- San Francisco has cleaned up its homelessness in preparation for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit.
- The cleanup included power-washing and scrubbing of streets and removal of homeless camps.
- San Francisco Mayor London Breed estimates the APEC summit will bring in almost $53 million to the city’s economy.
San Francisco has taken measures to clean up its homelessness issue in anticipation of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit scheduled for this week. The cleanup comes after California Governor Gavin Newsom visited China last month.
The city underwent a thorough power-washing and scrubbing of its streets, as well as the removal of most of its homeless camps, according to KTVU.
“I know folks are saying, ‘Oh, they’re just cleaning up this place because all those fancy leaders are coming to town,’” Newsom said on Friday.
“That’s true, because it’s true — but it’s also true for months and months and months before APEC, we’ve been having conversations.”
“APEC” refers to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, which is expected to host 20,000 CEOs and heads of state in San Francisco this week. Mayor London Breed has argued that the conference will bring in almost $53 million, which could revitalize the city’s economy.
“Tourism is our business here in San Francisco, and we need to focus on making sure that the tourist dollars still come back,” city resident Patrick Rylee said.
Xi’s visit to California comes amid rumblings that Newsom could launch a last-minute entry into the 2024 presidential race, as some Democrats have expressed concern that President Joe Biden could not win reelection. Recent polls have shown former President Donald Trump beating Biden in a hypothetical rematch.
However, Newsom has denied that his eyes are on the White House next year, stating it is “time to move on” from the speculation of someone besides Biden being the Democratic nominee.
San Francisco’s sudden cleanup of its homelessness crisis for Xi Jinping’s visit is a shameful display of hypocrisy. As city officials scramble to impress the Chinese President, it’s clear that the wellbeing of their own citizens was never a priority. The $53 million APEC summit boost is a mere distraction from the city’s ongoing neglect of its homeless population.
The political ambitions of Governor Newsom, who may enter the 2024 presidential race, further underline the performative nature of this cleanup. San Francisco’s leaders need to address the root causes of homelessness, not sweep them under the rug for foreign dignitaries.
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