tv Mayors Press Availability SFGTV November 25, 2022 12:30pm-1:01pm PST
union square where the holidays are synonymous with union square. i just want to take a moment to acknowledge all the folks behind me today. it takes a village to ensure that our community is safe vibrant and beautiful as it is today. this time last year, was very difficult for all of us, we were still in the throws of the pandemic and we were coming out of some very challenging times. in fact, throughout the country, we were seeing a rash of retail crime bu. here in san francisco, there was a response like no other. i want to thank our mayor, london breed, our police chief bill scott, for leaning in and ensuring that this was going to be not only a good year but one of the best years that we've experienced since that day here in union square.
soy just want to take a moment to thank them for their leadership and all that they've done. i want to also acknowledge kate of oewd and of rec and park who's park we are in now and all the work that he and his team have done to create this welcoming and safe and enjoyable environment. this work, yes, thank you. [applause] the work that they're all doing is vital to the health of our city. we are in the economic core, union square sits in the economic core downtown and we need our downtown tore thriving and healthy. and they have worked so hard to ensure that it can be so we can continue to support the important services that our city so relies on. this year i'm thrilled to announce that the holidays have done. --begun. if you see behind me, you see
macy's great tree and this is the first year that we're introducing winter wonderful land. after thanksgiving you're going to see a village opening up at holiday plaza, the gateway to union square and where the powell street bart station welcomes our visitors. we want to acknowledge and thank bart for all of their help. in addition we're opening up the subways. today we're having a party to welcome the central subway that will be connecting visitors and welcoming guest back here to union square. so with that, i want to thank you all for being here and i would like to welcome our mayor, london breed. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, marissa and thank you so much for the work that you continue to do to make union square a wonderful attraction for visitors and
people who live here in the bay area. i want to start by saying to all the folks who reached out and asked, mayor are we lighting up the tree and we have not had thanksgiving? and i'll just say, you know, we're so in the holiday spirit this year, more than ever before mostly because we went through a global pandemic. we couldn't come together before. and it was not just that our economy suffered, it was our ability to be together and be around one another and experience the holidays without the concerns like we had in previous years due to covid. and you know, we were anxious to get the holiday started early. so as we move into thanksgiving and move into christmas and hanukkah and all the great holidays that we're going to celebrate, the spirit is in the air. i know often times there are a number of videos that go viral
that try to paint a harsh picture of our beautiful city. but i'm here to tell you, that things have have happened. things are looking up and i'm optimistic and excited about the future. we see hotel occupancy rates increasing, we see more visitors and shoppers in the downtown area. we see retail start to go expand and improve. i'm more excited because we have not had a major toy store in san francisco in a while. and the fact that macy's is investing in having a toy store here in union square is a big deal to the community. when people come to union square and san francisco, i know they want to feel safe. and i know that we have a lot of work to do. but let me tell you about some of the investments, we have a larger, both uniform and you know, those who are undercover, who are going to be out here who have been out here making sure that we are addressing a
lot of the public safety concerns. and i want to thank chief bill scott, all of the members of our san francisco police department and for your work and being out here and being proactive to help keep the public safe. i also want to thank our union square ambassadors, our downtown ambassadors, urban alchamy. we're adding a 150 more ambassadors to the street. the folks you see with the friendly face who are smiling, who are giving you directions, who are dealing with concerns and cleanliness in the area, we have some great people out there doing wonderful work. we also in our ambassador team, retired san francisco police departments who have been really extraordinary and wonderful to address some of the opinion safety concerns. we'll have another 150 ambassadors in the streets of san francisco adding more eyes
