Voters in San Francisco have recalled the city’s District Attorney, Chesa Boudin, over frustrations involving rising crime, policing, and public safety in one of America’s most liberal cities.
Supporters of the recall raised millions of dollars on a high-profile campaign, claiming the area has become an increasingly unsafe place to live. They further asserted that Boudin wasn’t prosecuting criminals aggressively, which was putting the safety of both residents and visitors at risk.
Boudin’s time in office coincided with response to a frustrating and frightening pandemic, viral footage of brazen theft incidents in retail stores that were highlighted in news stories across the country, significant spikes in organized retail crime, and attacks against Asian Americans in the community. He was also involved in a very public battle with the San Francisco Police Department, which accused his office of withholding evidence in a case against an officer.
Mary Jung, a chair of the recall campaign, stated “San Francisco has been a national beacon for progressive criminal justice reform for decades and will continue to do so with new leadership.” Recall proponents see Boudin’s removal as a sign that the visitors, customers, and employees of San Francisco will once again be prioritized.
The results of the recall echo a common theme heard across the nation regarding the growing impact of issues that include organized retail crime and other serious criminal offenses and the need to take more firm and aggressive actions against those involved. With national polls indicating that Americans are increasingly concerned about ORC and other violent crimes, new task forces are being created, new legislation is being introduced, public-private partnerships are growing more prevalent, and community leaders are facing increasing pressure to respond.
The results of the recall could have implications in other parts of the country as well, with communities continuing to voice their growing frustrations in the face of crime and violence.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed will name Boudin’s replacement after the results are certified by the elections office and approved by the Board of Supervisors, likely by the end of the month.