A Thursday clip recently went viral of California Gov. Gavin Newsom admitting that San Francisco is being cleaned because “fancy leaders are coming to town,” FOX News originally reported.
The annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit will take place in San Francisco this week and host nearly a dozen foreign leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping. Newsom admitted on Thursday that San Francisco “has to clean up the house” because of the publicity the event will bring to city, according to FOX News.
“I know folks say, ‘they’re just cleaning up this place because all those fancy leaders are coming into town’ – that’s true because it’s true,” Newsom said on Thursday. “I’m so excited about showing this place off to 21 fancy foreign leaders from around the world.”
“Anytime you put on an event, by definition, you have people over at the house – you got to clean up the house,” Newsom said. “21 foreign leaders, you got tens of thousands of people coming from around the globe, what an opportunity to showcase the world’s most extraordinary place.”
Sweeping clean-up efforts in San Francisco began in October; APEC venues were fenced off and homeless encampments were relocated to other areas of the city. City workers cleaned up graffiti and trash and installed decorative pieces near San Francisco’s iconic Market Street, according to The New York Times.
San Francisco residents felt the cleanup was a temporary “band-aid” rather than a permanent solution to fix the city’s problems. “They are just essentially herding the problem around but offering no long-term solutions,” business owner Adam Mesnick told the New York Post. “I’m just outside what they consider the ‘containment zone’ for APEC, so the problem is getting pushed into my area, which is already pretty saturated with drug activity.” “They are very good at creating an illusion and they are very good at performance art,” Mesnick said.
Major retailers have pulled out of San Francisco as the city continues to grapple with a surge of drug overdoses, crime and homelessness. 80% of San Francisco residents said crime is a major issue and only 26% of voters said they would vote for the city’s incumbent Democratic mayor in the next election cycle.
Newsom’s office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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