Showing posts from 2019

Cannabis Tax Reform Before San Leandro City Council Tuesday, November 12th

A recent 60 Minutes report on the California cannabis industry highlights how the industry is a shadow of what was anticipated when adult use of cannabis was legalized three years ago. High taxes, costly and extensive regulations and bans on dispensaries by most cities statewide have enable the underground cannabis market to continue to thrive. Today it is estimated that $3 of every $4 spent on cannabis in California occurs in the illegal market.
Part of the reason why taxes on legal cannabis are so high is that many of the cities that allow cannabis sales impose a gross receipts tax on cannabis businesses. For the consumer this functions as a sales tax surcharge. Thus the consumer pays the regular sales tax (9.75% in San Leandro) plus the gross receipts tax (another 6% in San Leandro). That's nearly a 16% sales tax that a cannabis consumer buying from an unlicensed seller or delivery service never pays.
However, not all localities impose a gross receipts tax. In the City of Alameda…

San Leandro should raise the Pride Flag at City Hall

Here is a message I sent Mayor Cutter and the City Council today requesting that San Leandro raise the LGBTQ Pride Flag at City Hall in the month of June. You can express your views on the matter by contacting the Mayor and City Council using the email address:


Dear Mayor Cutter and City Council, I request that the City of San Leandro fly the Pride Flag at City Hall as part of the San Leandro's recognition of the month of June as LGBTQ Pride Month. For example, the flag could be flown the last week of the month in conjunction with the Pride Parade held in San Francisco at the end of June, which many San Leandrans attend including a contingent from the San Leandro Unified School District. As you may be aware, six years ago as Mayor I asked and received the full support of the City Council to fly the Pride Flag at City Hall. The City Council took this action to show San Leandro’s support of marriage equality when the constitutionality of the issue was …

New Major Housing Project Close To San Leandro BART Station Approved

A new 687-unit apartment complex planned for 899 Alvarado Street came before the San Leandro Planning and Board of Zoning Adjustments Commission for review last night. The Commissioners unanimously approved 899 Alvarado, which is a short walk to the San Leandro BART station and constitutes the city's largest transit oriented housing development ever.
The 899 Alvarado project consists of the largest remaining (mainly) vacant property in Downtown San Leandro. It is behind the FH Dailey car dealership on Davis Street and bound on the west by the Union Pacific Railroad track and on the east by an office building owned by Wells Fargo. This project is precisely why the City adopted a Transit Oriented Development Strategy in 2007 to promote walking, biking and use of public transit in our downtown. 899 Alvarado complies with the city zoning code on density, height and parking requirements. Only one person spoke in opposition, an attorney representing four building trades unions that a…

In Support of New Transit Oriented Housing in Downtown San Leandro

There is a new 687-unit apartment complex planned for 899 Alvarado Street that I believe our community should support. The 899 Alvarado project is coming before a City Commission for review and approval on Thursday, March 7, at 7 p.m. at San Leandro City Hall. Let me start with a point we can all agree upon: San Leandro should be a great city in which to raise a family. When our children go off to college or a career, we want them one day to consider moving back to San Leandro to raise their families. This requires market-rate housing that’s affordable for young adults. At the same time, part of what has always made San Leandro special are our residential neighborhoods. While we need new housing, developers should not be permitted to build large, dense apartment complexes in residential neighborhoods that violate our zoning code.  Instead, such projects should be built within close proximity to the BART stations. Doing so preserves our residential neighborhoods and creates new housing …

Tom Rousseau - A Humble Man Who Made San Leandro A More Kind and Compassionate Community

I was saddened to learn that San Leandran Tom Rousseau passed away earlier this month. Tom touched everyone he meet. His smile was beautiful. Through his humbleness and warm spirit Tom inspired kindness and compassion in others. 

My final act as Mayor was honoring Tom with a proclamation, declaring December 31, 2014, as Tom Rousseau Day in San Leandro. I went to the senior home where Tom lived to give him the proclamation. With his caregivers and friends we had a celebration for Tom. 

Rest in Peace Tom.

Here is an article on Tom from the San Leandro Times:

Rousseau Remembered For Cards, Compassion 
By Amy Sylvestri
San Leandro Times, February 21, 2019

Tom Rousseau, a staple in San Leandro who sold greeting cards from his electric wheelchair, passed away earlier this month at the age of 87. Rousseau had cerebral palsy and could be seen driving down the streets with a sign which read “I sell cards for all occasions.” 

He was such a well-known figure around town that in 2014, the city made a pro…

Integrity Matters - 1388 Bancroft Tom Silva Development To Be Reviewed By City Council Monday, February 4, 2019