by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Drug addicts, dealers and homeless who have plagued San Francisco’s downtown have miraculously disappeared this week as the city cleans up for a huge international event.
Sources tell The Post the homeless have been pushed to other parts of the city in preparation for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, which starts tomorrow and runs through Nov. 17.
However, residents and business owners said city officials’ attempts to “herd” transients and drug addicts is only a “Band-Aid” to a severe problem as drug overdoses continue to plague the city.
The city focused on seven intersections in the Tenderloin and South of Market, or SoMa, neighborhoods which is home to some of the more concentrated encampments where drug-addled people high on fentanyl and heroin can be seen passed out on the streets every day.
“They started clearing the tents earlier this week and there is definitely a lot more police presence,” SoMa resident and community activist Ricci Lee Wynne told The Post.
“They’ve cleared out the tents that were near the Moscone Center on Howard Street, which tells me the city had the capability to do this all along — instead they just do the bare minimum.
“Once APEC is gone, police presence will start to simmer down again, the tents will return. And it will slowly flare up again. What we need is a permanent solution.”
Among the APEC attendees will be President Joe Biden, who will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, which was announced on Friday. The event is expected to draw over 20,000 visitors to the City by The Bay.
In preparation the city has taken other steps to clear out the open drug use market in other areas, including the Nancy Pelosi federal building on the corner of Mission and 7th streets.