Lone white man named new vice mayor in San Leandro

WHITE MAN CAN JUMP: San Leandro’s lone
Caucasian council member is named 
vice mayor despite calls for diversity.

SAN LEANDRO CITY COUNCIL | In the past, San Leandro chose its largely ceremonial vice mayor every spring, but a low-level charter crisis last year led to a charter amendment on the November ballot moving it to the beginning of the year.

San Leandro voters easily approved the inconsequential initiative, but the fault lines stemming from election year politics, race and the previous mayor’s troubled relationship with his colleagues still exist.

During the first council meeting of the year Monday night, the City Council exercised its new charter obligation and named Councilmember Jim Prola vice mayor.

The District 6 representative held the position two years ago before being replaced by Councilmember Benny Lee, who held the vice mayorship for just over six months.

Former Councilmember Diana Souza, who was termed out last year and unsuccessfully ran for mayor, told the council to acknowledge the city’s diversity with its pick of a new vice mayor. “I believe all of you have taken a positive position on embracing diversity of our city,” said Souza. “Now is the time to start building that reality.”

However, Councilmember Corina Lopez nominated Prola. Later, Lee offered a substitute motion nominating Councilmember Ursula Reed, but it failed to receive a second. “History has been made in this last election,” said Lee. The San Leandro City Council is arguably one of the most diverse in the entire East Bay. It also features a female majority, Lee added. Prola is the only Caucasian male on the new council.

While there is no specific role for the vice mayor, the position typically entails representing the city at local and regional functions, often in the absence of the mayor.

However, the honorific maintains some gravitas to laypersons, especially during an election cycle, which comes next year. In 2016, as the only sitting member up for re-election that year, Lee could make another push for the position.

Categories: Benny Lee, Caucasian, Corina Lopez, Diana Souza, Jim Prola, san leandro, san leandro city council, vice mayor

10 replies

  1. I don't see much of a story here


  2. So if you're celebrating diversity, why not nominate your only, and new, white guy?? Non story, non event. Oh I forgot Steven's got to “write” about something…


  3. You don't want to know who was appointed vice mayor? Read the Daily Review instead. They'll keep you in the dark.


  4. well Being a Hayward Guy I will tell you San Leandro is leaps and bounds ahead of my city.. Jim is a nice guy… but lets see what happens. Maybe San Leandro will take more business from Hayward. Because I dont see Hayward being aggressive with the current members on its council


  5. Enough is enough. It should not matter if you are blue, red, or purple. The City Council needs to work together for the betterment of the City. Can't we all just get along.


  6. what does being white have to do with being appointed Vice Mayor?


  7. I find it interesting that Mr. Prola endorsed Pauline Cutter for mayor and after a change to the charter, he is now the vice mayor, how very cozy


  8. It was a 6-1 vote with only Benny Lee voting no. Nobody wanted Benny Lee anymore after he screwed up so badly in his term as vice mayor. Ursula Reed supported Diana Souza, but even she voted for Jim Prola. Benny Lee was a disaster, and he better hope no one of substance runs against him in 2016, because Mr. Lee will lose his re-election for sure.


  9. Justification much, it is very cozy, I'm sure political pay back for the Waste Management debacle helped, even though everyone on that council has stuck their size 10 triple eee in mouth upon occasion, that council is nothing but disasters, Benny Lee is the flavor of the month


  10. Benny Lee is the biggest joke on the Council, and if he had any real opposition he wouldn't be there. He cares more for Oakland than he does for San Leandro. He should move to Oakland. Maybe when he loses re-election in 2016, he will. If Benny Lee is the flavor of the month…….the flavor of the month is raspberry. Nobody in San Leandro wanted him to be vice mayor again because of his positions on issues and horrible mistakes he made.


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