The brownout spreads: San Francisco’s public poo problem hits record level

They call it the Bay Area brownout.

San Francisco authorities have recorded more than 125,000 cases of human feces found on public streets since 2020, according to data compiled by, a government watchdog.

That’s more than all the cases reported from 2011 to 2019, and it marks another yardstick of woe for the embattled city.

OpenTheBooks announced the new data after its earlier 2019 version of the “poop map” was featured in Thursday night’s debate between California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, hosted by Fox News.


They updated the numbers Friday morning and found it’s gotten worse: 125,506 case reports since 2020.

That includes 34,609 cases in 2022, which was a record, and 35,520 cases so far this year, establishing another record.

“We found, unfortunately, reports of human waste in the public way have spiked to all-time new highs. Despite the national attention, the San Fran situation is degrading further. It’s getting worse, not better,” said Adam Andrzejewski, the group’s founder.

It works out to more than 270,000 sightings of human excrement since 2011.


Mr. DeSantis and Mr. Newsom were squaring off in a debate over competing conservative and liberal ideologies, and the management of the two men’s states played a starring role in the made-for-TV affair.

At one point Mr. DeSantis held up a piece of paper with a brown image spread across the middle, drawing a chuckle from Mr. Newsom, who may have known what was coming.

“This is an app where they plot the human feces that are found on the streets of San Francisco,” Mr. DeSantis said. “You see how almost the whole thing is covered, because that is what has happened in one of the previously greatest cities this country has ever had.”

Mr. DeSantis said the one exception was in November, when Chinese President Xi Jinping came to town for a meeting of global leaders and was greeted by Chinese flags and streets that had been cleaned.

“They’re willing to do it for a communist dictator, but they’re not willing to do it for their own people,” the Republican governor said.


This past spring, Mr. Newsom visited Florida and complained that Mr. DeSantis was ruining it.

Ron DeSantis is nothing more than a bully,” the Democratic governor said in a video he posted on social media calling Mr. DeSantis “functionally authoritarian.”

Mr. DeSantis’ spokesman replied with a link to the poop map.

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