This could give a whole new meaning to Mo Wiley's finger-shaking warning, "You Can't Touch It Unless I Say So." Wiley, an East Bay gangsta rapper and mother of three whose given name is Sara Mestas, hopes to clean up San Leandro from the Mayor's Office on down. Because really, what's more gangsta than wielding a gavel?
Not a newcomer to local politics, Mestas describes herself as an "agile activist" who has sat on several boards in the city. Her 2008 debut album Major League Ballin' (First Kut) swaggers with club-ready beats and Wiley's sassy-mom delivery. But Mestas' hip-hop career is already tangled up with her political life: she says she was inspired to run for mayor after police in San Leandro frowned on her efforts to start a police activities league, claiming her music "promotes gangsterism and sex." Mestas says she's just telling people about her rough past, not endorsing criminal activity.
Her bid for mayor begins formally on Tuesday, but Mestas already released a platform that includes "daring to take on the long-entrenched 'good old boy' administration" of the East Bay 'burb... and keeping crossing guards in the city budget. She's running against a longtime city council member and school board member.
Regardless of whether she wins, Mestas is pretty much guaranteed to have the best campaign song. We might suggest a reworking of her album's title track -- "Mayor's Office Ballin'" has a pretty nice ring to it.
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