John Chachas, CEO of Gump’s, a historic luxury department store in San Francisco, publicly criticized city and state leadership for the area’s deteriorating conditions. In a bold move, Chachas penned an open letter published as a full-page ad in the San Francisco Chronicle, urging officials to abandon their “destructive” and “failed public policies.”
OPEN LETTER from a San Francisco legacy business. This letter, a full-page newspaper ad published today. It summarizes what majority of residents lament. pic.twitter.com/2WlcSHTrxR
— Richie Greenberg (@greenbergnation) August 13, 2023
Addressing Governor Newsom, Mayor Breed, and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Chachas expressed concern over the current state of the city. He lamented the erosion of San Francisco’s livability and voiced apprehension that the iconic Gump’s could be facing its last holiday season at 250 Post Street after 165 years of operation.
Chachas pointed out that San Francisco has fallen victim to a “tyranny of the minority,” where the actions of a few jeopardize the livelihood of the majority. He emphasized the detrimental effects of COVID policies advising people to work remotely, as well as the numerous destructive strategies employed by the city. These include allowing the homeless population to occupy sidewalks, openly distributing and using illegal drugs, harassing the public, and defiling the streets.
The CEO argued that such a disregard for civilized conduct has rendered San Francisco unlivable for its residents, unsafe for employees, and unwelcoming to visitors from around the world. Earlier this year, it was reported that the city alone had over 7,754 homeless people, with approximately 4,400 of them sleeping on the streets, in tents, or in vehicles.
Chachas called upon the Governor, the Mayor, and the City Supervisors to take immediate action. He urged them to clean the city streets, remove homeless encampments, enforce city and state ordinances, and restore San Francisco to its standing as one of America’s shining beacons of urban society.
While expressing support for compassionate efforts to help those in need, Chachas emphasized the need to abandon failed public policies and refocus on restoring the city. He closed the letter by reaffirming the commitment of San Franciscans to Gump’s and their love for the city, while urging city leadership to find their way back from their current path.
Chachas has previously spoken out against city leadership for the rise in rampant crime in 2021. He expressed concerns that the deteriorating environment posed challenges for businesses and discouraged visitors from coming to the city. Despite these challenges, Chachas emphasized that Gump’s remains open and ready to welcome visitors, other San Franciscans, and patrons who hold the city dear. However, he firmly stated that the current leadership of the city has lost its way.