Mayor London Breed Announces Mid-Market Vibrancy and Safety Plan
Increased police presence will combine with community ambassadors to cover every block of the area that stretches from U.N. Plaza to Powell Street
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced the Mid-Market Vibrancy and Safety Plan, which is aimed at creating a safer and more welcoming environment in the Mid-Market and Tenderloin area. The plan includes both a visible increase in police presence to deter criminal activity and a community ambassador program to connect people in need with services, and provide a welcoming presence for residents, workers, visitors, and businesses. Community-based safety ambassadors will be stationed on every block of the area from Powell Station (5th Street) to 8th Street on Market Street and adjacent areas just south of Market Street, UN Plaza, and the Tenderloin blocks bordered by Larkin Street and Eddy Street.
Both the law enforcement and community initiatives will work in tandem to address challenges in the area and coordinate appropriate responses. Funding for this program will be included in Mayor Breed’s upcoming budget proposal and will be supplemented by private funding. However, key aspects of this plan will begin immediately using existing funding. This program will also be supported by new State funding secured by UC Hastings.
“All of our residents and workers deserve to feel safe, and this area of the City continues to face a number of challenges that need to be addressed,” said Mayor Breed. “With this plan, we’re focusing on both addressing the illegal activity that is unacceptable and will not be allowed to continue, while also building up our community presence so that this area is more welcoming, friendly, and accessible to everyone who lives, works, and visits the area. This effort is really a collaboration with support and guidance from the community, especially the many families with children, workers, and senior communities that live and work here. This sustained, focused approach will make a noticeable difference on the street as our City reopens and we continue to move forward with our economic recovery.”
The plan for Mid-Market is to add additional City, private, and community resources so that law enforcement personnel and community ambassadors are visible and active in the area. It will be composed of two main efforts:
Community-Based Safety Ambassadors on Every Block
This initiative will support the Mid-Market/Tenderloin Community-Based Safety Program, a collaboration between the Mid-Market Business Association, Tenderloin, Mid-Market and Civic Center Community Benefit Districts (CBDs), Urban Alchemy, BART, SFMTA, San Francisco Public Works, and San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) to coordinate daily management of cleaning and safety services in the targeted Mid-Market area. Every day, community ambassadors will be stationed on each block of the area for 10-12 hours per day, to engage with residents and visitors, support people in need and connect them with services, address safety issues, and support the cleanliness of the area. These ambassadors, provided by Urban Alchemy, will work in coordination with other City initiatives, including the Healthy Streets Operation Center, the new Street Response Teams, and others to ensure the appropriate response for different situations that may arise. With existing funding, the program will launch June 15, 2021.
Increased Public Safety Presence
Beginning immediately, the SFPD will also increase deployments in the area, including foot patrols, motorcycle and bicycle deployments, and officers on horseback. They will focus on providing a visible presence in the Mid-Market, UN Plaza, and Tenderloin areas. The strategy will embody multiple objectives outlined in the SFPD Community Policing Strategic Plan — a key element to emerge from the department’s Collaborative Reform Initiative to be a model of 21st century policing — enabling SFPD officers to collaboratively identify and develop responses to issues that affect local residents, businesses and visitors; to connect individuals in need to appropriate resources when services fall outside the scope of police work; and to increase the visible presence of officers though positive, trust-building engagements with the residents, businesses and visitors they’re sworn to safeguard. In alignment with Mayor Breed’s focus on reimagining public safety, community policing will be the basis of the increased public safety investment in this area, emphasizing community partnerships and proactive problem-solving with mutual respect between the police and the people of San Francisco that they serve.
SFPD will operate this coordinated initiative from a UN Plaza location, where sister agencies and community-based partners will meet daily for updates and information sharing.
“San Francisco residents and businesses made enormous sacrifices over the past year to make our City’s COVID-19 response a nationally recognized success, and nowhere were those sacrifices greater than in our Tenderloin and Mid-Market neighborhoods,” said Chief of Police Bill Scott. “Mayor Breed’s Mid-Market Vibrancy and Safety Plan is another bold step that makes good on our shared civic commitment to come back even stronger than before. For all of us in the San Francisco Police Department, we’re grateful for this opportunity to showcase what community policing and 21st century police reform look like. We’re thankful for our City and community-based partnerships in this endeavor, and I look forward to saying hello to our Civic Center, Mid-Market and Tenderloin neighbors while I’m on my own foot beat patrols there in the coming weeks.”
