San Leandro, California

San Leandro, California
City of San Leandro
—  City  —
San Leandro Marina
Location within Alameda County
Coordinates: 37°43′30″N 122°09′22″W / 37.725°N 122.15611°W / 37.725; -122.15611Coordinates: 37°43′30″N 122°09′22″W / 37.725°N 122.15611°W / 37.725; -122.15611
Country  United States
State  California
County Alameda County
Incorporated March 21, 1872
 – Mayor Stephen Cassidy (D)
 – City Manager Steve Hollister
 – Senate Ellen Corbett (D)
 – Assembly Mary Hayashi (D)
 – U. S. Congress Pete Stark (D)
 – Total 15.663 sq mi (40.565 km2)
 – Land 13.343 sq mi (34.557 km2)
 – Water 2.320 sq mi (6.008 km2)  14.81%
Elevation 49 ft (15 m)
Population (2010)
 – Total 84,950
 – Density 6,366.6/sq mi (2,458.6/km2)
Time zone Pacific Standard Time Zone (UTC-8)
 – Summer (DST) Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 94577-94579
Area code(s) 510
FIPS code 06-68084
GNIS feature ID 1659582

San Leandro is a city in Alameda County, California, United States. It is considered a suburb of Oakland and San Francisco. The population was 84,950 as of 2010 census.[2] The climate of the city is mild throughout the year.


Geography and water resources

The San Leandro Hills run above the city to the northeast. In the lower elevations of the city, an upper regionally contained aquifer is located 50 to 100 feet (15 to 30 m) below the surface. At least one deeper aquifer exists approximately 250 feet (75 m) below the surface. Some salt water intrusion has taken place in the San Leandro Cone. Shallow groundwater generally flows to the west, from the foothills toward the San Francisco Bay. Shallow groundwater is contaminated in many of the locales of the lower elevation of the city. Contamination by gasoline, volatile organic compounds and some heavy metals has been recorded in a number of these lower elevation areas.[3][4]


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1870 426
1880 1,369 221.4%
1900 2,253
1910 3,471 54.1%
1920 5,703 64.3%
1930 11,455 100.9%
1940 14,601 27.5%
1950 27,542 88.6%
1960 65,962 139.5%
1970 68,698 4.1%
1980 63,952 −6.9%
1990 68,223 6.7%
2000 79,452 16.5%
2010 84,950 6.9%


The 2010 United States Census[5] reported that San Leandro had a population of 84,950. The population density was 5,423.8 people per square mile (2,094.1/km²). The racial makeup of San Leandro was 31,946 (37.6%) White, 10,437 (12.3%) African American, 669 (0.8%) Native American, 25,206 (29.7%) Asian, 642 (0.8%) Pacific Islander, 11,295 (13.3%) from other races, and 4,755 (5.6%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 23,237 persons (27.4%).

The Census reported that 84,300 people (99.2% of the population) lived in households, 282 (0.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 368 (0.4%) were institutionalized.

There were 30,717 households, out of which 10,503 (34.2%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 14,142 (46.0%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 4,509 (14.7%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,863 (6.1%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,706 (5.6%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 326 (1.1%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 8,228 households (26.8%) were made up of individuals and 3,128 (10.2%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74. There were 20,514 families (66.8% of all households); the average family size was 3.36.

The population was spread out with 18,975 people (22.3%) under the age of 18, 7,044 people (8.3%) aged 18 to 24, 23,469 people (27.6%) aged 25 to 44, 23,779 people (28.0%) aged 45 to 64, and 11,683 people (13.8%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.3 years. For every 100 females there were 92.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.5 males.

There were 32,419 housing units at an average density of 2,069.9 per square mile (799.2/km²), of which 17,667 (57.5%) were owner-occupied, and 13,050 (42.5%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.4%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.8%. 50,669 people (59.6% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 33,631 people (39.6%) lived in rental housing units.


According to the 2000 census,[6] there were 30,642 households out of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.1% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.3% were non-families. 28.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average

In the city the population was spread out with 22.2% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 16.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $51,081, and the median income for a family was $60,266. Males had a median income of $41,157 versus $33,486 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,895. About 4.5% of families and 6.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.3% of those under age 18 and 6.5% of those age 65 or over.


The first inhabitants of San Leandro were the ancestors of the Ohlone Nation, who arrived sometime between 3500 and 2500 BC. The Spanish settlers called these natives Costeños or "coast people" and the English-speaking settlers called them Costanoans. San Leandro was first visited by Europeans on March 20, 1772 by Spanish soldier Captain Pedro Fages and the Spanish Catholic priest Father Crespi.

San Leandro is located on the Rancho San Leandro and Rancho San AntonioMexican land grants.The smaller, Rancho San Leandro, approximately 9,000 acres (36 km2), was given to José Joaquín Estudillo in 1842. The larger, Rancho San Antonio, approximately 44,000 acres (180 km2) was given to another Spanish soldier Don Luis Maria Peralta in 1820. Beginning in 1855, two of Estudillo's sons-in-law, John B. Ward and William Heath Davis, laid out the town site that would become San Leandro.[7] The city has a historic Portuguese population dating from when immigrants from the Azores and laborers from Hawaii began settling in the city in the 1880s and established farms and businesses. By the 1910 census, they had accounted for nearly two-thirds of the San Leandro's population.[8]

In 1856 San Leandro became the county seat of Alameda county, but the county courthouse was destroyed there by the devastating 1868 quake on the Hayward Fault. The county seat was then re-established in the town of Brooklyn (now part of Oakland), California in 1872.