and ears ot streets. we're also going to be enhancing the clean up, making sure that we're power washing and cleaning the streets. making sure that the streets smell good. i know that is important to visitors as well. so i'm excited about that, but i also want to say that bart and muni have partnered to make sure that we have ambassadors and support in those stations as well. so in addition to those who want to drive, you can take muni, you can take bart and you can come here to see a show or come here to shop or visit one of our amazing restaurants. the other thing that i'm excited to announce, which i know many drivers would love to hear, we plan to offer one hour free parking in union square garage. [applause] in addition to that, i want to thank phil park and rec for the work that they're doing to address some of the safety
concerns in a number of our garages, there will be more people, more eyes and ears in spoez spaces paying attention to what is happening here, to make sure that we keep you and your belonging safe. a lot of work to do and we know that, things are going to look up for the city this holiday season. i'm looking forward to it, this tree and ice skating rink, but also we know that there have been some vacancies in our downtown corridor. we've gotten rid of some of the bureaucratic that make it difficult to deal with the pop up, things that will be temporary will you will make the experience a downtown even better, working with our artist community. so you may see somebody having a good time and wonder what is going on here. and it may be one of our local
artist, whether it's a visual or performing arts, that is what you can expect downtown. it's going to be fun and exciting and it's going to be a little chilly but the sun is clearly shining today and inviting you back downtown. this is a great place, but also this is an important place. this is an important place to the economic stability of san francisco. making sure these jobs and retail and in our hotels and our restaurants, exist and thrive is also equally important. we are here for not just the residents who live in san francisco but the residents all over the area and people who visit us from the u.s. and other countries. we're here to uplift san francisco and make sure that you leave this area and any part of san francisco with a great experience. i want to thank you all for being down here today. we want everyone to know that
we got eyes and ears on the streets, so we plan to make this one of the best and safest times during the holiday season for those that come to san francisco yet. and at this time, i want to introduce our chief of police, bill scott. [applause] >> thank you, mayor breed. good morning, everybody. i want to start my remarks with thanks to mayor london breed. a year ago, almost a year ago today, mayor breed and i stood right over there, right behind these cameras, after one of the worse nights that we've had in a long time in the city. i don't want to regurjitate that story but what i want to highlight is what happened that day and afterwards because of
the leadership of this mayor. i was angry, quite frankly, i was sick to my stomach. and the impact that that left to the people that come here to work and shop and the damage that it did to my city worldwide. mayor, we made a promise that day, that things would change. and i stood behind her to make sure that we delivered. and when i say we, i'm talking about all the people that you see back here and the people behind you. we as a community, had to deliver her promise to make this community and this city safer. i will say, we still have work to do but i'm going to share a story about what has happened in the last year. first of all, i want to thank all of our law enforcement partners. we have our chief park ranger
is here. director of rec and park is here today. you heard about our ambassadors and the mayor has committed more investment to our ambassadors. i want to call the police ambassadors. these are people that dedicated that came back to help at a time when we need it the most. working with the union square alliance, which is one piece that had to happen when the mayor made that promise. but i want to tell you something, through all of that adversity and the disgust of what happened that night t brought us altogether in a different way. because this is our city. this is the place we love and we call home. so here's what happened since then, i'll speak for the san francisco police department. and you're going to hear from
our incredible district attorney jenkins who i am glad to call a partner. here's how we delivered on the mayor's promise. employment was an issue, we quadrupled deployment and at times that deployment increase has been exponential. during the holiday season, last year, you could not come to this area without bumping into a police officer and guess what? that's what will happen this year. we have officers out that you will not see but they're out there for a purpose and that is to arrest people who don't get it. that's when people try to rob after people spend their hard earned money and we want to send a message that that will not be tolerated in the city of san francisco. hear me clearly.
