San Francisco, CA

San Francisco Mayor London Breed announces spending plan to help downtown recovery

Ed Walsh
San Francisco Mayor London BreedOffice of San Francisco Mayor London Breed

San Francisco Mayor London Breed has announced city spending plan designed to support downtown San Francisco and the city’s economic recovery.

“A vibrant, thriving, and healthy Downtown is essential to San Francisco’s recovery. Our downtown is a core part of our city,” said Mayor Breed. “As we continue reopening and moving forward on our recovery, we need to make investments now to ensure our downtown area is welcoming, clean, and attractive, so that people want to come back and spend time in the area.”

Breed is pledging to support these programs with $9.5 million in funding in her proposed City budget. Breed's proposed two-year budget will be introduced on June 1, 2021.

Part of the Mayor is proposing to invest $7.5 million to expand the presence of so-called Community Ambassadors in Downtown transit hubs and key tourist destinations. The city says that Community Ambassadors will provide a consistently welcoming atmosphere for returning office workers, residents, and tourists in the downtown area and support the reopening of storefront businesses.

Mayor Breed says she is committed to supporting the arts and creating vibrant, cultural opportunities that allow residents and visitors to reconnect with public spaces. As part of her Downtown Recovery Plan, the Mayor is proposing $1 million to create “SFWednesdays,” an ongoing series of activations in various downtown locations, starting in July.

Mayor Breed is also proposing $1 million to support beautification and other improvements to Hallidie Plaza, which is the location of the most popular cable-car turnaround at Powell and Market Streets.

“Like people across the country, San Franciscans are ready to get out of the house and back to the bustle of the City. Union Square retailers and Downtown companies draw shoppers, tourists and workers who in turn support our city’s world-renowned hospitality industry from diverse local restaurants to bars and nightlife venues to our museums and family entertainment establishments. These areas are culturally iconic and economically essential parts of San Francisco and we’re excited to welcome everyone back to them.”

“By jump starting cultural activities downtown, the City is signaling to our San Francisco and Greater Bay Area residents, We Are Open and We Welcome You Back! The artists and performances that will enliven these downtown plazas beautifully reflect our city’s racial equity values; they will bring vitality and life back to our streets, and help everyone remember why San Francisco is so special. We champion and celebrate the BIPOC artists that make us a world-class destination. In addition to awakening the soul after this year-long slumber of sorts, and re-engaging with our shared humanity, these arts programs will also increase the economic activity downtown, which the city also needs.”

“San Francisco and Union Square are resilient, and our businesses are eager to welcome back residents, visitors and workers. We are pleased that the Mayor has heard the recommendations of our own Union Square Economic Recovery Task Force, which called for more events and activations in the public realm. These additional City investments, especially in Union Square Park and in Hallidie Plaza – the gateway to our district – are key to our economic recovery.  We support Mayor London Breed’s budget request for more “eyes and ears” on the street helping to ensure that San Francisco lives up to its promise as a vibrant world-class city.”

“Our city’s economy depends on the vibrancy of our downtown core. San Francisco downtown businesses bring in hundreds of thousands of local jobs, commuters, and visitors who are essential to the success of our small businesses. The Mayor’s budget proposal allows us to embrace this moment and invest in our city’s future.”

“San Francisco’s arts and cultural scene are one of the reasons people visit San Francisco. This summer, whether visitors come from in-state, out-of-state or outside the country, San Francisco will be ready to welcome them. This #SFWednesdays initiative highlighting local artists is just the ticket to enliven our public spaces.”

“We have an opportunity to make visitors feel safe and welcome as we begin to bring them back and show them all that our beautiful city has to offer. Tourism is San Francisco’s number one economy, fueling tens of thousands of jobs and supporting our small businesses. This focused investment on the downtown core will reap huge benefits for the city at large.”

“Sam’s Grill has been in San Francisco since 1867 and has weathered through thick and thin. We are excited for the efforts that the city has planned to revitalize downtown. We’re happy to invite one and all to come enjoy downtown San Francisco and stop by Sam’s. We are made for this!”

The city states that Community-based safety ambassadors will be stationed on every block of the area from Powell Station (5th Street) to 8th Street on Market Street and adjacent areas just south of Market Street, UN Plaza, and the Tenderloin blocks bordered by Larkin Street and Eddy Street. The mid-Market area has been plagued with problems of cirme, homelessness and blatant drug dealing and drug use.

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