Lee and Ida were married in 2006 and settled in San Leandro in 2007, attracted by the city’s diversity, its prime Bay Area location, weather, the fine schools and the vibrant business community. In short, San Leandro was the ideal community for Lee and Ida to raise a family and call home.

The Thomases are blessed with two daughters, ages 13 and 11. Both daughters attend John Muir Middle School in San Leandro and are active in school programs. Lee and Ida have taken an active role in their daughters’ education by working closely with staff, and they are active in the girls’ development through extra-curricular activities.

More importantly Lee and Ida teach and model values that will lead their children to become capable, independent young adults who establish and own their places in the community: participation, equity, acceptance, giving, self-worth, and responsibility. Critically, they believe San Leandro is a fertile and rich environment for those values to root and grow.

Public Service

Lee has dedicated years serving San Leandro residents in multiple capacity, from government to volunteering on non-profit boards. These positions include serving as a Vice Mayor/City Council Member, Human Service Commissioner, Board of Zoning Member, Police Chief Advisory Board Member, Floresta Home Owners President, San Leandro Education Foundation Board Member, San Leandro Rotary Member and as a Board Member for the San Leandro Scholarship Foundation.


Lee has a BS degree in Organizational Behavior and Leadership, and a Master Degree in Public Administration. He has dedicated his professional life working for public schools and non-profits to support underserved youth and families. He currently works for Oakland Unified School District as a Community School Manager and serves as President of the administrator’s union Local 83, where he represents over 300 union members. He services on the Alameda County Human Relations Commission, where he was unanimously appointed by the Alameda County Conference of Mayors.

Small Business Owner

Lee is a small business owner and operates GrilleeQ in San Leandro. His business was the first legally established home restaurant in Alameda County. For 3 years Lee worked with local food advocates to help get the law adopted which now supports thousands of home cooks. His efforts have made it possible for residents to earn additional income cooking and selling food from home.