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Levi Strauss Heir Announces Bid to Become Mayor of San Francisco

'What we are seeing on the streets of San Francisco is not progressive,' said Daniel Lurie

The heir to the Levi Strauss brand will challenge current San Francisco Mayor London Breed. 

Daniel Lurie is a native of San Francisco whose stepfather, Peter Haas, was the former president of the denim brand. Lurie announced his campaign on Sept. 25, stressing the need for change within the city’s government.

“What I learned watching my stepfather and my mom be part of Levi’s is that you need to take care of the community,” said Lurie in a video message. “That was instilled in me by all four of my parents – that you have to be part of the solution.”

“I love this city,” continued the Democrat. “But what we are seeing on the streets of San Francisco is not progressive. We have too many people who have been in power for far too long, doing things the same way they’ve always been done.”

“We need the courage to try to do things differently,” said Lurie. “I’m running for mayor to provide a different type of leadership. A new era of leadership from the outside.”

Lurie called for commission reform, innovative support for the city’s small businesses, and an end to policies that permit open-air drug dealing. He stressed the need for housing, “especially for middle-class families who are the backbone of San Francisco.”

“We have tremendous resources. We have everything at our disposal and yet our streets are unsafe,” he said.

Lurie founded Tipping Point Community, a nonprofit that aims to address poverty and San Francisco’s chronic homelessness, in 2005. Lurie described the organization in his campaign announcement as a group that is “committed to lifting people out of poverty in a measurable way.” The organization has raised more than $500 million as of 2023.

Lurie’s interest in aiding the poor was inspired by a speech given by former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley, who ran for president in 2000.

“Inspired by the opportunity to create change and fight inequity, Daniel joined Bradley’s presidential campaign as a field organizer where he learned to be scrappy, to always have a back-up plan, and to really listen to people,” according to his website. “After the campaign ended, he moved to New York to work for the Robin Hood Foundation, a globally renowned poverty-fighting organization.”

San Francisco has been plagued by rising crime and rampant drug use for years. Residents currently have a 1 in 18 chance of being a victim of violent or property crime and the city is more dangerous than 98% of communities in the state. Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation indicates San Francisco has “one of the highest rates of motor vehicle theft in the nation,” per Neighborhood Scout

In January, the city’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reported there were 620 accidental drug overdose deaths in 2022. San Francisco is on track to have its most fatal year on record with 563 overdose deaths as of Sept. 13. 

The San Francisco Chronicle Reports 

Accidental drug overdose deaths began to spike in the mid- to late 2010s as fentanyl infiltrated the local drug market. Fentanyl can be up to 50 times more potent than heroin and lethal even in very small doses. Just 2 milligrams of fentanyl can be deadly…

In response to the escalating overdose epidemic, the city of San Francisco launched the Street Overdose Response Team, a $11.4 million program that takes overdose-related services directly to the streets. Among those services are offering harm reduction supplies and connecting people to long-term substance abuse care.

Breed’s administration has been criticized for failing to effectively manage and reduce the social crises now prevalent throughout the city. A poll conducted by Probolsky Research in April found 36% of respondents believed Breed was doing a good job as mayor and 57% had an unfavorable view of her. At least 73% of people believed San Francisco was on the wrong track.

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