After Divisive Discussion, Chinese Flag Will Fly Over San Leandro City Hall Oct. 1

San Leandro Councilmember Benny Lee

SAN LEANDRO CITY COUNCIL | A foreign banner will fly over San Leandro next month. With the approval of a controversial plan to celebrate China’s national day by flying the country’s flag over San Leandro City Hall next month, a majority of the City Council said the decision is meant to honor the people of Chinese descent and not the often oppressive government. However, the agenda item requested by Councilmember Benny Lee caught the city off guard and provided an evening of unusually combative discourse.

The City Council narrowly approved the proposal, 4-3, to raise the Chinese flag at City Hall on Oct. 1, following similar events in other Bay Area cities. Mayor Stephen Cassidy, Councilmembers Michael Gregory and Pauline Cutter voted against the flag-raising for its divisive attributes. Much of that disharmony could be heard Monday night.

“Do not honor violence and China by raising this flag,” said Giovanni Vassallo, president of Bay Area Friends of Tibet. The red and gold banner symbolizes oppression and the murder of millions of Tibetans, he told the City Council.

“Are we going to start raising the Cuba flag, too?” said San Leandro resident Dan Dillman. “As far as I know when an entity raises a flag over a country it means they conquered it.”

Mayor Cassidy and others who voted against the proposal agreed. “Symbols are important, especially when used by the government,” said Cassidy. “In this case, it’s one that is not democratically elected and has had severe violations of human rights over the years that continue to the present.”

Lee, who said the impetus for suggestion the flag raising ceremony was to honor the city’s growing Chinese population and to provide a welcome mat to potential business opportunities, added “The representation of the flag represents the people of China just as the American flag represents the people of America.”

“We don’t want to close our doors,” Lee said. “If we close our doors there is no sharing of their prosperity.” San Leandro’s Asian population is the city’s largest demographic and has continued to grow over the past two U.S. Census.

Councilmember Jim Prola admitted the contentious issue had forced him to change his mind 3-4 times. He ultimately settled on approving the plan after speaking to numerous Chinese American residents over the past few weeks. “My vote tonight is honoring the Chinese people and not the Chinese government,” said Prola. “I want to make it clear; I don’t stand for anything the Chinese government does, as far as oppression.”



Categories: Benny Lee, China, Chinese flag, Dan Dillman, Jim Prola, Michael Gregory, S.L. City Council, san leandro, Tibet

41 replies

  1. Prola is alot smarter than Cassidy

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  2. The majority did the right thing in flying the flag.

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  3. Jerry Brown unveils Oakland waterfront deal.
    A China-based investor has agreed to help pay for a $1.5 billion development in Oakland to transform 65 acres of industrial waterfront adjacent to Jack London Square to a district of shops, parkland and homes featuring high-rises that will reshape the city's skyline.

    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Brown-unveils-Oakland-waterfront-deal-4424173.php

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  4. Someone should inform Governor Brown that our San Leandro mayor Cassidy refuse oversea business or money from China; because anyone accept or borrow money from China are murderers.

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  5. I thought Cassidy was smarter than Prola, have to admit WRONG. Prola made his decisions not just for the PEOPLE also with vision.

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  6. I believe San Francisco has flown the flag many times in honor of their Chinese residents.

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  7. Honored by Ex-Mayor Gavin Newsom, now Lt Governor of California.

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  8. I'm sorry, isn't there a better way to honor Chinese culture than flying this flag? How unimaginative are people in San Leandro?

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  9. San Francisco, Oakland and Alameda all have flown the flag on specific days to honor the people of China. It is a temporary olive branch saying hey were here and willing to be partners in business….

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  10. Milpitas has flown it too.

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  11. Finally San Leandro will honor their Chinese citizen's and residents!

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  12. Yes, such a joyful moment, thanks to our San Leandro city council to honor the Chinese citizens and residents. I'm ready of waving both Chinese flag and American flag in front of our beautiful city hall on Oct. 1st.

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  13. Thank you city council for flying the flag.

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  14. I have both Chinese and America Flags ready in front of San Leandro City Hall on Oct. 1st early and bright. Love.

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  15. I wish my parents were alive to see this moment.

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  16. To be fair, folks should listen to the audio directly from San Leandro.org City Hall website not some re-edited clips.

