Residents of several of America’s largest Democratic-controlled cities are fleeing the city center due to rising criminal activities and increasing instances of homelessness. According to data gathered, San Francisco, Portland, and Cleveland have seen a rapid decline in downtown activity in recent years when compared to pre-pandemic trends.

The Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley compiled the data on these cities’ downtown activity. According to the information, Portland’s downtown activity was only 41 percent of its pre-pandemic heights in 2019, whereas San Francisco had just 31 percent and Cleveland was frozen at 36 percent of previous levels.

In contrast, other cities are weathering the pandemic much better than these liberal havens. Towns like Salt Lake City in Utah and Bakersfield in California have experienced surges of activity compared to their levels prior to the pandemic in early 2020. Columbus, Ohio, has also seen a rise in downtown activity, with all three of these cities experiencing a surge of more than 110 percent compared to 2019 pre-pandemic levels.

To gauge downtown activity, the researchers tracked people’s smartphone usage in those cities. They were alarmed to discover that Chicago, Detroit, Portland, Cleveland, and San Francisco had very low activity compared to their pre-pandemic highs. By contrast, other cities like Salt Lake City, Bakersfield, Columbus, Fresno in California, and Omaha in Nebraska registered increased activity of 92 percent or more.

Cities with few visitors are also suffering from an epidemic of homelessness, in which drug users openly use needles on the streets in full view of passers-by. I was recently in Portland, Oregon, in August 2022. When I walked past an apparently homeless person who was injecting himself with insulin rather than a narcotic on the stoop of a downtown building, I had been there before.

Meanwhile, San Francisco Mayor London Breed is prepared to end her city’s crime epidemic.

“It’s time for the reign of criminals who are destroying our city. It is time for it to come to an end,” Breed stated. “And it comes to an end when we take steps to be more aggressive with law enforcement, more aggressive with the changes in our policies.”

In Cleveland, Mayor Justin Bibb is attempting to end federal authority over his police department so he may apply a more firm hand against criminality.

“The quickest we can get out of this decree, the better it will be for the police department and the taxpayers,” Bibb told reporters. “I am working as quickly as I possibly can to get out of it.”