A San Francisco land use commissioner who anonymously promoted a “doom loop tour” of the city’s “squalor” did it as a practical joke that got out of hand and may make a public statement today, according to a top city official.
Alex Ludlum, vice chair of the Commission on Community Investment and Infrastructure, is suspected to be the person behind the tour through an email address using his name that was listed as a contact for refunds, according to screenshots viewed by The Standard.
The tour was promoted on Eventbrite and charged $30 for what promised to be a walking tour of the Civic Center, Mid-Market, Tenderloin and Union Square neighborhoods, highlighting “open-air drug markets, abandoned tech offices, outposts of the non-profit industrial complex, and deserted department stores.”
Controversy over the tour, which coincided with a regular tour of the Tenderloin organized by the nonprofit Code Tenderloin, boiled over Saturday when the organizer failed to show up at the designated starting point. Visitors to Eventbrite requested refunds, at which time the email address was revealed.
San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin confirmed that he had spoken with Ludlum about the matter and that “he basically said that he meant it in jest but it got out of hand.”
Ludlum didn't respond to a request for comment by publication time. Peskin said that Ludlum will speak further about the tour later today.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed appointed Ludlum, a vice president at real estate investment firm SPI Holdings, to a partial term on the commission in March 2022, replacing LinkedIn executive Efrem Bycer. He was reappointed in November 2022.
Ludlum also serves on the board of the SoMa West Community Benefit District.
Mike Ege can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org