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KCBS In Depth: San Francisco City Issues

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San Francisco City Hall. (CBS)

San Francisco City Hall. (CBS)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Whether it is how to handle the Occupy SF encampment at Justin Herman Plaza or dealing with another huge budget deficit, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has had anything but a quiet first month since his win in the November election.

Mayor Lee said that city officials are still trying to be patient in dealing with the Occupy protesters.

KCBS Interviews San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee:

“We’re still in conversation with the Occupy leaders. We’re trying to maintain good conversations with them,” said Lee. “Consequentially, we don’t have the results that you might have seen in other cities like Los Angeles, Oakland or Davis. We’re being very patient. We’re trying to understand what their long-term objective is.”

Lee said that part of the reason for the proposal to move the encampment from Justin Herman Plaza to the Mission District is that they are trying to work with the protesters and ensure their First Amendment rights.

“We’ve been insisting that if they are going to have an overnight situation, it can’t be in a public space where other people can use it. Obviously, the time is clicking on Justin Herman Plaza. We’ve been very patient to suggest to them that you can’t get any bigger,” Lee said. “We’ve been prescribing some boundaries for them to work with and they’ve been asking us to work with them as well.”

Lee said he is still trying to fully understand the Occupy movement and there are things they are protesting that resonate with him.

Aside for the protests and encampment, he said his main goal in the coming year is to further the San Francisco economy.

“I want to and I need to create jobs for all of the neighborhoods where I visited,” he said. “I went to every neighborhood and held many meetings and everybody asked, can you create jobs and can we have the training to get these new jobs that are paying well? The tech jobs, the bio-life sciences, those are the ones that people are excited and focused on.”

Lee said the financial state of San Francisco is his biggest challenge in the coming year, but that could be said about most cities across the country. He said the goal is to be more self-reliant and not count on the state for as much help as they have in the past.

You can hear KCBS In Depth, a weekly half-hour news interview, Saturdays at 5:30a.m. and Sundays at 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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