MATTHEWS: San Francisco voters experience ‘stunning’ wake-up call on crime

It’s time the reign of criminals who are destroying our city, it is time for it to come to an end.

San Francisco has long been considered one of the main epicenters of far-left, over-the-top progressivism in the United States.

Known in part for its infamous poop maps, open-air drug use issues, needle exchange programs and rampant homelessness, there is no issue San Francisco has undertaken over the last several decades without consideration for how “offended” its population would get if city leaders simply put their feet down and said, “We will not tolerate nor enable this any longer.”

So it was an interesting turn of events last Tuesday when voters took to the polls in the City by the Bay and approved two anti-crime measures that had their leading paper, the San Francisco Chronicle, declaring in a headline “Voters make it clear: San Francisco can no longer be called a progressive city.”

I’m not sure if I would go that far, but on the crime situation, voters there clearly have been mugged by reality, a “stunning” development according to the Los Angeles Times, which went with “San Francisco ties welfare to drug-screening, boosts police powers in stunning tough-on-crime shift” in their headline.

Both measures were strongly backed by the city’s mayor, London Breed, a “woke” Democrat who back in 2020 boasted of slashing funding for the police department in the midst of the George Floyd riots and the “Defund the Police” lunacy that Democrats latched onto at the time.

A year and a half later, however, Breed experienced a wake-up call of sorts of her own on defunding the police after an epidemic of slash-and-grab crimes and property thefts caused (and is still causing) businesses and residents alike to head for the exits.

“It’s time the reign of criminals who are destroying our city, it is time for it to come to an end,” she stated during a December 2021 presser. “And it comes to an end when we take the steps to be more aggressive with law enforcement. More aggressive with the changes in our policies and less tolerant of all the (BS) that has destroyed our city.”

Six months later, the city’s voters showed times were changing in San Francisco when they successfully recalled then-District Attorney Chesa Boudin, a radical leftist and staunch proponent of soft-on-crime criminal justice reforms whose reign of terror lasted just over two years before residents sent him packing.

As to whether or not the measures voters approved last Tuesday help improve the situation there remains to be seen.

But what has become increasingly clear over the last two and a half years is that a growing number of city leaders and residents alike have become fed up with the rampant lawlessness to the point they’re saying “Enough is enough.”

As far as I’m concerned, that is as strong a signal as any to the criminal elements in the area that their days of victimizing law-abiding citizens by taking advantage of lax laws are fast coming to an end, a point emphasized by a spokesman for Breed’s office after Super Tuesday.

“Prop E makes common-sense changes to city rules to get more officers on the street fighting crime,” spokesman Joe Arellano said according to Fox News.

“It provides police with helpful new tools such as cameras and drones and expanded power to pursue criminals. Over the last few years, the city’s policies swung too far to the left. Now, it’s time to send a message that San Francisco is closed to criminals and brazen theft will not be tolerated,” he also noted, according to the report.

That’s welcome news to voters in San Francisco. Now if we could just get them to move to the right on other issues…

North Carolina native Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym Sister Toldjah and is a media analyst and regular contributor to RedState and Legal Insurrection.