    Truly believe our council approved the flag to honor the San Leandro Chinese citizens and residents and bring prosperity to our town.

    Do you want our taxes increase to balance our budgets? Do you want to see only 2 polices in our town because we can't afford them?

    Majority of San Leandro residents do not shop in San Leandro they prefer to spent their money out of town, Why?

    These lefties in San Leandro will continue to point fingers to our city hall when deficit.

    How much these San Leandro lefties live in San Leandro pay their taxes – do they work?

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  17. Would like to see those hypocrites who against honoring the Chinese citizens and residents today to refuse job opportunities from the Chinese investors like the Jerry Brown deal in Oakland.

    Someone should inform the Chinese investors not to hire any of these hypocrites.

    “Jerry Brown unveils Oakland waterfront deal.
    A China-based investor has agreed to help pay for a $1.5 billion development in Oakland to transform 65 acres of industrial waterfront adjacent to Jack London Square to a district of shops, parkland and homes featuring high-rises that will reshape the city's skyline”.

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  18. True that, Chinese investors who are willing to invest in America soils are the exception from PRC flag symbol, how ironic.

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  19. Sounds like some folks in San Leandro don't mind the Chinese money from China and taxes from their Chinese residents but do mind to honor them…

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  20. These hypocrites would/will be the first one in line to apply these jobs.

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  21. Hear some Chinese investors from China were looking at some commercial areas/lands in San Leandro, do you think they still interested to move forward with the city…after seeing how some San Leandro lefties and American citizens have been trashing the Chinese people and Chinese residents who are American citizens as well.

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  22. Our neighbor cities San Franciso, Oakland, Alameda will be flying the flags on Oct. 1st to honor the Chinese folks live in America. Did the Chinese residents live in San Francisco, Oakland, and Alameda have to go through what the Chinese people are facing in San Leandro right now?

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  23. This is a good test to see the true color of San Leandro's democracy; Raise the flag one day to honor the Chinese-American people in San Leandro was approved 4-3 by the city councils.

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  24. I say fly the flag for one day alongside the American flag to honor the Chinese Americans who live in San Leandro.

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  25. Very few Chinese will vote for Cassidy now that he has suspended the vote.

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  26. Haha, Cassidy just now being sold by Marga Lacabe is advertising her friend to be our next mayor.

    Cassidy your stupid No one trust Marga Lacabe and Mike Katz your already lose your race in District 1. MARK MY WORD!

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  27. Most of the asian community will not vote for Cassidy.

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  28. Not just Cassidy also Mike Katz.

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  29. Stupid Cassidy, Marga's friend will be running agianst you, who is your campaign manager../?

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  30. Cassidy–are you going to overturn all the 4-3 votes you are on the wrong side of? Why have a democracy?

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  31. Cassidy made a huge mistake in suspending the vote. Is he going to suspend all 4-3 votes he loses? It makes him look like a poor loser and a bully! He got a lot of Chinese American votes in his last election. but he won't in 2014. My neighborhood liked his fiscal conservativeness, but this insult to our people will never be forgiven or forgotten.

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  32. Mayor Cassidy did the right thing. No flag of oppression will be raised by San Leandro on Oct 1! Yeah!

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  33. 3:03 Have you deleted your Facebook account yet, trash away your Iphone, Ipad and everything you owns that made in China, don't forget to tell your boss to do the same, your idiot ass will be fired immediately, don't you know almost everything in the store are made in China, you should refuse your paycheck all together!

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  34. Cassidy made a mistake that will cost him the election for mayor.

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  35. Not just his own election, Cassidy is damaging San Leandro prosperity and connection with the world, what a fool.

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  36. Mayor Cassidy did the wrong thing.He will lose the Mayor sit on next election. The Chinese Flag will raise by San Leandro city hall.

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  37. The Free Tibet Flag was flown at City Hall in 1992. The Flag of the Sudan was flown many times as well. And the Mexican Flag has also flown at San Leandro City Hall. 🙂

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  38. The Chinese flag was flown in 1988 and the Portugese flag has flown many times at city hall.

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  39. Other flags have flown many times at City Hall.
    The Chinese, Free Tibet, Sudanese, Portugese,
    LGBT and Mexican to name a few. Some of these
    more than once. Huge mistake by Cassidy the dictator.

    Like

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