a move that is alarming San Francisco’s biggest industry, a major
medical association is pulling its annual convention out of the city —
saying its members no longer feel safe.
the first time that we have had an out-and-out cancellation over the
issue, and this is a group that has been coming here every three or four
years since the 1980s,” said Joe
D’Alessandro, president and CEO of S.F. Travel, the city’s
declined to name the medical association, saying the bureau still hopes
to bring the group back in the future.
a rule, major conventions book their visits at least five years in
advance. So when D’Alessandro and members of the hospitality industry
hadn’t heard from the doctors about re-upping, they flew to the
organization’s Chicago headquarters for a face-to-face meeting with its
with good reason: The group’s annual five-day trade show draws 15,000
attendees and pumps about $40 million into the local economy.
said that they are committed to this year and to 2023, but nothing in
between or nothing thereafter,” D’Alessandro said. “After that, they
told us they are planning to go elsewhere — I believe it’s Los Angeles.”
Carlos Avila Gonzalez / The Chronicle
D’Alessandro, president & CEO of San Francisco Travel, says the
city’s troubled street life has driven at least one convention away
from the city.
doctors group told the San Francisco delegation that while they loved
the city, postconvention surveys showed their members were afraid to
walk amid the open drug use, threatening behavior and mental illness
that are common on the streets.
didn’t help that one board member had been assaulted near Moscone Center
was a time when the biggest obstacle to having a convention here was
that it can be expensive, but now we have this new factor,” D’Alessandro
recent years, conventions have hired uniformed off-duty police and
private security officers to patrol around Moscone and the nearby
is San Francisco’s biggest industry, bringing in $9 billion a year,
employing 80,000 people and generating more than $725 million in local
taxes — conventions represent about $1.7 billion of the business.
may not know it, but tourists spend more money outside of the hotel than
inside the hotel,” said Hotel Council Executive Director Kevin Carroll.
“Everything from restaurants to shopping to taking taxis.”
leaders have been meeting with Mayor-elect London
Breed to urge her to increase police foot
patrols and mental health services — and to enforce the quality of life
laws currently on the books.
the meanwhile, D’Alessandro said, the rumbling of discontent continues
from a number of conventions — “even from local tech companies who hold
some of our biggest annual events.”
Poll position: London Breed won
less than 37 percent of first-place votes in last month’s ranked-choice
mayoral race, but a new poll shows at least two-thirds of San Francisco
voters have a favorable opinion of her.
phone and online poll of 635 San Francisco voters found 65 percent of
those surveyed viewed Breed favorably and 24 percent negatively — the
remainder were undecided or had no opinion.
Josh Edelson / AFP / Getty Images
Francisco Mayor-elect London Breed waves to a cheering crowd atop a
float during the San Francisco Pride Parade last month.
also worth noting that 68 percent of men gave Breed a thumbs-up,
compared with 61 percent of women.
think it shows Mayor-elect Breed has very strong support throughout the
city, and voters are excited about her mayorship,” said pollster Ruth Bernstein of
long Breed’s favorable rating will last remains to be seen. The same
poll also found that nearly half those surveyed, or 49 percent,
described the city as being on “the wrong track” — just 36 percent think
it’s on “the right track.”
poll was conducted in English and Chinese from June 17 to 20 and has a
margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percent. The findings were part of
a larger poll done on behalf of unnamed business interests.
Leaning left: Former
state Democratic Party Chairman John
Burton is calling out local party
progressives for taking $10,000 from a major landlord whose business
practices were being challenged by Supervisor Jeff Sheehy —
then using that money to help defeat Sheehy in last month’s election.
stinks,” Burton wrote in a June 26 letter to San Francisco Democratic
County Central Committee chairman David
Paul Kuroda / Special To The Chronicle 2017
Burton jokes with former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at the
California Democrats 2017 State Convention. Burton has called out
local Democrats for using money from a large landlord to work against
Supervisor Jeff Sheehy during last month’s election.
issue is the $10,000 check that leaders of the DCCC accepted from
Veritas Properties to pay for slate card mailers that featured Sheehy’s
opponent for the District Eight seat, Rafael
the party had made progressive candidate Mandelman its No. 1 pick on the
mailers, it left out Sheehy, who also had the group’s endorsement.
subsequently defeated Sheehy in the recent June special election.
say Burton is the last person who should be pointing fingers — given the
state party’s history of taking money from corporations.
(former state) Sen. Burton himself showed us, the party can take money
from people you disagree with and use that money to do what you think is
right,” Campos said.
Burton said, but “we didn’t take money from slumlords. and we didn’t do
it in the name of somebody else.”