During the Civil War San Leandro and its neighbor, Brooklyn, fielded a California militia company, the Brooklyn Guard.

hitchhikers in San Leandro, 1940

San Leandro was one of a number of suburban cities built in the post-war era of California that had restrictive covenants, which barred property owners in the city from selling properties to African Americans and other minorities. As a result of the covenant, In 1960, the city was almost entirely white (99.3%), while its neighbor city of Oakland had a large African American population.[9] The United States Supreme Court, in Shelley v. Kraemer, later declared such covenants unenforceable by the state. San Leandro was an 86.4% white-non Hispanic community according in the 1970 census.[9] The city's demographics began to diversify in the 1980s.[10] By 2010, Asian Americans had become a plurality population in San Leandro, with approximately one third of the population, with non-Hispanic Whites accounting for 27.1% of the population.[11]


San Leandro has long been home to many food processing operations, and is home to many corporate businesses such as JanSport, The North Face, Ghirardelli and Otis Spunkmeyer and Coca-Cola plant. It also has five shopping centers, the Bayfair Center, Westgate Center, Greenhouse Shopping Center,[12] Marina Square Center[13], and Pelton Plaza.[14] Lucky's flagship store opened in San Leandro.

Top employers

According to the City's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[15] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 San Leandro Unified School District 1,262
2 Wal-Mart 540
3 City of San Leandro 453
4 American Medical Response 402
5 Costco 333
6 Coca-Cola Bottling Company 317
7 The North Face, Inc. 314
8 Kindred Hospital 268
9 OSIsoft LLC 238

High school history and education

In the latter part of the 20th century, San Leandro was home to three high schools: San Leandro High School, Pacific High School (in the San Leandro Unified School District) and Marina High School (located within the San Leandro city limits but coming under the authority of the neighboring San Lorenzo Unified School District). San Leandro High School was established in 1926. As the city's population grew, so did the need for a second high school. Pacific High School was built across town nearer the industrial area adjacent to State Route 17 (now Interstate 880) and opened in 1960. It featured a round main building and more traditional outbuildings, as well as a lighted football field. (The football field at San Leandro High School did not have, and still does not have, lights. All night games for both high schools were played at the Pacific football field, named C. Burrell Field after a former San Leandro Unified School District superintendent. San Leandro High School's night football games are still played there.)

As student enrollment declined in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the school board elected to close one of the two high schools. Amid much controversy and accusations of back door dealing, Pacific High School graduated its last class in 1983. Those who wished to keep Pacific High School open cited the fact that it was a much newer facility and handicap accessible, with a more modern football field. Those who were in favor of retaining San Leandro High School maintained that it was a larger campus and therefore had more room to house both school populations; but planned on using Marina High School as a buffer. Through failed dealings and negotiations with the San Lorenzo Unified School District, Marina closed its doors shortly after leaving San Leandro with only 1 high school instead of 3. Some Pacific High School supporters to this day hold the opinion that San Leandro High School was retained because it was located on the "rich" side of town.

Instead of leasing out the Pacific High School property for a few years until birth rates recovered and school enrollments were back on the rise, in 1989 the school district sold the property on which the school facility was located but retained Burrell Field. The developers who purchased the site have since constructed an outlet mall (Marina Square Center) on the former school site.

In recent years, as school enrollment has increased, San Leandro High School has been the recipient of newly built wings intended to increase classroom space and relieve overcrowding. Recently, a newly built Freshmen campus dedicated after Fred Korematsu is slated to open for the 2010 - 2011 school year for the same reason.

San Leandro High School is home to such academic programs as the Business Academy, Social Justice Academy, and San Leandro Academy of Multimedia (SLAM). One of the award winning national programs located in San Leandro is Distributed Education Clubs of America (DECA), an association for marketing students. In 2007, six students from San Leandro High School won in their competitive events and won a slot to compete in Orlando, Florida on April 27, 2007. In 2005, San Leandro High School had ranking of 4 compared to all other schools in California and 2 when compared to other similar schools (Scale of 1-10).

A number of students residing in San Leandro attend San Lorenzo Unified School District schools, including Arroyo High School, Washington Manor Middle School and Corvallis Elementary School, due to proximity to the San Leandro/San Lorenzo border.

The rest of San Leandro is served by San Leandro Unified School District.


City Hall

Today San Leandro is governed by mayor Stephen Cassidy, who was elected in November 2010, and a six-member City Council. City Council members include Michael Gregory (District 1), Ursula Reed (District 2), Diana Souza (District 3), Joyce Starosciak (District 4), Pauline Cutter (District 5), and Jim Prola (District 6).

