San Francisco Chronicle Urges ‘9/11’ Response to Save Downtown from Collapse

San Francisco cable car (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)
Joel Pollak / Breitbart News

The editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle is urging that the city adopt a response similar to that which New York City used after 9/11 to save the downtown, and the entire Bay Area, from economic “collapse.”

As Breitbart News noted last June, the Chronicle had already warned that the downtown area was in danger of “collapse” because of commercial office vacancy, a legacy of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown policies.

The report noted:

On Friday, the Chronicle published an interactive article titled “Downtown S.F. on the brink: It’s worse than it looks.” The article invites readers on a virtual walk through the center of the city highlighting abandoned offices and empty storefronts.

The Chronicle reported: “The downtown area, the city’s primary economic driver, is teetering on the edge, facing challenges greater than previously known, new data shows. The wounds suffered by the economic core are deep, and city officials have yet to come up with a plan to make the fundamental changes that some economists and business leaders argue could make the area thrive again.” Office vacancy is up nearly 300%; convention attendance in the city is down nearly 90%.

Now, the Chronicle editorial board is excoriating local leaders for wasting money on “trying to bludgeon, cajole and pray for office workers to return downtown instead of planning for change.”

Instead, it says:

Even with decisive action, New York couldn’t dig itself out of its post-9/11 hole alone. Generous state and federal interventions were required.

The state needs to intervene and offer San Francisco financial and technical assistance — but it can’t save the city from itself. Local officials need to prove they’re committed to change and present a compelling vision for maximizing state investments.

The editorial board notes that New York used state and federal assistance to turn lower Manhattan from a terrorist wreckage site into a place where new residents filled converted office buildings.

The Chronicle suggests state support for collapsing local transit systems and mental health services for the homeless. It also urges local officials to slash regulations that make it difficult to convert offices to housing.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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