San Leandro lost one its much-loved mothers of modern political life on Sunday. Faith Frazier, a former member, co-founder of the local women's political action committee and mentor to many of the city's most successful female politicians, died on Feb. 20, 2011. She was 85.
Ellen Corbett, the State Senate Majority Leader and a former San Leandro mayor, called Frazier "a trailblazing pioneer who changed the history of San Leandro for the better," in a news release sent out by the city.
San Leandro Mayor Emeritus Sheila Young said in an email that Frazier was "a woman among men who could hold her own in any debate and thirsted for knowledge all her life."
Frazier represented District 1 on the City Council from 1974-1982. Before that, she served on the Board of Library Trustees for 12 years, where she helped establish the city's branch library system, according to the news release.
She was also a charter member of the and the local chapter of the League of Women Voters, among many other civic activities.
Frazier was a teacher by profession, teaching in Hayward public schools for many years, according to Young.
"Her love of children was infectious. She consistently encouraged and nurtured students to do their best work," Young wrote in a 2009 proposal to have the San Leandro High School ninth grade campus named after Frazier. (It was ultimately named after Japanese-American civil rights leader Fred T. Korematsu.)
Several local politicians remembered Frazier as a mentor.
“She worked hard to give women a step up into local government,” Bob Glaze, who served on City Council from 1984-1992, said in the city's news release.
Frazier was a founding member of the Political Action Committee for Excellence, or PACE, a group that supports the election campaigns of local female politicians.
"She mentored and encouraged so many women to seek out public service and elected office," Corbett said. "I learned much from her advice and her counsel.”
City Council adjourned its Tuesday meeting in memory of Frazier, and flags at all city buildings were flown at half staff on Wednesday in her honor.
Funeral services are pending.