The NBC Bay Area investigation 'Diseased Streets,' which began as an explosive report into the amount of filth littering San Francisco, quickly evolved into a multi-part series that uncovered potential government waste and questionable contracts. The Investigative Unit surveyed a 20-mile stretch of downtown San Francisco and exposed a dangerous mix of trash, needles, and feces along the city's streets and sidewalks.
The reporting became a major focal point in San Francisco’s mayoral race and gained international headlines after a top infectious disease expert found parts of the city to be dirtier than some of the poorest slums in the world.
Budget analysts raised serious concerns about city spending and lawmakers pledged to hold government hearings after the NBC Bay Area investigation raised questions about the city’s $65-million street cleaning program, which outspends every other U.S. city, per capita, often by millions of dollars.
The Investigative Unit interviewed Mayor London Breed about the city’s most pressing issues, including homelessness, dirty streets, and the soaring cost of housing. Breed sat down with Senior Investigative Reporter Bigad Shaban in her first interview as mayor, just one day after taking office.