SF supervisor says Mayor Breed's proposed Tenderloin curfew hurts small businesses

SFPD investigating Tenderloin homicide shooting. July 21, 2023. 

San Francisco District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston, who represents the Tenderloin, fired back at the mayor's proposal to limit after-midnight retail in the troubled district. 

The proposed legislation, introduced to the Board of Supervisors this week, is essentially a Tenderloin retail curfew from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. in a 20-square block area over the next two years. Targeted retail businesses would include those that sell prepackaged food or tobacco products.  

Mayor London Breed's office said this ordinance is not aimed at punishing small businesses, but improving the safety of the area. The proposed ordinance has the support of the San Francisco Police Department

However, despite the claim that the mayor's office is working with the community, Preston in a statement said his office only found out about the mayor's proposal through the media. Furthermore, Preston said none of the businesses his office spoke with had been consulted about the legislation. 

"Yesterday, I visited Tenderloin shop owners, including corner stores that have served the community for decades. Most are immigrant-owned businesses," Preston's statement read. "Small businesses in the Tenderloin are struggling and deserve to be at the table for decisions impacting them."  

Preston said he has since requested and received a copy of the legislation for review. He said the proposed legislation as drafted is "overly broad" and unfairly punishes long-time small businesses in the community, several of which have served the community for decades. 

If businesses were to violate the ordinance, they could face a fine of up to $1,000 for every hour they are open during curfew. In addition, the legislation gives the city attorney the power to file a lawsuit against stores that are repeat offenders. 

Breed had previously said this was part of a new effort to make lasting changes in the neighborhood that would improve the quality of life for residents. Many have long been critical of open-air drug markets on the streets of the Tenderloin. 

"The drug markets happening at night in this neighborhood are unacceptable and must be met with increased law enforcement and new strategies," Breed said. 

Others from the community, not necessarily affiliated with retail, agreed with the mayor's proposal, saying it helps curb illegal activities. 

"Our community has long-suffered from the consequences of nighttime activities that threaten our safety and well-being," was a quote from Khaled Ghaleb, Imam of Mosque, Darussalam, that the mayor posted to her own social media. 

Last month, Preston introduced legislation to prevent more smoke shops from opening in the neighborhood. The goal of the legislation is to curb the ongoing drug crisis. The issue with these shops is that they often sell items that drug users use to get high. 

Preston's statement closed by touching on working with the mayor's office in a more collaborative way to improve the Tenderloin neighborhood. 

"I expect to propose amendments to more narrowly tailor this legislation in scope and duration in order to protect small businesses in the neighborhood," he said. 

However, he said the mayor's office has blocked some of his team's efforts on things like safety grants to Tenderloin small businesses and overdose prevention sites to move drug use off the streets.

KTVU has reached out to the mayor's office about Preston's response to the proposed legislation but has not yet heard back. We will update this story if and when we hear back from the mayor's office.  

Andre Torrez is a digital content producer for KTVU. Email Andre at andre.torrez@fox.com or call him at 510-874-0579. 


SF Mayor Breed to propose retail curfew aimed at curtailing crime in the Tenderloin

San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced plans on Tuesday to institute a curfew in a part of the Tenderloin in order to help curb crime in the area, the Mayor's office confirmed.