Poll: Crime and homelessness has many San Francisco residents wanting to flee

In recent years, San Francisco has become notorious for its growing problems with crime and homelessness. A new poll suggests that that has many of those who live there looking to move.

Released this week by the San Francisco Chronicle, it found that a third of participants said they have plans to leave within the next three years.  

Almost 80% of poll respondents believe the city will either stay the same or get worse

What’s more, the survey also reported that 65% expressed the view that San Francisco has gotten worse since they first moved there.

Fifty-three-year-old Dae Echols was one of the poll’s respondents, and Echols told the Chronicle that he’s planning to get out of San Francisco when he retires.

“I’m getting kind of fed up with the city,” Echols was quoted as saying. “I just remember the hippie generation, and it was all about, take care of your friends, brotherly love. And that is totally gone.”

In addition to showing that many residents want to leave, the poll also found little optimism that San Francisco will improve.

When asked how they expect the city will look in two years, 35% predicted that conditions will be worse while another 43% said they will be about the same. Meanwhile, just a quarter thought the situation will improve.

Anger over San Francisco’s deteriorating quality of life led voters to remove former District Attorney Chesa Boudin in a recall election earlier this year.

Fox News reported that Boudin, who was elected in 2020, became the city’s first prosecutor to be removed from office and only the second to face a recall campaign.

Residents fleeing Los Angeles, too

Interestingly, San Francisco isn’t the only major California city where a large segment of the population seems eager to get out.

Earlier this year, the website New Geography used Census Bureau data to paint a demographic picture of major cities. It showed Los Angeles and its immediate suburbs losing over 200,000 residents between 2020 and 2021.

Some of that exodus is likely due to the work of notoriously soft-on-crime District Attorney George Gascón. Under Gascón’s leadership, Los Angeles saw 397 murders in 2021, up from just 258 in 2019.