Mayor ignores San Fran hellhole for a trip to China in pursuit of pandas

You know what would help the crime-ridden, drug-infested, feces-festooned streets of San Francisco?

Pandas. A couple of cute, fluffy, giant pandas.

And, being every bit the leader she is, Democrat Mayor London Breed jetted off to China for a week to bring some of those irresistible rascals home to the San Francisco Zoo.

“According to Breed’s office, the mayor traveled to China for a week-long, multi-city journey that included meetings with government, business and airline officials. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Xie Feng invited Breed to the country during last year’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation conference, which was held in San Francisco,” Fox News Digital reports.

“We think that with increased flights, business opportunities, pandas, the economic opportunities for San Francisco will be significant,” Breed told reporters before her departure.

She returned to Fog City on Sunday with some good news.

Sure, San Francisco is “projected to face a $245 million deficit in the coming fiscal year, which starts in July, and a $555 million deficit in the following year,” according to Axios, but if she can scrape together the cash and Beijing approves, those adorable bamboo bandits will soon be sitting in a California enclosure.

Breed doesn’t know exactly how much getting them to San Francisco will cost her troubled taxpayers, but she’s confident she can make it happen.

“We expect a pair of pandas, and they are hopefully expected to come as soon as we’re able to raise the resources, do all the permitting, continue to work with the wildlife and conservation group in Beijing for all the paperwork,” the mayor told KTVU.

Strangely, not everyone appreciated Breed’s efforts.

“If you asked a thousand San Franciscans what the biggest problem facing the city is, not a single one of them would say that the zoo doesn’t have pandas,” Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher told Fox News Digital. “They would say they’re tired of rising crime, sick of soaring homelessness and fed up with a broken government that ignores the city’s problems.”

“Rather than boosting public relations for the Chinese Communist Party, Mayor Breed should focus on fixing San Francisco’s death spiral,” Gallagher suggested.

California Senate Minority Leader Brian Jones was equally unimpressed.

“Mayor London Breed’s decision to jet off to China in pursuit of pandas while her city grapples with escalating crime and homelessness is a disgraceful evasion of her responsibilities to ensure the safety of San Francisco residents,” he said. “Her misguided focus on photo ops abroad only highlights her utter disregard for the urgent needs of those suffering in her own backyard.”

Crime is an issue in the City by the Bay.

According to Fox News Digital:

In most categories, crimes in San Francisco reported to police declined in 2023 compared to 2022, but not as much as the rest of the country, statistics from the FBI show. In 2023, there were 50,744 crimes reported in the city across all categories. In 2022, San Franciscans reported 54,649 crimes, a 7.2% decrease year-over-year.

However, robberies increased 14.8% in 2023 over the prior year, and motor vehicle thefts went up 6.3% from 2022. So far this year, the city has recorded 11,077 crimes, down 29.7% from the same period in 2022.

 

San Francisco International Airport spokesperson Doug Yakel is backing Breed’s China trip. With the hope that three China-based airlines will do business at SFO, he says increased air travel could mean millions of dollars for the city.

“It’s so powerful what it represents, not only for our airport but for local economies,” Yakel told KTVU. “We look at a single flight, and I’m talking a daily flight between a foreign destination like China and the U.S. to SFO. It can be upwards of $175 million in annual revenue and 1,200 jobs in the Bay Area total, and that’s just one flight.”

Perhaps, but Jones believes Breed should leave the pandas to San Diego.

“[E]veryone knows that the San Diego Zoo is world-famous for their panda exhibit,” Jones said. “Mayor Breed should focus on fixing San Francisco rather than competing with San Diego over pandas.”

Melissa Fine

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