with we doubled the size of the theft unit. and this is the result, we have cases 82 or more with charges pending or about to be filed. they're not only hitting san francisco, but they're hitting throughout the region. that's because of the mayor's commitment. we got an overtime budget that restores some of the overtime that we lost in 20-21 and that helped us deploy officers not only to this community but all over the city. i'm not going to sit here and tell you that everything is perfect because it's not. we rolled up our sleeves and we still have work to do. but that work will be done as a team. that work will be done with a vision of mayor breed and i'm so proud to be part of that work. we have what we call force multiplier, these are people like reserve officers and like this command post vehicle that
you see sitting here, that help us send the message that public safety is important to this city. we care. and i think more important than anything that was said a year ago when the mayor stood there, we had to remind people that we care and it matters because this is our city. so i'm going to end by saying this, it ain't perfect, but things are better. there is a difference here, there is optimism here. last year, we were dealing with people scared to come to work. we were dealing with people scared to come here and shop. after that proments and adjustments that were made, we had record numbers in terms of people coming here to shop
because they felt safer. we cannot and will not let that go. i can sit here and quote statistics here all day long, but if you don't come, none of that matters. and we want to tell you, that when you come here, we want to you feel safe because you're safe. thank you for from so many members until the community, who said, you know what, sfpd and all of your officers, sworn and not sworn, we support you. thank you to the board of supervisors who increased our budget so we can bridge some of our staffing. thank you to mayor breed for provieeding the leadership. thank you to our district attorney, for holding people accountable. thank you to our business community for stepping up and supporting us. thank you to the media for telling our story. but here's one thing, we will
control our narrative in the city because the narrative that has been put out about this city is misleading and it's wrong. i live here, this is my city, my family live here, this is my their city. everybody behind this, podium, this is our city. and this is a beautiful city and we want the world to know it. thank you and with that, i want to introduce our district attorney, rick jenkins. [applause] >> good morning, i'm excited to be here, not just as your da but as a san francisco resident who enjoys bringing my children to this area. they love the tree and they love to ice skate so i'm excited for them to experience the winter wonderful. i want to start by thanking chief scott and mayor breed who have been amazing partners to
put us on track towards a safer san francisco. i also want to thank marissa rodriguez the president of safety alliance who has been big a part and made sure that myself and my office understand the concerns so we can address those concerns and make sure that businesses in our city thrive. i think for the first time in a long time, we've realized the connection between law enforcement and the district attorney's office and our san francisco economy. we can't allow our businesses to be ravaged, the rampant theft to go on and expect them to stay. we need to do better to protect, not only those businesses but the thousands of jobs that they provide to both san francisco and bay area resident who need the ability to take care of their families. and it's our job to make sure that we protect these businesses and the jobs that
they provide as well as the experience that they give, because if you're anything like me, i love a little bit of retail therapy. and we need to make sure that we're protecting the businesses in san francisco so that we have access to be able to shop, to be able to unwind, to join together during the holiday period and share that joyous occasion by the gifts for the family members. i want to be clear today, that the lawlessness and the organized retail theft that we saw this time last year, will not be tolerated under any circumstance. the days of there be free passed for that type of conduct are gone and anyone caught engaging in such conduct will face consequences. this is a new day! [applause] we will do our jobs to protect
these businesses and to protect our citizens and our visitors. and a part of that comes with restoring accountability. like i said, i thank chief scott for everything that they're doing to make sure na anyone who chooses to engage in crime is caught because that's the first step, and what i will promise the city is that there will be accountability on the back end. we will not focus on charging but accountability because that's what has to be restored and that's what i promised to the city to bring back. so i again, i'm just excited to be here, thank you to all the ambassadors who are going to support our city and the police department in making sure that our resident sxz shoppers feel safe. and i look forward to celebrating this holiday season with all of you. [applause] >> good afternoon, everyone i'm john sparks and i'm the store manager here at macy's union square.
and i want to start by thanking a few people, jenkins and chief scott and mayor breed and all they're doing to keep the area safe. we are so excited for all of the holiday tradition that's are coming back this year that mean so much for san franciscoian and all of our visitors, including our windows that will come back with live animals. santa's will return to macy's on black friday and we have a toys r us location here. so we're so excited for everything that is happening this holiday season, for our community and thank you to all of our community partners and everything they're doing to keep us safe. thank you so much. [applause]
>> okay, wow, talk about leaning in. i want to thank again all of our law enforcement partners for being here, our district attorney, brooke jenkins, our police chief bill scott and our mayor, mayor london breed, when the lights go on which she have, it means the holidays have begun and it's going to be an incredible holiday season this year. thank you for all of us for coming out. thank you for the alliance team for all you do. the cda, i know is here representing. thank you all and let's have a wonderful holiday season. [applause] mayor's