San Francisco mayor to make street cleanup top budget priority

An estimated 26 million tourists visited San Francisco in the last year, some shopping in Union Square and taking in the sights. But, just blocks away some of the streets and allies are filthy, and the city's homelessness crisis is obvious. 

Now, Mayor London Breed says focusing on the city's streets needs to be a top priority.

The mayor said she has tasked her department heads with prioritizing clean and safe streets and says next year's budget needs to reflect that vision. 

"If those aren't the top in your budget then basically it's really not going to be prioritized," said Mayor Breed.

While short on specifics, the head of the Union Square Business Improvement District (BID) Karin Flood said she appreciated the mayor's attention. 

"We absolutely appreciate the vision, to make clean and safe a priority, starting right here in Union Square," said Flood. "And of course I want to hear more details, and I'm sure they will come."

Breed spoke out about Oracle moving it's annual convention out of San Francisco to Las Vegas, part of the reason the tech company cited for the change was the condition of the city's streets. The mayor expressed confidence that a replacement convention would be found, and when that happens the head of the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau(SFCVB) says the city needs to be ready. 

"I Think bottom line it's a big threat to all of us if we can't do a better job," said SFCVB President and CEO Joe D'Alessandro. "It's a big threat for our economy. We've talked with a lot of small businesses that are struggling because of the conditions on our streets."

The mayor said when it comes to next year's budget there can be no room for anyone's personal projects, costing a few million dollars here or there. She said every available dollar needs to be spent on cleaning the streets and keeping them clean.