San Leandro movers & MAKERS: Legacy of Mayor Stephen Cassidy


Starting in January, 2015 San Leandro will be under the helm of Mayor Pauline Cutter. This is a great time to reflect on the legacy of Mayor Stephen Cassidy, who concludes his term at the end of December.

Under Cassidy’s stewardship, San Leandro emerged out of the recession, brought back the Cherry Festival, opened the new Kaiser building and Zero Net Energy Center and hired the City’s first Chief Innovation Officer.  

CIO, Deborah Acosta reflected, “Mayor Cassidy understood the importance of developing San Leandro’s ecosystem and worked to create a level playing field across different sectors, from the creation of an Arts Commission to pushing for tax breaks for San Leandro’s small businesses.  He championed the public/private partnership with Dr. Patrick Kennedy that brought this city a unique and groundbreaking fiber optic infrastructure – a game-changer for San Leandro’s economic opportunities that will influence the City’s development for years to come.”

Cassidy expressed his enthusiasm for Lit San Leandro, the innovative private-public partnership that created a fiber optic infrastructure: “There’s only a handful of cities in California and frankly not that many nationwide that have a municipal high-speed fiber optic network.  What it has allowed us to do is help businesses that are integral in terms of their operations to the Internet, really leverage this incredible high-speed access and become more powerful, successful companies.  It’s also helped us bring new companies into our city.  To download video may have taken hours before and now its a matter of minutes and thats a real advantage.  Instead of having to wait the whole night for this material you can get it instantly and then work on it and turn it around to your client so you can provide quicker more efficient service for your clients and that helps you get more business.”

Lit San Leandro evangelist and president of OSIsoft, Dr. J. Patrick Kennedy recalls the first day they met. “Soon after being elected, Mayor Cassidy showed up in my office on Davis Street.  At the time, I was one of the largest payrolls in San Leandro and this was the first personal, one on one meeting I had had with any Mayor.  This was the start of a four year program that ended up with Lit San Leandro and the San Leandro Tech Campus.  Mayor Cassidy was a San Leandro native and did a great job of steering the ship through one of the more tumultuous times in the economy. He made it easy for private companies to work with the City and we continue to do so today.”

Cassidy, an arts enthusiast, helped bring more awareness of art and culture to the city.

“Art nurtures the soul,” said Stephen.  “We want to live in a city that is thriving economically while also we want to live in a city that is vibrant from an arts and culture standpoint.”  

He is also excited about the future of the city.  “I think there is a renaissance occurring in San Leandro.  There are young people that are coming back, there’s a real entrepreneurial spirit.  There are folks that were working in San Francisco or down in Silicon Valley and they are looking to a start a company here in San Leandro.”

Mayor-elect Pauline Cutter noted, “Stephen has raised the bar for San Leandro.  He has high expectations for the city and will not quit working until he reaches them. He is tenacious in his work ethics and demands the same from others.  He is a big reason for San Leandro's progress these last few years. He has set things in motion, and we need to keep them moving forward."

Thank you, Mayor Cassidy for your dedicated service to San Leandro.  We wish you all the best in 2015 and for years to come.

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Topics: Thought Leadership

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