Employees in Nancy Pelosi Federal Building in San Francisco urged to work from home to avoid rampant crime and drug use

August 17, 2023
Ben Marquis

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who continues to serve in Congress, has already had the federal building in her home district of San Francisco renamed in her honor.

Yet, rampant crime and drug use in the vicinity of the Nancy Pelosi Federal Building in Democrat-run San Francisco's downtown has become so bad that federal officials are now urging employees and staff to stay home and work remotely, Breitbart reported.

Rather ironically, that admonition for federal workers in San Francisco to remain in their homes for their own safety directly contradicts an order from the White House that was issued on the same day for all federal workers nationwide to swiftly return to their respective offices and not work remotely from home unless absolutely necessary.

Federal workers told to stay home due to crime

SFGate reported this week on an August 4 memo it obtained -- first reported on by the San Francisco Chronicle -- that advised federal workers to stay away from the Nancy Pelosi Federal Building and work remotely from home indefinitely due to high levels of crime in the immediate vicinity of the building -- including a veritable open-air drug market where dealers and addicts routinely congregate.

That federal building is home to Rep. Pelosi's congressional office as well as the local and regional branch offices of numerous federal agencies and departments, including the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Transportation, among others.

In the August 4 memo to all building employees from HHS Assistant Secretary Cheryl Campbell, she wrote, "In light of the conditions at the (Federal Building) we recommend employees … maximize the use of telework for the foreseeable future."

That advisement was aimed not only at federal employees who had already been working remotely due to outdated COVID-19 pandemic policies but also at employees who have not already been working from home -- though it is unclear how it applies to building workers who simply can't perform their duties without being present in the facility.

SFGate further reported that the memo comes amid a blame game between the local district attorney and Bay Area judges about who is responsible for allowing so many repeat offenders back onto the streets, as well as a supposed crackdown on crime and drug use by a joint task force comprised of local police, the California Highway Patrol, and the California National Guard.

White House says return to in-person work is top "priority"

Ironically, on the exact same day that HHS Assistant Sec. Campbell was advising federal workers in San Francisco to work from home, White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients issued a memo urging all federal employees nationwide to cease working remotely and quickly return to their old office spaces, according to Axios.

That order was said to be a top "priority" for President Joe Biden and an extension of his plan first announced more than a year ago to have all federal employees return to in-person work following the waning of the pandemic and prior push for remote work from home in order to avoid catching or spreading the virus.

"We are returning to in-person work because it is critical to the well-being of our teams and will enable us to deliver better results for the American people," Zients wrote in the Aug. 4 memo emailed to all Cabinet members and other senior executive agency officials.

"As we look towards the fall, and with the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency, your agencies will be implementing increases in the amount of in-person work for your team," he added. "This is a priority of the President -- and I am looking to each of you to aggressively execute this shift in September and October."

Contradictory orders for San Francisco federal workers

Unfortunately for federal workers assigned to the Nancy Pelosi Federal Building in San Francisco, they are now confronted with two contradictory orders from their superiors, wherein their health and safety hangs in the balance.

On the one hand, they can listen to their local bosses and stay home to avoid the rampant crime and drug use surrounding their place of employment, while on the other hand, they can abide by the order of their main boss in Washington D.C. and risk being accosted or mugged or worse, or even accidentally overdosing on fentanyl, if they return to in-person work as instructed.

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