May 9, 2006

San Leandro City Council Candidates' Forum

On Tuesday, May 9, 2006, three of the candidates for San Leandro City Council sat down for lunch and a forum co-sponsored by the Business Association of South San Leandro and the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce.

Diana Souza and Julian Polvorosa are running for the District 3 seat being vacated by Glenda Nardine. Nathan Kleinstein was unable to make the forum because of medical reasons. Michael Gregory is running for the District 1 seat being vacated by Orval “OB” Badger. Frank Lynn, who is also running for the District 1 seat, had indicated he was going to attend but never showed up. Bill Stephens, who is running unopposed for the District 5 seat, was invited but decided to yield to the other candidates.

The Eden Area League of Women Voters moderated the forum. Candidates made an opening statement, answered eight questions, and made a closing statement. The forum was attended by about 25 people, including Mayor Sheila Young, Vice-Mayor Surlene Grant, and City Council Member Joyce Starosciak.

Ms. Souza decided to run after working against the elimination of the school board representative to the San Leandro Recreation and Parks Commission. If elected, her priorities would be keeping seniors involved in the community, increasing recreation opportunities, and positive relations with businesses and schools.

According to Mr. Polvorosa, friends approached him to run again to represent them. If elected, his priorities would be the children of San Leandro, seniors, and a strong manufacturing base.

Mr. Gregory decided to run after attending Leadership San Leandro through the Chamber of Commerce. If elected, his top priorities would be education, the city budget, and affordable housing.

All three candidates were unsure of what can be done about parking problems caused by the MacArthur Boulevard construction, endorsed Measure I, the business license tax, were in favor of the red light cameras recently installed at five intersections, and promised their doors would always be open to constituents at neighborhood meetings. All candidates expressed their support for better schools, with Souza stating she would build connections between the city and schools and Gregory stating that he would join subcommittees that liaison with the schools.

When questioned about how they would promote harmonious relations with respect to ethnic diversity, all three expressed support for ethnic diversity, but were vague on how they would promote harmonious relations. Gregory noted the importance of getting students comfortable with ethnic diversity and Souza stated that it was important to accept diversity and to understand why diversity sometimes leads to conflicts.

Souza and Gregory both mentioned bringing the Cherry Festival back as one of their goals and Gregory added the Sausage and Suds Festival and having the library open on Sunday once again.

The election will be held Tuesday, June 6, 2006. The last day to register to vote for the June 6, 2006 election is May 22, 2006. Registration forms are available in English and Spanish.

Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at May 9, 2006 10:15 PM | TrackBack
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