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San Francisco DA Faces Recall Vote, Potential Rebuke of Progressivism

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin faces a recall election in June amid growing dissatisfaction with his progressive policies, the New York Times Magazine reports. While critics assert that Boudin's policies have emboldened criminals and endangered public safety, Boudin responds that since taking office in 2019 his office has focused on violent crimes, with charging and conviction rates have gone up. Still, citizens are growing increasingly tired of rampant thefts that the police have been unable to solve. Boudin has also increased tensions with the San Francisco Police Department by deciding to charge five cases of excessive force by officers, including two involving death. Those cases were the first instances of an on-duty police officer being charged with homicide in the city.

Boudin has not found support from San Francisco's Mayor London Breed, who refused to tell the public how she is planning to vote in the election. Boudin maintains that this is because if he is recalled, Breed will be able to appoint his successor. He pointed out that the recall effort gives Breed an opportunity to shift blame for many of the city's problems, including rampant shoplifting that has caused stores to limit hours and conditions in the Tenderloin District, which Breed has declared an "emergency zone." Boudin says the recall effort is allowed to accept unlimited donations. He says the major donors are Republicans and other capitalists who have an interest in gentrification and propping up the existing state of the gig economy, which Boudin has taken steps to regulate. The recall petition received 83,000 signatures, suggesting some grassroots support. For his part, Boudin claims that those signatures have not been audited or validated beyond a sample, and that signature gatherers can be dishonest when soliciting signatures.


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