Another liberal city is being slammed by its wealthiest inhabitants as increased crime has taken over many large metropolitan areas.
In San Francisco, high crime and a constant lack of security have caused many high-ranking business executives to speak out against the once booming city.
Hamid Moghadam, CEO of Prologis, a San Francisco-based firm, found himself on the wrong end of a gun in the middle of the day.
“This is a gang that does this all the time and they had targeted me from the parking lot,” Moghadam said.
“A car rushed by, stopped right next to me and two guys jumped out with guns pointed at my face,” he recalls the event. “It just happened so quickly, honestly, I didn’t have time to get scared.”
Moghadam, who had his watch stolen in the robbery, started Prologis 40 years ago in San Francisco and has since molded it into a multi-billion dollar real estate firm.
He now worries that the city is “pretty close” to being lost to the rampant crime. “I don’t like saying that but it’s the honest-to-goodness truth.”
He also worries for his employees, who may not feel safe in the city anymore. He says that San Francisco is growing a reputation as an unsafe area of the country.
“I get all kinds of San Francisco jokes when I travel the world. It’s almost embarrassing and that’s the perception and that affects tourism and convention business,” said Moghadam.
According to Jim Wunderman, Bay Area Council CEO, this “perception around crime” is one of the factors keeping workers from going into the office.
In an interview with FOX Business, Wunderman said that many perceive San Francisco as a place where “almost anything can happen anywhere.
And you can be walking down the street doing your own business, and you can be accosted by someone.”
Wunderman shared similar thoughts about the trajectory of the city, and the need to turn around crime before it worsens any further.
“Our work is ahead of us to reinforce the image of San Francisco as a safe, clean, desirable, fun city and some of that has been eroded,” said Wunderman. “If we don’t, then I think it’s going to have a future impact on business in San Francisco and in the region too.”
According to District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, the first step may need to be focusing on repeat offenders.
“You can’t leave Oakland or Santa Clara or San Mateo and come to San Francisco and get away with crime,” said Jenkins.
“The other thing is really partnering with the San Francisco Police Department, jointly working very hard to address the more problematic areas of the city.
We cannot have our downtown be flooded with crime, that’s where most of our engagement is where our conventions are, so we need to be making sure that we are making strategic decisions to address certain bad pocket areas, very quickly.”
They say that the first step to fixing a problem is admitting that you have a problem. If that is the case then San Francisco may finally be on the right track.