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Native San Franciscan describes 'dystopia' on trip to downtown bar: 'I felt scared'

FOX News logo FOX News 3 days ago Cortney O'Brien
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A native San Franciscan documented the "dystopia" she witnessed while en route to a downtown bar over the weekend in a tweet that went viral.

"Last night I went to a bar in downtown San Francisco," Michelle Tandler wrote on Sunday. "It looked like a dystopia. I saw hundreds of people folded over (likely high on Fentanyl), or sitting on the sidewalks smoking. Almost every person looked homeless. I felt scared to park and walk two blocks."

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Tandler continued detailing her journey, saying the scenes in nearby neighborhoods were just as upsetting.

"I took a drive down Mission street and saw tent after tent, person after person sleeping on the sidewalk," she wrote. "The Tenderloin & SOMA were the same. FiDi didn't have any tents (probably because the high-end property managers send in power washers at night). It was beyond sad." 

Tents line the sidewalk of a San Francisco street. Fox News Digital / Jon Michael Raasch © Fox news Digital / Jon Michael Raasch Tents line the sidewalk of a San Francisco street. Fox News Digital / Jon Michael Raasch

Tandler later described how she was afraid she'd be "attacked" by homeless men on the street. She also described streets littered with boarded-up windows and vendors selling stolen goods. She said she felt much safer when she was in New York.

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"Most women my age don't drive downtown," she tweeted. "Certainly not alone. But I don't want to let fear rule my life. When in New York I walk alone in Harlem, Queens, Brooklyn. And I don't feel scared. In San Francisco, I do."

"It looks like a developing nation, not the United States," wrote Tandler, who identifies as a "moderate liberal" in her Twitter bio. "This is a shameful state of affairs, and I don't see a plan in place to address it."

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Social media users by and large agreed with her thread, blasting San Francisco leadership in particular.

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In June, San Francisco voted to recall then-District Attorney Chesa Boudin, D. His critics said he implemented progressive policies like eliminating cash bail and was too soft on punishing drug crimes. Boudin's replacement, Brooke Jenkins, reversed many of those policies, but residents told Fox News they didn't feel safer. 

A woman named Susan said she'd seen car break-ins and thefts from local drug stores and said that many homeless people commit crimes for money. 

"We have to have the will to solve it and to solve the problem of homelessness," she said. "But I don't know if there's the will to solve it."

San Francisco Mayor London Breed, D., declared a state of emergency in the city's Tenderloin district in 2021 in response to drug overdose deaths. The city, she said, suffered 650 overdose deaths in 2021 and at least 700 in 2020. 

San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks at a press conference regarding the next steps she will be taking to replace three school board members who were successfully recalled at City Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, in San Francisco, California. (Gabrielle Lurie/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images) Gabrielle Lurie/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images © Gabrielle Lurie/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks at a press conference regarding the next steps she will be taking to replace three school board members who were successfully recalled at City Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, in San Francisco, California. (Gabrielle Lurie/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images) Gabrielle Lurie/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Breed and Supervisor Hillary Ronen announced last week they planned to introduce a bill that would make way for the opening of "Overdose Prevention Sites" in the city, allowing individuals to use heavy drugs like heroin, methamphetamine and fentanyl in a safe and supervised environment where there would be access to wraparound services for addiction, according to NBC Bay Area. The measure would need to be enacted by the Board of Supervisors.

Former drug dealer–turned-activist Ricci Wynne recently spoke out against harm reduction policies and potential safe consumption sites in San Francisco on "Jesse Watters Primetime." 

"[It's] going to make the problem worse," he said. "It's already created such a buzz that people are coming here to San Francisco in droves for what I like to call druggy tourism. They come here because they know the consequences are minuscule if any, and they can come here [and] just use openly." 

People sleep near discarded clothing and used needles on a street in the Tenderloin neighborhood in San Francisco, on July 25, 2019. AP Photo/Janie Har © AP Photo/Janie Har People sleep near discarded clothing and used needles on a street in the Tenderloin neighborhood in San Francisco, on July 25, 2019. AP Photo/Janie Har

Wynne advocated instead for abstinence-based programs.   

"I fear that San Francisco is on the brink of vigilantism," Tandler tweeted. "When home values fall, people will follow their natural urge to protect their families and net worth. It is time for new solutions, or perhaps federal intervention. The anarcho-tyranny needs to come to an end." 

Fox News Digital's Ashley Carnahan contributed to this report.

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