 25% in SROs, community housing, etc. 

But because we have so many drugs - the city is flooded. 

This ultimately comes down to our criminal justice system. 

If we want to get rid of the drug markets we need to arrest & prosecute dealers. We need to make dealing in San Francisco a highly unattractive career option. 

This is about police, judges & the DA. 

People talk a lot about how "the war on drugs failed". 

I've heard this sentence about 100 times in the past year. 

It is fashionable these days to say "everything is broken". But with all due respect, that war on drugs was almost 50 years ago. 

We have so much more technology now - video cameras, cell phone records. 

I don't see any reason why we cannot jail those 500 dealers - at least for a few weeks or months. 

Right now dealers go to jail for an average of five days. This seems ridiculous to me. 

This is what they do in other countries. Israel, Portugal, Netherlands, Singapore, China, everywhere. 

From what I understand there isn't a nation in the world that allows people to deal Meth & Fentanyl consequence-free. 

What makes San Francisco so different...? 

Or Portland?


  1. Just read Sanfransicko, by Michael Shellenberger. Probably longer and more statistics than necessary, but a good breakdown on his view of 'why Progressives Ruin Cities'. Most of what he says about SF, and other west coast cities, applies to Portland. Kinda wish the City Council and County Board of Commissioners would have a boot club to read and discuss it.

  2. I agree with her comments. If our police, DEA, district attorney would do their jobs and inhibit the sales of meth in this city, a lot of the worst of our street people would probably move on and then we could do what we can to help our local homeless. I’ll never believe that the majority of our homeless are really from Portland.

  3. If we are not going to make "camping" illegal in the city, then require a permit, so that we can track and control these campers. All of us who rent or own residences are tracked and have rules to follow- why not freeloaders?


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