Thought San Francisco’s Quality of Life Couldn’t Get Worse? Think Again
San Francisco garnered national headlines with the election of its new district attorney, a progressive, which means there will be zero progress made in the homelessness crisis, and little if any made toward reducing crime in the city and county.
Chesa Boudin, a one-time deputy public defender who has never tried a case, was elected in a close race, and will assume office in January. Before he had a chance to decide if the new drapes in his office were going to be socialist red or blue state blue, Boudin announced that he would not prosecute quality-of-life crimes such as “public camping, offering or soliciting sex, public urination, blocking a sidewalk, etc.” We assume public defecating on streets and sidewalks, today’s San Francisco “treat,” will also go unprosecuted.
There’s no other way to take Boudin’s statement than as a warning that the quality of life in the city is going to decline. If those crimes aren’t prosecuted, they will increase, and as they do, the living conditions will slip.
Doug Wyllie, a San Francisco resident who trains law enforcement officers, said in an interview that those crimes have largely gone unprosecuted and unenforced for about 10 years. Boudin’s statement, however, codified the practices “essentially as policy.”
Although he said he is reluctant about “predicting the future,” he’s convinced the city “will get worse in the next 10 years.”
It’s no leap to believe that other crimes will grow, as well. Though now a prosecutor, the former public defender’s future appears to be one long irreconcilable conflict with law enforcement. At Boudin’s election night party, Sandra Lee Fewer, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, lifted her middle finger in the air and lead the crowd in a riotous “f*ck the POA (Police Officers Association)” chant. Boudin has not distanced himself from the hate, explaining it away as “an expression of the frustration that so many San Franciscans … feel with the POA’s electioneering.”
Though identified as a progressive, Boudin is much more — less, really — than that. Predictably, and not necessarily inappropriately, he’s been called a red diaper baby. His parents, Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert, were members of the Weather Underground, a domestic terrorist group, according to the FBI, responsible for multiple bombings and the murders of two policemen and an armored-car driver in Nanuet, New York, during a 1981 robbery gone bad.
Boudin learned of his election while flying back to California from New York after visiting his father in prison, who is serving what amounts to a life sentence at the Wende Correctional Facility east of Buffalo. Kathy Boudin was released after 22 years in prison for her role in the crimes. Boudin himself was 14 months old at the time of the murders. He had been dropped off at a babysitter.
Because his parents were sent to prison when he was a child, Boudin grew up with Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. The couple are unrepentant Weather Underground members who went into hiding in 1970 after a bomb intended to kill army officers at a dance in New Jersey instead blew up a townhome in New York’s Greenwich Village.
They turned themselves in a decade later, but “were never prosecuted for their involvement with the 25 bombings the Weather Underground claimed,” says Politico. Boudin role model Ayers, now a university professor, is famous for saying “guilty as sin, free as a bird,” when he learned he and Dohrn were going to avoid justice.
Rather than the sob story of a kid who had to grow up without parents, his is a tale of extremist and revolutionary connections that run deep. Uncle Louis Boudin was a Marxist theoretician. Grandaddy Leonard Boudin was a lawyer who represented Fidel Castro.
Can there possibly be more? Of course there is. Before he went to law school at Yale, Boudin went to Venezuela, where he was a translator for Hugo Chavez’s regime. “Understanding the Bolivarian Revolution: Hugo Chávez Speaks” made it into English thanks to Boudin’s translation talents.
Boudin also authored “The Venezuelan Revolution: 100 Questions-100 Answers,” as well as “Gringo: A Coming Of Age In Latin America,” and “Letters From Young Activists: Today’s Rebels Speak Out.”
All of this is well-documented old news. It’s no accident that San Francisco got exactly what it wanted for now: a radical prosecutor. The regrets will come later.