San Leandro may fly the Chinese flag
over City Hall on Oct. 1.

SAN LEANDRO CITY COUNCIL | A Raiders flag recently flapped over Oakland City Hall and numerous Bay Area cities have flown the rainbow-styled LGBT flag in public spaces. In San Leandro, Councilmember Benny Lee, the first Asian American representative in the city’s history, wants to celebrate the Chinese national day next month by hoisting the banner of the People’s Republic of China over City Hall. The item will be discussed at next Monday’s city council meeting.

The flying of a foreign flag, albeit, an economic rival of the U.S., might rankle some Cold War veterans in San Leandro, but other nearby cities are planning similar flag-raising ceremonies, said Lee. Oakland and Alameda will also fly the Chinese flag over City Hall Oct. 1 to commemorate the national day similar to independence day.

The Chinese general counsel from San Francisco is scheduled to attend each event and Lee believes another in San Leandro will show Chinese investors the city is open to attracting new business. “I believe this will put us on the map for China to recognize San Leandro’s openness to them,” said Lee.

San Leandro’s Asian American population is actually the city’s largest demographic. A city once infamous for its whites-only policies just a generation ago now boasts a community of Caucasians, Asians and Latinos in nearly equal proportions.

Lee says the San Leandro needs to do a better job of attracting and keeping Chinese-related business in the city. He noted during his campaign last year for City Council, a large number of San Leandro’s Chinese residents travel to Oakland for services such banking, insurance and shopping.