Mayor London Breed Delivers State of the City Address

The Mayor reinforced her top priorities, including continuing gains on public safety, creating safe and clean streets, addressing homelessness and the fentanyl crisis, and bringing new investment and people to Downtown through housing and universities
March 07, 2024

San Francisco, CA – Mayor London N. Breed today joined delivered her annual State of the City Address at Pier 27, where she set forth her vision for San Francisco to be a safer and more welcoming city, a center of excellence and opportunity, and a city that drives the economy and future of the Bay Area and California. 

The Mayor highlighted the progress made on her work to aggressively take on challenges San Francisco is facing, encouraging in embracing change, and becoming a city of yes.  

Throughout her remarks, the Mayor shared a vision of a San Francisco that has gone through three phases, including a pandemic response, a recovery from the impacts, and currently, a time to find opportunities that will continue to lift up the City and position for a stronger future. 

“I’m tired of the people who talk about San Francisco as if our troubles are inevitable and our successes a fluke. Our successes are not a fluke, and they’re not fleeting,” said Mayor Breed. “They’re the product of years of hard work, collaboration, investment, creativity, and perseverance. They’re the output of thousands of people, in government and out, who believe in service not cynicism.” 

The Mayor celebrated those who have worked to support San Francisco through its recent challenges and commended the workers, residents, businesses, and community partners who are committed to lifting up the City as efforts to move forward continue, despite others’ interest to create distracting and divisive rhetoric. 

She presented San Francisco’s critical moment of much needed change to bring opportunity, underscoring the importance of bold leadership and a committed City workforce to work in partnership with community and business partners to find creative and commonsense solutions that will deliver a better San Francisco for all. 

Mayor Breed pointed to recent progress in reducing crime, bringing people indoors and off City streets, improving neighborhood vibrancy, and a growing economy as reasons for residents to take pride and believe in not just what San Francisco can accomplish, but its future.  

The Mayor highlighted progress made to deal with public safety challenges, specifically in the Tenderloin and South of Market areas, to deter open-air drug sales and use, and other crime impacting the City’s recovery progress. Last year, San Francisco saw the lowest crime rates in the last decade, aside from 2020 when the City shutdown because of the pandemic. She attributed this to the collaboration with local, state and federal levels. 

“To shut down drug markets in the Tenderloin and South of Market, we coordinated every public safety agency you can name – local, state, and federal,” said Mayor Breed. “I appealed to Governor Newsom, and he stepped up by sending the California Highway Patrol and National Guard investigators. President Biden and Speaker Emerita Pelosi delivered the US Attorney and Drug Enforcement Agency to interrupt the sale and trafficking of fentanyl. And these efforts have paid off.” 

The Mayor doubled down on citywide efforts to address homelessness in San Francisco. Since 2018 under the Mayor’s direction, the City has worked and invested aggressively to help more than 15,000 unhoused individuals exit homelessness. In the last year alone, the City has helped more than 1,500 people into shelter from encampments, and the number of tents on City streets is down 37% in the last six months, which is at the lowest levels since before 2018. 

“I want to be clear about something, because I know some people don’t necessarily feel that homelessness has improved, but it has,” said Mayor Breed. “The number of people living on the street is down considerably from its pandemic peak. We were the only county in the Bay Area to see unsheltered homelessness go down in the last Point-in-Time count cycle. Our encampment teams are bringing people indoors and bringing down the tents, despite attempts by the courts, and by some advocates, to obstruct our efforts.” 

In 2022 and 2023, the City worked with trade groups, business owners, builders, neighbors, and City departments to create the Mayor's Roadmap to San Francisco's Future, a comprehensive plan for a dynamic, resilient Downtown with residents, nightlife, and businesses. In just the first year of the Mayor’s Roadmap, the City focused on stabilization of the City’s retail footprint by filling storefronts through programs such as Vacant to Vibrant, creating attractions, and delivering tax incentives. 

The Mayor spoke of her vision for a 24/7 Downtown offering vibrant, mixed-use walkable neighborhood offerings including transit, restaurants and bars, and nightlife venues. Key to that is continuing to support innovative industries that will continue to drive the economy, like Artificial Intelligence, which is projected to add 12 million square feet of office in San Francisco by 2030. But office alone is not the only answer to the future of Downtown.  

The Mayor also announced her goal of 30 by 30 -- bringing 30,000 new residents and students to Downtown by 2030. To accomplish this, the City will create more housing, including through conversions, and bring in universities to create a more dynamic Downtown that serves as a Center of Excellence. 

“We are working with thought leaders, business folks, and educational institutions to make Downtown a hub, a Center of Excellence,” said Mayor Breed. “We’ve invited the University of California and Historically Black Colleges and Universities to join us, and some are coming as early as this summer. We’re working with other universities, and our existing anchors, UC Law, USF and San Francisco State University. Imagine that!  Students, professors, researchers, and employees walking from dorm room to classroom, from startup to conference space, from the Ferry Building to City Hall. Cross-pollinating ideas, cross-pollinating companies. We will be leading the way in AI, climate tech and biotech and things we haven’t even yet imagined. Housing, students, innovation – that’s our future!” 

During the State of the City Address, Mayor Breed spoke of the San Francisco’s need for more housing, a critical component to meeting the State’s Housing Element mandate, which requires San Francisco to build 82,000 new homes over the next eight years. The Mayor reemphasized successful projects including last year's groundbreaking for the Potrero Power Station and re-launching a new phase of housing on Treasure Island. 

The Mayor outlined other priorities for 2024, to include building on the momentum of Muni’s transit recovery and reliability, early childcare and education, San Francisco’s progress of reaching a goal of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, and delivering basic City services for San Franciscans more equitably, quickly, and efficiently. 

Mayor Breed also heralded the voters support from Tuesday’s election and rejected the notion that San Francisco has abandoned its values. 

“Building homes and adding treatment beds is progressive,” said Mayor Breed. “Wanting good public education and an effective police force–valuing the safety of our seniors in Chinatown and the Bayview, our immigrant and working families in the Tenderloin –is progressive. We are a progressive, diverse city–living together, celebrating each other: LGBTQ, AAPI, Black, Latino, Palestinian and Jewish. That has not changed and it will not change. 

Mayor Breed gave her address at the Pier 27 Cruise Terminal, a location on the waterfront of San Francisco that welcomes visitors from all over the world. This is her sixth annual address. The previous events have been held at the LGBT National Center for the Arts, San Francisco City Hall, Moscone Center, Mission Rock, and Pier 70. 

For the complete text of Mayor Breed’s State of the City Address, please visit this page. Video of the event may be found on the Mayor’s YouTube page.