S.F. mayor touts Prop E to fight crime wave plaguing small businesses

Mayor Breed touts Prop E to help fight crime plaguing small businesses

SAN FRANCISCO -- Thursday was busier than usual at Jay Chen's Sweet Mango Dessert Cafe in San Francisco's Richmond District. The business has been the victim of crime multiple times, most recently in November.

"They took some change, like quarters, but they also took their ordering system for Door Dash or Uber Eats," Chen said through an interpreter.

To try and help them get back on their feet, the nonprofit Dear Community organized what they call a "Bite Back" -- a gathering where people from around the city are encouraged to stop by and support the business.

"We wanted a quicker way for people to help so a unique aspect of this, other than bringing people to support the business, is that we set up a GoFundMe for the business so -- if you cannot make it, if you're not in San Francisco -- you can donate and all the donations go to the business," said Amy Lee, founder of Dear Community.

On this night, the event had a special guest.

Mayor London Breed stopped by to show her support for small businesses dealing with crime and to promote her support for Proposition E, a measure on this year's ballot that looks to broaden police powers by allowing them to use more technology like drones and cameras and to pursue suspects even in non-violent crimes.

"Prop E is directly a result of the challenges that the officers are experiencing in doing their job and our desire to provide the tools necessary to make change with the department," the mayor said. 

Some privacy advocates have concerns about the data police could collect with these broadened powers.

But, at this event, Mayor Breed was in a room of supporters, many thankful the mayor was making crime against small businesses a priority.

"He really appreciates us showing up and he thinks it's really heartwarming and he truly believes that, if we keep showing up as a community, public safety will get better," Chen's interpreter told KPIX. 

Break-ins are common enough that Dear Community hosts fundraising events for businesses like this often.

They say they're hosting another event this weekend at a restaurant in the Tenderloin.

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