The police presence and the initial launch of the Community Ambassadors effort will be funded with existing City resources. To sustain the Community Ambassadors efforts for the longer-term, the Mayor is including funding in her two-year budget proposal, including $5 million in the first year and $3.8 million in the second year, while UC Hastings has dedicated $3 million in State funding. Working together in partnership with the Mayor’s administration, UC Hastings has sought and received the support of Governor Newsom, who has included in his May Revision budget proposal an allocation of $3 million over three years to fund Urban Alchemy’s services contiguous to its campus. This financial investment over a three-year period is a significant complement to this initiative.
The police deployment will begin Wednesday, May 19 and the Community Ambassadors will begin June 15 and ramp up to full coverage over the summer.
David Faigman, Chancellor and Dean, UC Hastings: “UC Hastings Law lauds the leadership of Mayor London Breed whose commitment to public safety is resolute and unwavering. We are confident that under the Mayor’s leadership, San Francisco will muster the will and resources to restore the City to the prominence it enjoyed prior to the pandemic. We look forward to continuing to work with the Mayor and her team. UC Hastings commitment is not exclusively monetary; in order to support Urban Alchemy’s operations, the school will provide it with legal services through its Social Enterprise & Economic Empowerment Clinic, enhancing our students’ experiential learning and providing valuable pro bono services to a worthy organization.”
Steve Gibson, Mid Market Business Association: “We are incredibly thankful for the Mayor’s commitment to invest in funding our proposal to bring community based safe programs to the Mid-Market/Tenderloin neighborhood. We strongly advocated for this program and know it will make a major difference. We know that neither employees, nor tourists, nor residents will return unless our neighborhood is both perceived safe and is actually safe. We look forward to leveraging the City’s investment with additional private investment and fulfilling our vision of Mid-Market as a safe and clean business setting that fosters a sense of community, inclusion, and contribution, by and for everyone.”
Lena Miller, Executive Director of Urban Alchemy: “Urban Alchemy has had the honor and privilege of providing safety and service in the Tenderloin and Mid-Market areas for the last three years. We hire individuals with lived experience, including long-term incarceration and homelessness, that provide them with a unique insight and ability to engage with people from every walk of life. The Mayor’s support will allow Urban Alchemy to provide additional work opportunities for individuals who have been disconnected from the workforce, as respected assets and resources for the community, while at the same time improving quality of life for all, including San Francisco’s most vulnerable communities. We are grateful to our Mayor London Breed for having the courage and creativity to invest in new approaches that put the community first and prioritizing job creation for those most impacted by social and economic injustices.”
Simon Bertrang, Executive Director of the Tenderloin Community Benefit District: “The pandemic’s stifling impact on the positive life in our neighborhood has created a new, unacceptable paradigm for our city. This is about giving our communities the calm and confidence they need to recover. This is about our families getting back to school, our seniors walking to the local park, about the businesses that sustain our neighborhoods. We have the opportunity to deliver a new model for public safety in our city.”
Randy Shaw, Executive Director of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic: “This funding is a game-changer. It returns the Tenderloin to the path toward revitalization it was on pre-pandemic.”
Dan Jordan, Sixth Street Resident: “Since mid-2020, the group Urban Alchemy has been patrolling the first block of Sixth Street and Market Street around that area. I have found that it is safer to walk through the area because there are far less drug dealers and users out on the sidewalks and that these people stop those people from hassling other people.”
Eric Brizee, Operations and Facilities Manager at the American Conservatory Theater’s Strand Theater: “A.C.T. supports the Mayor’s efforts to deploy Urban Alchemy in the Mid Market corridor. In 2019, A.C.T.’s Strand Theater was the first site to contract independently with Urban Alchemy for ambassadors to replace security guards at the theater. Their community-focused and non-confrontational intervention methodologies have proven very effective at making the Strand a more welcoming, safer site and will be critical in having audiences return to the Strand.”
Max Young, owner of Mr. Smith’s: “Knowing that the area around my business will become safer for my customers will motivate me to start working on reopening. This makes a huge difference.”