SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - San Francisco Mayor London Breed walked the streets of the Tenderloin Friday as part of her effort to fully understand and begin the difficult job of cleaning up the streets.
The mayor said that everyone regardless of where they live in the city need to pull together and work hard to work toward a long term solution to clean up the streets.
At noon Friday the Mayor walked out of City Hall crossing Civic Center Plaza and made her way to the Civic Center BART station where in May transit riders shot video of deplorable conditions, open drug use, people sleeping on the floor and acting aggressive.
San Francisco Police say they're working with BART police. And while there's a long way to go, they are starting to see a difference. "I think the key there Mayor Breed was the collaboration and putting a plan together with BART and all the agencies we've got here today," said San Francisco Police Commander David Lazar. "Really since July 1 we've had officer working with BART down below."
From there the Mayor, Police Chief and various department heads turned up Larkin St., stepping over human waste and picking up needles along the way. The mayor saying the purpose of her walk was to see conditions for herself. "We're working every day to get to a better place, but part of the walkthrough had everything to do with making sure that everyone knows that this will be my priority," said Breed.
The mayor says a taskforce report found that intravenous drug users will use safe injection sites which would make it more discrete and offer a chance to offer treatment programs. The mayor says that injection sites are just one step toward a more comprehensive strategy to clean up the streets. "Part of again why I'm proposing safe injection sites is because I just want to change how we see it, how we look at it. how it impacts out city," said Breed.
The mayor took time to talk with city workers, getting input from them who have an up-close view of the challenges facing the city. "I want to have the conversations, what's it going to take," asked Breed.
T. Sagote from the office of Civic Engagement & Immigrant Affairs, part of the city's Community Ambassadors, says he's encouraged to see the mayor walking these streets and looking for practical solutions just three days into her term. "She just wanted to find out how we can get together and solve the problem, you know, that's going on with the homeless, you know with the drug use that's so open right now," said Sagote.
The mayor says safe injection sites are just one step in cleaning the city's streets, she said the safe injection sites would provide a critical opportunity to offer treatment on demand.