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### UCSF Law School Files Lawsuit Against San Francisco for Tent and Drug Issues

A homeless settlement can be observed along Leavenworth Street in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco on Wednesday, November 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

By Karen Breslau | Bloomberg

The University of California Law School in San Francisco has petitioned a federal judge to compel its local government to take stronger actions to eradicate illicit drug use and diminish tent settlements surrounding its main campus in the Tenderloin neighborhood.

In 2020, the university initially filed a lawsuit against San Francisco, leading to a settlement that mandated the city to address unsanitary conditions and criminal activities near the campus. However, the university now contends that the city has failed to uphold its commitments.

In a court filing on Thursday, the university stated, “The city has been aware of drug traffickers openly peddling narcotics on the streets and sidewalks of the Tenderloin. Moreover, for years, the city has permitted individuals to openly purchase and consume drugs in the Tenderloin, while remaining visibly under the influence of substances on the neighborhood’s sidewalks and public areas.”

This renewed legal battle coincides with Mayor London Breed’s initiative to repurpose vacant downtown office buildings and retail spaces by promoting the establishment of university satellite campuses.

Mayor Breed’s office reported a 37% decrease in tent encampments citywide over the past six months and highlighted a doubling of drug dealing arrests in the Tenderloin by the police department in 2023.

A spokesperson for the mayor stated, “Mayor Breed has taken proactive measures to tackle encampments and enhance drug enforcement in the Tenderloin, and she remains committed to these efforts. While improvements have been made in the neighborhood, the mayor acknowledges the concerns of Tenderloin residents and businesses and will persist in making the area safer and cleaner.”

In a separate development, the city faced another lawsuit from local residents and businesses regarding the conditions in the Tenderloin.

David Faigman, the Chancellor and Dean of UC Law SF, expressed, “Regrettably, despite assurances of progress and reform, the situation in our neighborhood, particularly with regards to open-air drug markets and tent settlements, persists. The activities that occur daily in the Tenderloin would not be tolerated in any other San Francisco neighborhood.”

The city announced its intent to review the recent legal filings, respond in court, and affirmed its compliance with previous court mandates.

Jen Kwart, a spokesperson for City Attorney David Chiu, stated, “While we acknowledge and share the frustrations of Tenderloin residents and businesses, the city is making strides in reducing crime, dismantling open-air drug markets, and addressing homelessness.”

The legal case involving the university is identified as College of the Law, San Francisco v. City and County of San Francisco, 20-cv-03033, US District Court, Northern District of California.

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