Former Mayor Mark Farrell Launches Campaign for Mayor of San Francisco

The 44th Mayor of San Francisco is running on a vision and platform that puts San Francisco’s families and diverse communities first; calls for hiring a new Police Chief and no budget cuts to public safety, and announces plans to clear tent encampments and address the drug crisis

San Francisco – Former Mayor Mark Farrell launched his campaign for Mayor of San Francisco today. Mayor Farrell announced new policies that put San Francisco’s families and diverse communities first and will address and improve public safety, street conditions, homelessness, the drug dealing and overdose crisis, and economic vitality. Farrell shared more details at a 10:00am PT press conference surrounded by his family and supporters across San Francisco.

“I am running for my family and for families across San Francisco. I am running for Mayor because I am the only candidate with the right experience, policies, and track record of leadership inside of City Hall to turn San Francisco around,” said former San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell. “People don’t feel safe, the conditions of our streets have never been worse, downtown has collapsed, and we’re the butt of jokes across America. San Francisco cannot afford another four years of Mayor Breed. I will be a bold and decisive leader that makes San Francisco a place we are all proud to call home again.”

San Francisco faces enormous challenges and over three-fourths of voters believe the City is on the wrong track. Under five years of failed leadership from Mayor Breed, public safety and crime have become the consistent top concerns of voters, tent encampments and overdose deaths have skyrocketed, entire neighborhoods are being held hostage by drug dealers, downtown office vacancies are the highest ever recorded while our economic recovery is one of the slowest in the nation, and the City faces a nearly $1 billion structural budget deficit.

“I am running on a vision for San Francisco where people feel safe, families are a priority, and the sidewalks belong to everyone, and for a City that is vibrant and thriving economically in all neighborhoods,” said Farrell.

Mayor Farrell announced new policies today to help bring his vision for San Francisco to life, including:

Public Safety:

  • Hire a new Police Chief who inspires San Francisco’s police force and can help improve the recruitment and retention of officers
  • No budget cuts to public safety departments and services
    • Mayor Breed has directed all City departments to provide 10% cuts for this fiscal year
    • While the City budget grew approximately 30% over the last five years, the Police Department has only grown by approximately 15%, and San Francisco is down over 500 police officers during that period
  • Massively increase police staffing by:
    • Aggressively hiring transfer officers from other Bay Area cities
    • Reconstitute a program to allow retired officers to come back to work without hurting their pension
    • Flood the police academy with new recruits (when Farrell was Mayor and Budget Chair, the City funded an average of five academy classes a year with an average of 50 recruits versus three academy classes a year under Mayor Breed, with the last class coming in at only 19 recruits)
  • A zero-tolerance approach and policy for all crime in San Francisco:
    • Enforce all existing laws and publicly back the Police Department to do so

Street Conditions, Homelessness, and Drug Crisis:

  • Clear all large tent encampments within the first year in office
    • As Mayor in 2018, Mayor Farrell cleared all large tent encampments in six months and will do it again
  • Launch a 24/7 centralized intake center in the first 100 days in office that helps homeless individuals get off the streets and connected to services and shelter, while streamlining and improving coordination among City departments
  • Immediately audit all homelessness spending to ensure no wasteful spending by the City and non-profit organizations
  • Shift from a narrow-minded housing-first approach to a shelter-first approach because San Francisco can’t just build itself out of the homelessness crisis
  • Rapidly expand access to emergency shelter by directing unspent and unallocated capital funds for permanent supportive housing to dramatically increase shelter capacity
  • Restore and expand Homeward Bound program, increase local operating subsidy program grants, and more aggressively use the shelter system
  • Mandate treatment-focused detention and a connection to services for individuals who are revived with Narcan on City streets
  • Create a dedicated sober housing plan with strict enforcement zones to provide more opportunities for abstinence-based recovery
  • Restore the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services to ensure that the Mayor’s office is providing direct constituent services to residents and neighborhoods again
  • More Bigbelly type trash cans throughout the City and more frequent pickups

Economic Vitality:

  • Create new tax incentives and programs across the City’s economic engines, including the Financial District, Union Square, Tenderloin, and SoMA
    • Allow sales tax generated in Tenderloin and Mid-Market to be kept in those neighborhoods to be dedicated to public safety infrastructure and services
  • Tax reforms:
    • Exempt every small business making less than $5 million in gross receipts from paying business taxes to support small businesses
    • Provide incentives for businesses that bring workers back into the downtown core
  • Open Market Street back up to cars
  • Recommit to retail in Union Square and make Downtown a destination for San Franciscans and visitors
  • Provide aggressive tax-increment financing and local incentives to speed up the production of housing and help projects pencil in downtown

Mark Farrell served as the 44th Mayor of San Francisco in 2018, as District 2 Supervisor for seven years, and was the longest-serving Budget Chair in the City’s history. Mark is the only candidate with significant private sector experience and has had a successful career over 20 years as an attorney, investment banker, and investor.

As Mayor, Mark cleared all large tent encampments while in office, created a plan to hire 250 more police officers and aggressively fund academy classes, launched a first-in-the-nation specialized street medical team to address and reduce opioid addiction, created more exits to homelessness, and announced a historic commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.

As Supervisor, Mark spearheaded the approval of Laura’s Law to compel treatment for those suffering from mental illness, authored and approved ballot initiatives that cleared tent encampments, addressed the City’s retiree healthcare benefit crisis, provided more funding to public parks, passed the City’s strongest owner move-in eviction tenant protections, and consistently funded family-focused priorities, including public safety and street conditions, to benefit all San Franciscans.

Mark is a San Francisco native, lifelong Democrat, and lives in the Jordan Park neighborhood with his wife and three children. To get involved, or learn more about Mark’s campaign for Mayor, please visit: