Crime is so bad near San Francisco’s US Department of Health and Human Services federal building that officials have advised hundreds of employees to work remotely for the foreseeable future.
Citing public safety concerns outside the Nancy Pelosi Federal Building on Seventh Street – which houses several federal agencies including the HHS, the Department of Labor, the Department of Transportation and Nancy Pelosi’s office – officials issued the stay-home recommendation in an Aug. 4 memo to regional leaders.
“In light of the conditions at the (Federal Building) we recommend employees … maximize the use of telework for the foreseeable future,” according to a copy of the memo by HHS Assistant Secretary for Administration Cheryl R. Campbell, and obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle, which notes that the area surrounding the building is home to ‘one of the city’s most brazen open-air drug markets.’
“This recommendation should be extended to all Region IX employees, including those not currently utilizing telework flexibilities,” the memo continues, referring to the federal government’s zone governing California and other Western states.
The memo came on the same day that, according to Axios, President Biden’s White House chief of staff called for more federal employees to return to their offices after years of remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was not immediately clear whether other tenants in the building had issued similar directives. Officials with Pelosi’s office and the Department of Labor said they have been working closely with local and federal law enforcement to ensure safety for their staffers, but they have not advised employees to work from home.
The building has long been a locus of some of the city’s most intractable problems. -SF Chronicle
According to the report, dozens of drug dealers routinely post up on, next to, or across the street from the building, where they operate in shifts as users smoke, snort or shoot up drugs – particularly on the property’s concrete benches, where drug users regularly pass out.
Yesterday, Mayor @LondonBreed said that downtown San Francisco is in “recovery.” In fact, the area around the Nancy Pelosi Federal Building downtown is so dangerous, due to open air drug dealing and crime, that HHS has urged federal employees to work from home. pic.twitter.com/wOFjdTbMsD
— Michael Shellenberger (@shellenberger) August 12, 2023
“The safety of workers in our federal buildings has always been a priority for Speaker Emerita Pelosi, whether in the building or on their commutes,” said a Pelosi spokesperson in a statement. “Federal, state and local law enforcement — in coordination with public health officials and stakeholders — are working hard to address the acute crises of fentanyl trafficking and related violence in certain areas of the city.”
Meanwhile, the owners of one of San Francisco’s most famous department stores, Gumps, have written a scathing letter to city leaders and California Governor Gavin Newsom.
“Gump’s has been a San Francisco icon for more than 165 years,” reads the letter from Chairman John Chachas, who acquired Gump’s in 2018 out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. “Today, as we prepare for our 166th holiday season at 250 Post Street, we fear this may be our last because of the profound erosion of this city’s conditions.”
OPEN LETTER from a San Francisco legacy business. This letter, a full-page newspaper ad published today. It summarizes what majority of residents lament. pic.twitter.com/2WlcSHTrxR
— Richie Greenberg (@greenbergnation) August 13, 2023