The Skinny: San Leandro City Council Preview, Mar. 17, 2014

San Leandro City Council Preview
835 East 14th Street
Monday, Mar. 17, 2014, 7 p.m.
Twitter Hashtag: #slmtg


Councilmember Benny Lee with members
of the city’s Chinese American community
at a flag-raising at the San Leandro Marina.

FOREIGN FLAGS OVER CITY HALL San Leandro’s flag flap, as it could be termed, returns to the City Council Monday. Rewind back to late September of last year to when a seemingly mundane act of flying the Chinese national flag over City Hall Oct. 1 in honor of the country’s national day turned into a near international incident. That may be overstating the reaction, but the flag quickly became a lightning rod for the city’s growing Chinese American community to push back over concerns their culture was being marginalized. Opponents of the flag-raising questioned why a foreign banner would fly over City Hall, especially one belonging to an economic rival to the U.S. with a reputation for human rights abuses. A group urging for a free Tibet also jointed the fray. Later, Mayor Stephen Cassidy used powers laid out in the City Charter to reverse the council’s approval to fly the Chinese flag. An ad hoc committee charged with creating a city policy for flying foreign flags over City Hall will present their findings Monday night. Currently, there is no specific policy (Item 12A).

WHAT IT MEANS This controversy is not about any city policy, or lackthereof. This is about San Leandro’s rapidly-changing demographics and a low-level powder keg waiting to pop. Asian Americans now make up the largest demographic in the city, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Furthermore, some Chinese American groups in the city have disliked Cassidy for some time. The same groups opposed his candidacy four years ago and vehemently opposed his support for a commercial wind turbine near the Heron Bay housing development, which is home to a large number of Chinese American homeowners. Cassidy’s reversal of the council’s approval for raising the flag only exacerbated tensions and came across as a slap in the face in the minds of some Chinese Americans in San Leandro. Cassidy is up for re-election this fall and while a city policy may be approved, it will likely do nothing but re-energize opposition against him.

BE AWARE A staff report will lay out possible city support for reforming Proposition 13 sometime in the next few years. Other cities, like Oakland, are contemplating similar resolutions hoping to place a referendum before voters that could rebalance the tax burden from homeowners and landlords over the decades since Prop. 13 was passed in 1978 and having commercial property owners pay more (Item 8F)…. The council will nominate Janet Plankenhorn as the District 5 representative to the city’s Senior Commission (Item 8D)… Chief Innovation Officer Deborah Acosta Building presents a update on San Leandro’s Tech and Innovation Ecosystem plan (Item 3A).

Mayor Cassidy declares April 1 as Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service (Item 2A).

Mar. 3, the San Leandro City Council unanimously approved placing a countywide transportation measure on the November ballot. San Leandro is one of 14 county jurisdictions needed to approve the measure. A joint use agreement between the city and the school district to operate the Pacific Sports Complex was also unanimously approved two weeks ago. >>> READ THE MINUTES >>> SEE IT FOR YOURSELF


Categories: Chinese flag, Deborah Acosta, Lit San Leandro, Proposition 13, S.L. City Council, san leandro, san leandro city council, San Leandro skinny

10 replies

  1. Cassidy not fit to be mayor. His bullying behaviors are not his own belief or principle but his own self-serve hidden agenda. He's promoting anti-China for his upcoming election.


  2. The US Flag Policy allow foreign flags to fly “below US Flag” but Cassidy say no. Cassidy say all foreign flags not fit under US Flag Policy. Cassidy set aside law proving that he is a dictator.


  3. Not a bad idea to request the Mexican flag be raised on Sept. 16 for Independence day


  4. Put in the request to see if city council would follow through with their policy. Thinking Cassidy may stop it. If not it shows he just hate China flag.


  5. It's low of Cassidy using anti-China slogan hoping to gain votes on his re-elect. Have he ever considered there are many Chinese foreigners are currently visiting relatives and friends or just dropping by the bay area including San Leandro? Thanks to the local news now the whole world know San Leandro has a Mayor name Stephen Cassidy hates China.


  6. Most my neighbors are fine of flying any nation flag including rainbow flag as long is legal within our policy. Cassidy, are you going to remove flying rainbow flag too, it was your dea?


  7. Mayor Cassidy seeking support from Chinese Falun Gong Cult members because they said they would vote for him. He will use them like he used the Tibetans.


  8. One term Mayor Cassidy shows his true colors. His slideshow showed peaceful pictures of Tibetans, Ghandi, and Martin Luther King but shows Chinese people as authoritarian, brutal and repressive. He is the one who is authoritarian, brutal and repressive.


  9. Do Cassidy really care the meaning of rainbow flag? It's one of his tactics gaining votes to his re-election in 2014. He worried of outrage of PRC flag as he stated, but not worry rainbow flag and both flags are political.

    rainbow crosswalks in San Leandro would be nice, pretty colors.


  10. I think he hates Chinese communist party, and loves the Chinese, Tibetans, Falun Gong and all peaceful people.The Chinese are not allowed to vote for their government.Those who support Chinese communist should feel free to return back to mainland China, instead of forcing an American city to raise the communist flag.


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