Stephen Cassidy, a former school board member in San Leandro, has announced his candidacy for Mayor. I’ve known Stephen for a number of years and I’m impressed by his passion and his work ethic. He’s also very intelligent, which doesn’t hurt 🙂
I’ll be working on his campaign and I’m hoping all my San Leandro readers will support him. Below is his press release. You can find his website at Also, please join the facebook group Cassidy for San Leandro Mayor.

Cassidy Offers New Leadership For San Leandro
— Former School Board Trustee Stephen Cassidy Announces His Candidacy For Mayor
October 6, 2009, San Leandro, CA – Prommising not to take a salary until he returns the city to fiscal health, former school board member Stephen Cassidy announced today that he is a candidate for mayor of San Leandro. The election will occur in June 2010.
“I care deeply for San Leandro,” said Cassidy. “I am running for mayor to work with the community to create a better San Leandro.”
“I pledge to always put the best interests of the people of San Leandro first,” added Cassidy. “I will return common sense and fiscal discipline to city hall. I will apply my leadership skills to solve the pressing issues facing our city.”
A Vision Of A Safe, Clean, Vibrant San Leandro
Cassidy’s vision for San Leandro is that it be a clean and vibrant community with safe neighborhoods and strong schools.
Cassidy is a consumer attorney and former small business owner. He will support the small and large businesses operating in San Leandro while attracting new industries to our city. Cassidy plans to will target companies in the rapidly growing green economy. These are businesses that manufacture energy conservation systems, produce products for solar power and renewable energy, and sell water purification systems and other environmentally sustainable technologies.
Cassidy’s plan will create quality jobs, revive our local economy and generate revenue for the city to rehire police officers, fully fund senior services, libraries and pools, and fix our streets.
End The City Budget Crisis Without New Taxes
Cassidy’s first priority in office will be to end the city’s budget crisis without raising taxes. The city budget crisis is impacting all San Leandrans. Cassidy is concerned that despite widespread crime, the mayor and city council cut six police officers positions. Funding for school crossing guards, senior services, libraries and pools was also cut.
Even with these cuts, the city is spending more this fiscal year than last year. Last year’s budget was $77 million. This year’s budget calls for $78 million in spending, including $4 million in deficit spending.
The city is rapidly burning through its reserves. Finance officials project $36.5 million in deficit spending in the coming years. If significant action is not taken, the city could be forced to declare bankruptcy. In response, the mayor and city council are actively considering an increase in the sale tax, raising it to 10%. If approved, San Leandro would have the highest sales tax of any city in Northern California.
“Unemployment is at record levels. Seniors are not receiving a social security cost of living increase next year. Thousands of residents have lost their retirement nest eggs. The last thing the mayor and city council should be planning is another tax hike,” stated Cassidy.
“To solve the budget crisis, the city must first get its expenses under control. City employees work hard and deserve our respect, but they will have to make sacrifices, starting at the top. As mayor, I will not take a salary until the city budget deficit is eliminated,” Cassidy pledged.
A New Culture Of Collaboration And Community Engagement At City Hall
Another key problem facing San Leandro today is the lack of shared goals and objectives among the mayor, city council, and staff. If you asked the mayor and council members what is the most critical issue facing our city, you would get seven different answers.
Moreover, the mayor and city council have become insular and isolated from the community. Repeatedly, they have made decisions, such as the planned closure of Farrelly Pool and adoption of the San Leandro Crossings/Transit Oriented Development Plan, that left members of the community feeling their views were ignored. In certain cases, the city council deliberately excluded the public. City council members met behind closed doors on how funds approved under Measure WW for city parks and recreation facilities should be used.
Cassidy will end the isolation of city hall from the community. “An important part of the job of mayor is to inspire and empower the community to achieve more,” Cassidy explained. “I will take a collaborative approach to governing, engage the public in open and honest dialogue, and bring the community into the process of finding constructive solutions to the pressing issues facing San Leandro.”
While on the school board, Cassidy chaired the communications committee. Under his leadership, the district conducted multiple community forums and town halls on the top issues facing the schools. The public learned about district’s challenges, received answers to their questions, and were provided the opportunity to offer solutions.
Protect The Safety Of All San Leandrans
Muggings, car theft, vandalism, and home burglaries are occurring throughout San Leandro. In November 2008, the voters passed a tax measure to fund emergency services. Despite this, San Leandro has less police officers protecting San Leandro than when the current mayor took office.
Today, only 88 police officers safeguard our city of 85,000. Cassidy will bring the police department up to full strength.
A Real Partnership Between Our City And Schools
As a parent and former school board member, Cassidy knows strong schools make a strong city. Cassidy was at the forefront of the campaign to pass Measure B, the $109 million construction bond for San Leandro schools. Measure B will solve the overcrowding at San Leandro High School with the new 9th grade campus.
“The elimination of crossing guards at our elementary schools raises the question of whether the city is a reliable partner with our schools,” Cassidy observed. “As mayor, I will ensure our city works closely with our schools in safeguarding the welfare of our children.”
Keep San Leandro Hospital Open
Cassidy is an active member of the coalition to save San Leandro Hospital. He is committed to keeping acute and emergency care at the hospital.
When the mayor and city council had not spoken out against the planned closure of San Leandro Hospital, in April 2009, Cassidy called upon the city council to adopt a resolution in support of keeping the hospital open. At the next meeting of the city council, the city council followed Cassidy’s lead and adopted a resolution.
Background And Commitment To San Leandro
Cassidy and his wife Amy, a former teacher at Monroe Elementary School in San Leandro, have two daughters. Cassidy earned his undergraduate degree from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. For his law degree, Cassidy attended the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, graduating with highest honors.
In addition to serving a term on the San Leandro School Board, Cassidy is currently a member of the board of directors of Building Futures for Women and Children. The non-profit organization operates a shelter in San Leandro for domestic violence victims and provides many other social services to women and their children.
Cassidy also serves on the board of directors of the San Leandro Scholarship Foundation. The foundation provides grants to seniors residing in San Leandro graduating from San Leandro and San Lorenzo public high schools.
Website And Request For Community Feedback
Learn more about Stephen Cassidy and the new leadership he will provide at The website offers a survey for San Leandrans to tell Cassidy what they believe are the top issues facing our city. Cassidy welcomes all comments and questions, and will respond to every inquiry.