Image - default banner image

Past Event

Michael Shellenberger: How Progressives Threaten Cities

As 2021 came to a close, questions about crime and homelessness in San Francisco dominated headlines locally and nationally. In addition to high-profile smash-and-grab robberies in San Francisco's Union Square and malls outside the city, the publication of Michael Shellenberger's new book, San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities, also drew attention to increasing disorder on San Francisco's streets; the book and its arguments received attention across the political spectrum from media around the World.

A Bay Area resident for more than 30 years, Shellenberger says progressive policies are, in good part, the reason for homelessness and crime in San Francisco (and similar cities on the West Coast). From homeless encampments to open-air drug markets and retail robberies, he says progressive leaders have gone beyond merely tolerating these issues and now actively enable them through specific public policy choices by urban lawmakers and district attorneys. Shellenberger believes that urban problems such as homelessness and drug dealing aren't primarily from a lack of housing, money for social programs or other "root causes." Instead, he feels the real problem is an ideology that designates some people, by identity or experience, as victims entitled to destructive behaviors and a hands-off approach to law enforcement that coddles them. The result, he says, is an undermining of the values that make cities, and civilization itself, possible.

Please join us as Shellenberger makes one of his first local public appearances to discuss his controversial book and the new crime policies launched in San Francisco.


This program is supported by the Ken & Jaclyn Broad Family Fund. Complimentary copies of Shellenberger’s San Fransicko will be available to in-person attendees thanks to their support.

Ken & Jaclyn Broad Family Fund

January 24, 2022

The Commonwealth Club of California
110 The Embarcadero
Taube Family Auditorium
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States


Michael Shellenberger

Founder and President, Environmental Progress; Author, San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities

Image - Melissa Caen

Melissa Caen

Political Analyst; Attorney—Moderator