Will the closing of the flagship Whole Foods store on Market Street in San Francisco impact the precious shopping habits of progressives who like to munch on first-rate delicacies as they talk woke politics?
Can you be starving and still be woke?
Believe it or not, in San Francisco there’s an openly gay Democrat brave enough to challenge the woke status quo.
The closing of Whole Foods made international news with CNN saying the company shut its doors because it had concerns for worker safety. The safety factor mentioned here includes retail theft, or shoplifting, as well as San Francisco’s huge adjacent drug market — syringes on the street, rampant homelessness (and the crimes concurrent with that) — in short, the typical baggage that comes with big Democrat cities.
DailyMail.com weighed in on the Whole Foods story with a feature detailing how progressive district attorneys in cities like Chicago, New York, Portland, Philadelphia and California are to blame for such closures because they have effectively legalized shoplifting by either slapping shoplifters on the wrist or not prosecuting thefts under $950.
The closure of these stores, including a number of Walmart stores in Chicago’s south and west sides, all come with Democrat signatures.
The Daily Mail also quoted a Walmart CEO who said that the store decided to shut 17 of its outlets across nine states because theft and shoplifting was “the highest it’s ever been around the country and if it did not slow down, stores would have to close.”
San Francisco’s Whole Foods is located in the Tenderloin district, a part of the city made famous for its musical scene, and where Dashiell Hammett wrote The Maltese Falcon. Today that history is being replaced by the devastation caused by big-city Democrat policies.
Whole Food’s closing was such a shock to the city that an openly gay member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors took a step back from the Golden Gate Left agenda book when he announced a proposal to change the city charter in order to benefit police.
Supervisor Matt Doresy, who represents the mid-Market area where the store is located, told SFGATE that Whole Foods’ closing resulted from what one might expect: “Retail theft and individuals suffering from mental illness and or substance abuse having outbursts in the store.”
Voicing his extreme disappointment at the closure, Dorsey nevertheless admitted that he’s “seen a lot of issues of people acting out and shoplifting” in Whole Foods.
Then Dorsey dared to do what no other Board of Supervisors member dared to do: he revealed that he is working on a charter amendment that would mandate a minimum number of police officers in the city.
To leftist ears, this is sheer heterodoxy.
Dorsey’s call immediately aroused the poisoned antennae of hard-core leftists.
His proposed charter amendment would require the approval of San Francisco voters in the next citywide election (March 2024) rather than a simple approval by the Board of Supervisors. But leftists on the board are leery of increasing the size and funding of the city’s police department, and this means that Dorsey is in for a fight.
If the board approves the amendment, the proposed change will be on the ballot, but if it is not approved, Dorsey says he is ready, along with his co-sponsor, District 2 Supervisor Catherine Stefani, to collect signatures to have the question on the ballot.
“I’m committed to do it if I have to,” Doresy says. “I think I have the support for it. I’m not facing my own election for a few years and I’m happy to do the heavy lifting.”
In 2020, caught up in the defund-the-police madness following the death of George Floyd, San Francisco joined many other Democrat cities when it diverted funds from police. Mayor London Breed, in an announcement on July 31, 2020, said: “We will redirect $120 million from law enforcement to support these priorities over the next two years, Let me repeat that. This is $120 million.”
The mayor’s plan was to redirect that money into “addressing disparities in the Black community.”
“With this budget, we are listening to the community and prioritizing investments in the African American community around housing, mental health and wellness, workforce development, economic justice, education, advocacy and accountability,” Mayor Breed stated.
One year later, in 2021, Mayor Breed reversed course when she announced that “compassion cannot be mistaken for weakness or indifference.”
Breed then announced that more police officers would be deployed to “address the unacceptable level of crime in our city, namely the Tenderloin.”
In what then seemed like a giant mea culpa to the city, 200 vacant police positions were filled for the 2022-23 fiscal year, and funds were added for officer retention bonuses.
The current “thing” in left progressive cities is to take much of the sting out of traditional police work (keeping order) by redirecting it into counseling roles, especially when it comes to mental health and substance abuse issues. Dorsey, who worked as the press spokesperson for the San Francisco police prior to his appointment to the Board of Supervisors by Mayor Breed, reiterates that a police department’s job is to keep order, even in cases of addiction-driven theft.
Dorsey, who has always been a Democrat and who publicizes his HIV-positive status, has formidable enemies among San Francisco’s progressive communities.
He first fell out of favor with the leftists when he and Mayor Breed refused to march in San Francisco Pride 2022 after organizers banned police officers from marching in uniform. It was only after Pride reached a compromise with the police that he and the mayor agreed to march.
For Dorsey to go against the rainbow mafia within the LGBT community was no small thing. For an urban gay man, and especially a politician, this can be social suicide. (The gay press will ignore you and you’ll be shunned by gay paparazzi in search of glossy PR photo ops.)
Just last year in my own city of Philadelphia, Pride organizers banned police officers from the event.
“Cops are there to protect and serve systems that have historically oppressed and marginalized us,” Philadelphia Pride Collective’s leading organizer Abdul-Aliy Muhammad told one publication. “It’s clear and simple to me that cops are just not healthy for our communities.”
Dorsey was slammed by city leftists earlier in 2023 for his proposal to change the city’s sanctuary city policy. His call to end protection for undocumented immigrants charged with a violent or drug-dealing felony including fentanyl-dealing convictions was met with angry resistance.
An immigrant advocacy group, FREE SF Coalition, spearheaded a rally in response to Dorsey and DA Brooke Jenkins’ plan to rescind a policy that grants illegals some protections from deportation.
“We’re not going to let him do it,” said fellow Supervisor Hilary Ronen. “We’re not going to fall for this age-old attack on immigrants.”
Ronen apparently isn’t aware, or refuses to accept the fact, that over 95% of the opioids being sold on the streets of San Francisco are sold by illegal Honduran immigrants.
This is further proof, indeed, that the Left has its head in the sand not only when it comes to illegal immigration, but the reasons why major businesses are leaving once-great cities like San Francisco.