A federal government shutdown is starting to look more and more likely as Congress has only until Sept. 30 to come to a decision about federal spending. Americans likely recall the impact of the most recent government shutdown, which was the longest in history, lasting 34 days from late 2018 to early 2019.
A government shutdown has implications both big and small for San Franciscans — read on for the latest.
SF Fleet Week
SF Fleet Week is one of the most highly-anticipated events on SF’s cultural calendar. This year it’s scheduled for Oct. 2-10, 2023, with the Blue Angels Air Show set for 3pm on Oct. 6, 7, and 8.
On Monday a Navy spokesperson told KTVU that the Navy is in “standby mode.” If the government shutdown moves forward, there will be no ship tours and no Blue Angels Air Show. Organizers wrote on Instagram, “Currently our staff are continuing planning as usual for the greatest Fleet Week ever. We’ll make adjustments as needed as we receive guidance and keep you posted!”
Previous government shutdowns have closed or greatly reduced the personnel on-site at national parks. Outside Magazine writes of overflowing trash and toilets, stolen artifacts, severe damage to ecological areas, and even deaths as a result.
There are 28 areas operated by the National Park Service in California, of which 12 are in the Bay Area. This means we may see the shutdown impact the following locations:
- Alcatraz Island, San Francisco
- Fort Point National Historic Site, San Francisco
- Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco
- Presidio of San Francisco, San Francisco
- San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, San Francisco
- Butterfield Overland National Historic Trail (ends in San Francisco)
- Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail (ends in San Francisco)
- Point Reyes National Seashore, Point Reyes
- Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley
- John Muir National Historic Site, Martinez
- Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site, Danville
- Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historic Park, Richmond
Of course, the government shutdown has massive implications beyond the cancellation of SF Fleet Week and the closure of national parks. TIME has outlined more ways in which you may feel the shutdown affecting your life:
- Furlough of tens of thousands of federal employees and military personnel
- Closure of national parks, public spaces, airports, and passport offices
- Reduction of federal safety-net programs including food stamps, childcare, and nutrition aid programs
- Reduction of disaster relief efforts in Maui and Florida
As lawmakers work to come up with a contingency plan in the face of a government shutdown, we’re waiting with bated breath to see how it affects events, programs, and other federally-operated sites in the Bay Area. Stay tuned as we learn more.