published : 2023-11-11

California City Clears Homeless Population in Preparations for Biden's Summit with Chinese President

Emails reveal deliberate efforts to beautify city ahead of international event

A photo of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

In a surprising move, the city of San Francisco has embarked on a significant effort to remove homeless camps from its streets in preparation for an upcoming U.S.-China summit.

Critics argue that this beautification process is merely a ploy to impress world leaders, but officials claim that it has been an ongoing conversation for months.

California Governor Gavin Newsom defended the actions, acknowledging the correlation between the summit and the cleanup efforts.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed expressed optimism about the economic boost the conference could bring to the city.

While the streets have indeed become noticeably cleaner, the removal of homeless encampments has raised concerns about the displaced population.

An image showcasing the beautiful urban neighborhoods of San Francisco, captured with a Nikon D850.

Emails obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle shed light on the deliberation behind the cleanup, with officials expressing the need to prioritize certain areas and stay on top of growing encampments.

As the summit approaches, it becomes apparent that several areas flagged for cleanup have become tent-free.

The upcoming summit between President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping holds great significance, as it represents their first face-to-face meeting since last year.

The U.S. hopes to address various tensions with China, including issues surrounding Taiwan, Ukraine, and the Middle East.

Meanwhile, San Francisco sees the event as an opportunity to accelerate its post-pandemic recovery, given the challenges posed by remote work and the minimum wage increase for fast food workers.

A photo of California Governor Gavin Newsom planting a tree in one of the newly renovated urban neighborhoods, taken with a Sony Alpha A7R III.

The city has actively encouraged people living on the streets to seek shelter, aiming to reverse its image of decline and capitalize on the APEC summit.

Aaron Peskin, president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, emphasizes the magnitude of this opportunity and the meticulous planning that has gone into it.

Despite the city's efforts, critics like community activist Ricci Lee Wynne anticipate a return to the homeless crisis once the summit concludes, calling for a permanent solution.

The outcome of this summit and the actions taken by San Francisco will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications, shaping the future of international relations and the city's own trajectory.