Newsom: I’m in campaign mode

Mayor Gavin Newsom, who will give his State of The City address today, said the facts he plans to lay out will prove that San Francisco “is heading in the right direction.”

Newsom, who is up for re-election next month against a field of candidates who do not have his political clout or fundraising capability, said he’s still operating in campaign mode, noting that San Franciscans “don’t like presumptive candidates.”

“We’re an underdog city,” he told The Examiner’s editorial board on Friday.

Newsom said The City is moving forward, adding that there were “areas where we believe we could do better and more, and areas that continue to frustrate us.”

He cited San Francisco’s public transportation system as an example. Muni’s on-time performance, which Newsom said is at 71.9 percent, is up from 65.5 percent in 2001. In 1999, city residents passed a ballot measure that set the on-time goal at 85 percent.

“Am I satisfied? No,” Newsom said. “But the fact is we’re moving in the right direction.”

Newsom also touted a 10 percent drop in overall crime in The City, while adding that “homicides [are] the obvious exception.” The City is on track for having one of its most violent years in a decade, with 88 homicides to date.

“That’s something we’re focused on and deliberative about and we’re committed to doing more and better, and we’ll continue to advance new initiatives and ideas until we finally turn that around,” Newsom said.

Newsom also said he was proud of the fact that his Care Not Cash program — which significantly reduces a homeless person’s general assistance check in exchange for housing — has provided permanent shelter for more than 2,000 people who used to live on the streets.

Then he took a self-deprecating step back.

“We recognize [that] we haven’t solved poverty, we haven’t solved homelessness and we haven’t ended panhandling in The City,” he said. “But we’re heading in the right direction and we’ve turned the corner and I’m pleased.”

Other accomplishments Newsom said he will highlight in his address today include The City’s bustling economy, a decrease in unemployment, increases in housing development, civil-service reforms, environmental strides and a formal partnership with The City’s school district to improve San Francisco’s schools, among others.

Newsom also noted joint accomplishments with the Board of Supervisors — such as a new city program to provide affordable health care access to The City’s uninsured — “in spite of differences.”

Annual State of the City address

Today at 1 p.m.

University of California at San Francisco

Mission Bay Campus Community Center

Robertson Auditorium

1675 Owens St. (at 16th Street)

beslinger@examiner.com

Each day until voters go to the polls Nov. 6, The Examiner lays odds on local figures beating Mayor Gavin Newsom. Check out our exclusive blog: San Francisco's Next Mayor?

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The sidewalk on Egbert Avenue in the Bayview recently was cluttered with car parts, tires and other junk. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
New surveillance effort aims to crack down on illegal dumping

’We want to make sure we catch people who are trashing our streets’

The recall election for California Gov. Gavin Newsom is scheduled for Sept. 14. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF could play a big role in overcoming Democrat apathy, driving voter turnout for Newsom

San Francisco voters are not used to swaying elections. Just think of… Continue reading

Health care workers treat a Covid-19 patient who needs to be intubated before being put on a ventilator at Providence St. Mary Medical Center during a surge of cases in Apple Valley, Dec. 17, 2020. Confronted with surging infections, California became the first state in the country to mandate coronavirus vaccines or testing for state employees and health-care workers. (Ariana Drehsler/The New York Times)
In California, a mix of support and resistance to new vaccine rules

By Shawn Hubler, Livia Albeck-Ripka and Soumya Karlamangla New York Times SACRAMENTO… Continue reading

Dave Hodges, pastor at Zide Door, the Church of Entheogenic Plants that include marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms, holds some psychedelic mushrooms inside the Oakland church on Friday, July 22, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Psychedelic spirituality: Inside a growing Bay Area religious movement

‘They are guiding us into something ineffable’

Most Read