San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin - and opponents - hit the streets ahead of recall

Voters in San Francisco are weighing in on whether to oust the city's controversial District Attorney Chesa Boudin, just two and a half years into his term.

He faces a recall election June 7 on accusations he's soft on crime. The effort is Proposition H on the ballot. 

Boudin defends his work.   

He said despite a COVID shutdown two months after he took office and fighting two recall efforts, he's proud of the work he's done. 

He said  he's confident he'll beat the recall.

On Tuesday afternoon, Boudin went to the Mission District to visit with business owners and residents to ask them to support him in beating the recall effort.

He used his Spanish language skills to make his case. 

In a one-on-one interview with KTVU, he said his accomplishments include investigating fencing operations that fuel car break-in's as well as expanding multi-language services for victims. 

"We've increased charging rates for everything from sexual assaults to homicides to drug sales.  We're clearing the backlog of old cases languishing under my predecessor," said Boudin.

But his opponents include former prosecutors who said they resigned from the district attorney's office because they disagreed with the way Boudin handled cases. 

"What we felt was that he was personally intervening in a number of cases, including our own cases which involved very serious and violent offenders in order to garner them lenient sentences," said former prosecutor Brooke Jenkins. 

On this day, she and volunteers for the recall stood at the busy intersection of Ocean and Geneva near City College to ask for votes.   

Organizers said the death of two female pedestrians, Hanako Abe and Elizabeth Platt, by a  hit-and-run driver who was on parole in a stolen vehicle played a major role in the recall effort.

Roger Moy, a volunteer, said repeat offenders out on the streets committing crimes led him to support the recall. "All the victims, all the cases, we're protecting the criminals.  We're not protecting the victims." 

"Hindsight is 20-20.  Looking backwards, of course we wish we had done something, anything differently that could have prevented that horrible tragedy," Boudin said. "The reality is we don't have a crystal ball. We're processing tens of thousands of cases every year. We know some percentage of the people arrested in San Francisco will go on commit a serious crime as in Oakland,  Sacramento and Dallas," said Boudin. 
"While Chesa is not responsible for everything that's happening in this city,  he has a job as the district attorney to set a tone to let criminals know there is accountability and consequences for their actions," said Jenkins. 

When asked if he  plans to  run again for the office should he be recalled, Boudin replied, "You keep your eye on the ball.  I'm focused on winning and that's exactly what we've going to do.  I plan  to run for re-election in 2023.  I've created my committee to do so."   

If Boudin is recalled, he could run for office again as early as this November.
He and any candidate who run this November will have to run again in 2023 to get a full term in office. 

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU  or Twitter @AmberKTVU