San Leandro is home to two school districts: The San Lorenzo Unified School District includes parts of Washington Manor and the San Leandro Unified School District includes most of San Leandro plus a small part of Oakland. The seven-member School Board for San Leandro Unified School District is composed of Hermy Almonte (Area 1), Lance James (Area 2), Carmen Sullivan (Area 3), Mike Katz-Lacabe (Area 4), Diana Prola (Area 5), Ron Carey (Area 6) and Morgan Mack-Rose (At-Large).


San Leandro is served by the Interstate 880, 580 and 238 freeways connecting to other parts of the Bay Area. East 14th Street is a major thoroughfare in downtown and continues towards East Oakland and Hayward. Davis Street is also another major street that intersects East 14th Street in downtown before heading towards the San Francisco Bay. Public transportation is provided by the Bay Area Rapid Transit BART District with the San Leandro and Bayfair stations servicing the city. San Leandro LINKS provides free bus shuttle service for the western part of the city to the San Leandro BART station and AC Transit is the local bus provider for the city. A senior's oriented local bus service, Flex Shuttle, also operates within the city, as does East Bay Paratransit, which provides shuttle type transportation to residents with disabilities. There has been a revival of plans for a ferry connecting the city's marina to Downtown San Francisco and possibly Jack London Square in downtown Oakland.

Health care

The Alameda County Medical Center's psychiatric hospital, the John George Psychiatric Pavilion, is located in unincorporated San Leandro.[16] Fairmont Hospital, located close by, is an Acute Rehabilitation, Neuro-Respiratoy and HIV care center.[17] San Leandro Hospital is the city's full service hospital.[18] Also present within the city are Kindred SF Acute Care Hospital and All Saints Skilled Nursing Hospital.


The San Leandro Marina, which contains group picnic areas and trails, as well as docking facilities, is part of the San Leandro Shoreline Recreation Area.[19] In addition to Marina Park, the City of San Leandro maintains and services 16 other parks throughout the city, all of which are available for use by residents and visitors alike. The Department of Recreation and Human Services for the City of San Leandro also staffs and maintains the Marina Community Center, the San Leandro Senior Community Center and the San Leandro Family Aquatic Center. Adjacent Lake Chabot Regional Park is popular for its scenic hiking trails, camping, and fishing. At the Fairmont Ridge Staging Area of the park is the Children's Memorial Grove, which consists of an Oak grove and a stone circle, with annual plaques listing the names of all children who have died as a result of violence in Alameda County.[20]

stone circle, Children's Memorial Grove
Detail of circle

Notable residents and natives

In film

In music

In the alternative punk/ska band Camper Van Beethoven's song "Tania", San Leandro is (mistakenly) named as the city in which Patty Hearst's photo was taken during a bank robbery.


  1. ^ U.S. Census
  2. ^ Demographic Research Unit of the California Department of Finance,, March 8, 2011
  3. ^ CH2M Hill, California Department of Health Services, Toxic Substances Control Division, Phase I Remedial Investigation Rpt, 1465 Factor Avenue, San Leandro, California (1987).
  4. ^ C. Michael Hogan, Andy Kratter, Mark Weisman and Jill Buxton, Environmental Initial Study, Aladdin Avenue/Fairway Drive Overcrossing of I-880, Earth Metrics, Caltrans and city of San Leandro Rpt 9551, 1990
  5. ^ All data are derived from the United States Census Bureau reports from the 2010 United States Census, and are accessible on-line here. The data on unmarried partnerships and same-sex married couples are from the Census report DEC_10_SF1_PCT15. All other housing and population data are from Census report DEC_10_DP_DPDP1. Both reports are viewable online or downloadable in a zip file containing a comma-delimited data file. The area data, from which densities are calculated, are available on-line here. Percentage totals may not add to 100% due to rounding. The Census Bureau defines families as a household containing one or more people related to the householder by birth, opposite-sex marriage, or adoption. People living in group quarters are tabulated by the Census Bureau as neither owners nor renters. For further details, see the text files accompanying the data files containing the Census reports mentioned above.
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ Kyle, Douglas E.; Hoover, Mildred Brooke (2002). Historic Spots in California. Stanford University Press. p. 14. ISBN 0804744831.,M1. 
  8. ^ Rogers, Meg (2008). The Portuguese in San Leandro. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9780738558332. 
  9. ^ a b Suburban Wall, documentary, 1971; Invisible Wall, documentary, 1981; "Not a Genuine Black Man: Or How I Claimed My Piece of Ground in the Lily-White Suburbs" Brian Copeland, 2006
  10. ^ Simons, Cynthia Vrilakas (2008). San Leandro. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9780738559377. 
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ [2]
  13. ^ [3]
  14. ^ [4]
  15. ^ City of San Leandro CAFR
  16. ^ John George Psychiatric Pavillion website
  17. ^ Fairmont Hospital website
  18. ^ San Leandro Hospital website
  19. ^ [5]
  20. ^ [6]
  21. ^ Puck Lo (November 12, 2009). "Film on former Panther Richard Aoki debuts". Oakland North. Retrieved 2011-05-13. 
  22. ^ "Todd Marinovich". Retrieved 2011 May 13. 

Neighboring communities

External links

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