Progressive Moderates Plan to Rebuild San Francisco

A moderate shift in party lines might threaten the Golden State’s entrenched progressive politics.

What’s happening: San Francisco — a city burdened with plethoric homelessness, drug usage, and crime — has become a hotbed for moderate politicians. The city’s shifting political landscape underscores the rightward shift of one of America’s most progressive locales.

  • The trend: Moderate political representation is growing in San Francisco, replacing many progressives in power. Trending now: Daniel Lurie — the candidate challenging Mayor London Breed.

San Franciscans speak: Mayor Breed, polling at a dismal 29 percent, was positioned as a “centrist ally” in the past. The 2024 mayoral race in San Francisco will be defined by hot-button issues including homelessness, crime, and cost of living — reshaping the city’s electable policy toward a more moderate outlook.

The call for more business: Many of Lurie’s policy suggestions are considerably right of the city’s standards, such as increased police presence, tax relief, and stricter enforcement of law. Central to his plan is a pro-business agenda that aims to revitalize the city’s economy.

  • But, that doesn’t mean Lurie is campaigning on right-wing talking points. He told Upward News that he intends to address the affordability crisis by building housing “on time, under budget, and with good-paying union labour.”

  • Why? Despite his partly moderate position, Lurie has avoided association with the moderate label. To win a race in San Franscisco against another moderate, the campaign must appeal to progressives, a fact that moderate Democrats will have to reckon with in most cities.

Still, the push for moderate policy is positioned to challenge the Golden State’s long-maintained status as a haven for progressivism — showcasing the decline wrought by activism posing as public policy. California’s state income tax — the highest in the U.S — fueled an exodus that saw over 182,000 people leave the state in 2022, including CEOs of large companies.

  • Hopeful investments? Some ambitious investors are responding to San Francisco’s need for an increased business presence. Their investment could help rebuild the city and provide a needed boost to the commercial real estate market.

Join the conversation

or to participate.