UC Hasting Files Suit Against SF Over Tenderloin Conditions

UC Hastings College of the Law is suing the city of San Francisco over sidewalk conditions in the Tenderloin neighborhood. However, this lawsuit isn’t about money, but action.

The Covid-19 pandemic has not been kind to the Tenderloin neighborhood.

“This is a neighborhood that already was in dire straits, and now we are in absolute crisis and absolute free fall,” said Executive Director of Operations at UC Hastings College of the Law Rhiannon Bailard.

The school is part of a coalition of plaintiffs suing the city in federal court over conditions in the Tenderloin that, according to the suit, include sidewalks crowded with tents being used by the homeless and an increase in drug dealing. Bailard says neighborhood residents, both housed and unhoused, can’t live in these conditions:

“We have individuals who are scared to leave their apartments to get their essential supplies. People who can’t navigate the sidewalk and indeed are walking in the street.” said Bailard.

The suit has been filed in federal court, and John Cote with the San Francisco City Attorney’s office says the office will evaluate it.

“The City’s Emergency Operations Center has developed a detailed draft and plan to address the situation in the tenderloin,” said Cote, “and that includes a block-by-block analysis.” 

He says the city is gathering community feedback on that plan, but the plaintiffs in the lawsuit  want a federal judge to compel the city to clean up the neighborhood.