May 19, 2010

Aspiring Rapper Enters Race for San Leandro Mayor

Sara Mestas San Leandran Sara Mestas, a.k.a. Mo Wiley, filed paperwork on May 17, 2010, indicating her intention to run for Mayor of San Leandro. The Candidate Intention Statement is the first step needed for a candidate to begin raising money and incurring expenses towards a campaign. On the form, Mestas indicates she is a registered Democrat and resides in the Washington Manor area of District 4, the same district fellow mayoral candidate currently Joyce Starosciak represents on the City Council.

Current San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos resides in the Marina Faire neighborhood in District 6 and mayoral candidate Stephen Cassidy resides in Estudillo Estates in District 1. [Full disclosure: I have endorsed Cassidy for mayor.]

Mestas became active in San Leandro politics last year after the San Leandro City Council eliminated funding for crossing guards for all San Leandro elementary schools. Mestas organized a press conference, spoke at a City Council meeting, and volunteered as a crossing guard until the City Council accepted a proposal from the San Leandro School Board to split the cost of crossing guards with the San Leandro and San Lorenzo School Districts.

In late 2009, Mestas had considered running for Mayor until she spoke to Santos and subsequently wrote on her web site, "I endorse Tony Santos for Mayor, 2010-2012, also council persons Prola and Gregory." Asked about her decision to run for mayor after endorsing Santos, Mestas replied, "I have came to the realization that the Mayor is up against many opposing and proposing forces, I just believe I am the better person to stand tall against those forces…"

In December 2009, Mestas was appointed to the City of San Leandro Rent Review Board. The Rent Review Board last met in September 2008 and despite discussions at the City about possibly eliminating it, the board will be retained for now.

In an undated press release sent May 12, 2010, Mestas said she will officially announce her candidacy on May 25, 2010 in front of San Leandro City Hall. According to the press release, her motivation to run for Mayor was "resistance from the San Leandro Police Department and City Manager when I tried to start a San Leandro Police Activities League. They were uncomfortable with me being the face of the organization because the video for my single 'You Can’t Touch It'..." Mestas is an aspiring rapper under the name Mo Wiley. A biography for Mestas' alter-ego Wiley can be found at Luck Media & Marketing.

Mestas' priorities include "A major overhaul on the current education system," "Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Strategies," "incentives for quality new businesses and residents to move to San Leandro," and the environment.

On a possible 0.25% sales tax increase that has been discussed by the San Leandro City Council, Mestas said, "I have mixed feelings I will tell you raising taxes alone will not fix our problem, we are going to have to have a stable plan to create steady revenue streams." When asked about the City's fiscal situation, Mestas replied, "The first thing I think is necessary , is to look at all of the spending my first 30-days of office, and come up with a proposed budget within 90-days of taking office for the entire City, a budget that will support my platform..."

Mestas wants people to know, "I am for the people, and my track record over the past 13 years shows a track record of action, I am ready and willing to do the neccessary work to bring action to the job of Mayor. I understand that by squeezing the life out of my people during hard economic times is not the answer, but to provide solutions for them to get back on track through education, opportunities, and support. If we fostered and environment that welcomed our community, there would 87,000+ ways for us to move towards peace, and prosperity."

Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at May 19, 2010 11:37 PM | TrackBack

As a concerned citizen, I view that someone with little political background running a city like San Leandro will simply cause the further downfall of the city. The city is currently facing an economic crisis. Without the strong leadership and understanding of how the city works, business will soon cease to exist. This in turn will create a chain reaction of effects harming the city's overall performance and integrity. Pulling from the quote listed, "proposing forces" are mere suggestions, so it is not necessarily a bad thing. Let's say if someone suggests that a solution to fix the city in some way, only a mayor with experience will be able to comprehend the demand and find a possible solution. Without any experience, how can a person lead a population of almost 85,000 people and rising, especially when the person running for mayor may not have a vast background behind economics, politics and so forth? The idea of being qualified to be a mayor simply because the person has the perseverance to pursue a single topic is indeed a good aspect. However, sometimes a person's own opinion does not serve the overall benefit of the citizens. All in all, the important part I see in running for political office is how much experience a person has. Having a mayor with just a little over a year's experience would not be in the city's best interest.

Posted by: Joseph Wiley at May 21, 2010 7:44 PM
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