SAN LEANDRO | CITY COUNCIL | Four years ago, there was chatter–maybe call it fear–among San Leandro’s political establishment about the rise of “newcomers” in the city seeking to gain power through its school board. First, there was school board member Mike Katz-Lacabe and then the election of Stephen Cassidy as mayor. However, Cassidy’s brand turned toxic and his imprimatur on candidates running for office subsequently registered electoral losses all over the ballot in 2012. Cassidy is gone, too, but that isn’t stopping this milieu of political ideologies from using the schools to further their agenda.
In fact, it seems every two years, starting in 2010, there is news that candidates from this group is passing political flyers outside of school-related events. In two of those cases, the politicking may have been done of school grounds, which is definitely illegal. However, recently two San Leandro City Council candidates, running as a slate, passed out two-sided leaflet to parents. One in particular, touting Katz-Lacabe’s council campaign suggests something more–that he realizes his spouse’s spouting in the political arena is a huge negative.
The one-page mailer, in fact, comes straight from Cassidy’s platform, with a vow to collaborate between the school district and city and for fostering transparency at City Hall. However, it’s not political stances in the flyer that has brought attention, but a curious sentence placed atop the page and in boldface.
“I am raising my two daughters in San Leandro. I am the only candidate in District 1 with children in our public schools.” A photo of a pony-tailed Katz-Lacabe and his children is also included, but there is no mention of his wife, controversial Alameda County, Margarita Lacabe’s when it comes to child-rearing. The couple is definitely still together which makes the exclusion of Lacabe even more suspicious.
Lacabe’s reputation among her colleagues are the Alameda County Central Committee is certainly notorious and likely cost her husband the crucial backing this fall of the Democratic Party. Earlier this year, Lacabe’s online allegation about the central committee was picked up by the Fair Political Practice Commission. Later, it exonerated the central committee, but not before the local party apparatus spent around $8,000 in legal fees.
Katz-Lacabe’s progressive credentials are nearly sterling. Aside from being a two-term San Leandro school board member, Katz-Lacabe’s activism for digital privacy and transparency at the city’s police department, should have been enough to persuade the very progressive central committee to back his bid for the City Council. But, it passed over Katz-Lacabe. The party, instead, choose no endorsement in Katz-Lacabe’s race.