Business owners unite
Why did it take so long for this movement to happen? I recall hearing about some Baltimore business owners writing a letter to the mayor and demanding law and order. I have good news from the Bay Area:
The Castro Merchants Association sent a letter to San Francisco city officials saying they plan to stop paying taxes if The City doesn't do more to address burglaries, vandalism, people with behavioral health problems and unhoused people camping on the sidewalks in front of businesses and residences.
Terrance Alan is co-president of the association and owner of Flore Dispensary and Cafe Flore.
He says many shops have been targeted by vandals and his businesses' windows have been smashed 11 times. He says there are also several dozen people in the area who have been unhoused for years, some a decade or more.
"Every day we wake up and have to help people on the street. We have to clean up feces on the street. We have to clear our people from doorways, so we can open our businesses. It's not fair," said Alan.
It's about time. At the same time, how did local governments allow this to happen?
Back to my aforementioned comment about Baltimore. In 2021, we went to see my ailing mother in Maryland. It was also an opportunity to catch up with some of my college friends from that time in my life. I was appalled at the state of the city, the garbage, the sense of lawlessness everywhere, and the frustration in the eyes of an understaffed police force.
As for San Francisco, I spoke with a friend who went to San Francisco, and he couldn't believe the general decay of a once wonderful city. He did not like Los Angeles, either.
So it's great to see that business owners are drawing the line. Put the issue in the laps of the elected officials, and use your taxes as a weapon. After all, you are paying for the police, and it's the political class tying their hands.
Thumbs up for these business owners in Castro.
Image: Castro Merchants Association.