San Franciscans Get What They Voted for With Chesa Boudin
It is really impossible to tell what the impact of Mr. Boudin's policies are on crime as he took office just before Covid hit. But he promised to reduce carceration (the amount of people in jail) and reduce violent crime. According to the SFPD dashboards and the FBI he did this, albeit modestly. Murders are up 15% from an 70 year low in 2019, but they are up 30% in the average of the 25 largest cities in America. Property crime is overall up, especially burglaries.
There is an effort to recall him, financed mostly by a $2.5M in GOP and out of town money from a PAC called "Citizens for a Better San Francisco." Due to the reporting requirements of PACs, we won't know the funding until December but we do know who gave to them in 2020. The first attempt to gather signatures to recall him failed. It was a more grassroots effort. Even in San Francisco, $2.5M is a lot to spend on signature gatherers.
The leaders of the recall movement are pretty far out of the mainstream of San Francisco politics. One of the leaders, Susan Reynolds accused Scott Wiener of being a pedophile for his support of AB 145. This was an act that normalized penalties for vaginal and anal and oral sex among young adults and teens. [https://sd11.senate.ca.gov/sb145] As Scott told me, "I am against the recall, which is led by the worst San Franciscans. As you know, I did not endorse or vote for Boudin, but he is doing the job that San Franciscans sent him there to do. A recall is not appropriate here and should be reserved for the most egregious of circumstances." It should be noted that Scott does endorse the recall of three members of the Board of Education.
I predict that the Moderates in San Francisco (the "conservative" wing of San Francisco politics, who are all liberal Democrats) will sit this one out, while the "Progressives" (the group further to the left), will all support Boudin. I am a long time observer and participant in SF politics, having knocked on doors and manned phone banks since at least 1993. This one is still to early to call, but its odds are pretty long.
I personally feel that Boudin should get a chance in a more normal post-Covid world to try and implement his policies, which are novel. The current criminal justice system is rife with corruption, cronyism and blatant discrimination and that is a national problem, not just a local thing. Public sector unions just don't have the public's best interest in mind, and this is particularly a problem with Police Unions who have so much power. I am skeptical that Boudin can change things, but he got elected to give it a try and he should get that chance.