< Back to All News

Most Americans and SF Bay Area residents believe San Francisco is in a doom loop

But most believe New York and LA have worse economic and criminal problems

SAN FRANCISCODec. 5, 2023 – The SF Press Club announced most people think San Francisco is in a doom loop, a cycle of self-perpetuating economic decline. The results come after the SF Press Club partnered with ABC7 and the San Francisco Standard to host “Take Action San Francisco: Real Answers for a Better Bay Area,” a LIVE town hall event streamed by ABC7 on Dec. 4. Panelists included San Francisco Mayor London Breed, District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, and Police Chief William “Bill” Scott. Hosted by ABC7’s Reggie Aqui, Lyanne Lenendez, and Phil Matier, the town hall will be televised on ABC7 KGO-TV Dec. 9 at 9:00 PM and Dec.10 at 6:00 PM. 

The SF Press Club worked with Bospar PR and Propeller Insights to survey 2,011 adults representative of the U.S. as well as 536 adults representative of the SF Bay Area. Polling was conducted between Nov. 23 to Nov. 28.

When asked, “do you believe San Francisco is in a doom loop,” 64% of Americans said yes, with 59% of people from the Bay Area agreeing.  

“What’s interesting is where this perception comes from,” said Curtis Sparrer, president of the SF Press Club and a principal of Bospar PR. “Only 17% of people from outside of the Bay Area say they came to that conclusion from visiting. The rest say they drew that conclusion from traditional media, social media and word of mouth.”

Both national and local respondents named Fox News as the outlet that attacks the SF Bay Area the most. In fact, most respondents say the media in general is biased toward advancing a certain political agenda. But when the media attacks San Francisco, the number one complaint is about the area’s homeless problem, followed by drug use and the high cost of housing. The doom loop came in fourth.  

While people in the SF Bay Area believe they live in the region impacted by the doom loop the most, the nationwide picture is different. Americans named Detroit as having the worst doom loop problems, followed by Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, with San Francisco coming in fifth. When asked which city seemed to gain the lion’s share of media attention, Detroit came in first, followed by Chicago, New York and San Francisco.    

A similar perception occurred over violent crime. While people in the SF Bay Area believe they are most impacted by it, Americans said Chicago was the city with the worst problem, followed by Detroit, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. San Francisco came in seventh.

When it came to solutions, respondents both nationally and locally agreed the first priority should be to provide housing, food and medical assistance to homeless and poor people. The second: allocate more budget to police and city services, like street cleaning. The third most popular choice was to adopt and enforce strict drug use policies.  


The San Francisco Press Club is a nonprofit organization with 501(c)3 status. It was founded in 1963 to provide a forum for the interchange of ideas and opinions between professionals in the various news and public relations media, providing an organization in which to share fellowship, promote professional competence and knowledge, encourage students entering journalism by offering scholarships, and increase public knowledge of the media through workshops and other exchanges of information.


Curtis Sparrer 


< Back to All News