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Coordinates: 37°43′30″N 122°09′22″W / 37.725°N 122.15611°W / 37.725; -122.15611

City of San Leandro
—  City  —
Coordinates: 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
Incorporated March 21, 1872
 - Mayor Tony Santos (D)
 - City Manager Steve Hollister
 - Senate Ellen Corbett (D)
 - Assembly Mary Hayashi (D)
 - U. S. Congress Pete Stark (D)
 - Total 15.6 sq mi (40.3 km2)
 - Land 13.1 sq mi (34.0 km2)
 - Water 2.4 sq mi (6.3 km2)
Elevation 49 ft (15 m)
Population (2009)
 - Total 82,472
 Density 6,295.6/sq mi (2,425.6/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 estimated to be 82,472 as of January 1, 2009.[1] The climate of the city is mild throughout the year.


Geography and water resources

The San Leandro Hills run above a 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.[2][3]


As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 79,452 people, 30,642 households, and 19,825 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,336.4/km² (6,355.0/mi²). There were 31,334 housing units at an average density of 921.4/km² (2,387.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 51.29% Caucasian or White, 9.88% Black or African American, 0.77% Native American, 22.96% Asian, 0.86% Pacific Islander, 8.48% from other races, and 5.76% from two or more races. 20.06% of the population were Hispanic.

According to the census bureau's 2006 estimates, there were 90,236 people. The racial makeup of the city was 42.8% White, 11.1% Black , 0.4% Native American, 24.8% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 17.1% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. 26.7% of the population were Hispanic.

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 household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.19.

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 Mexican land grant given to José Joaquín Estudillo in 1842. 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.[5]

The Alameda County seat was moved from Alvarado to San Leandro in 1856. The 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 in 1872.

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

Because many of the residents who moved to San Leandro in the 1950s and 1960s have stayed here, San Leandro as of 2007 has a large elderly population, although increasing numbers of families with children have begun moving into the city. In the 1980s, the community's diversity grew as African Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanics also began moving into the city, many relocating from the city of Oakland. In addition, the industrial makeup of the city has been changing, moving away from its traditional manufacturing base toward more of an emphasis on services and warehousing industries.

San Leandro was an 86.4% white-non Hispanic community according to the 1970 census. African-Americans were excluded by the use of "covenants"[6] as well as the collusion of real estate agents, some of whom refused to sell houses to African-Americans. The police sometimes harassed African-Americans who crossed the border into San Leandro from Hayward and Oakland.

Jack Maltester became the first directly-elected mayor in 1962 and was re-elected three times until term limits were enacted in 1974.

San Leandro became a more diverse city with the massive development of apartment buildings going from 74.4% white-non Hispanic in 1980 to 42.3% white-non Hispanic in 2000.


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. It also has four shopping malls, the Bayfair Center, Westgate Center, Greenhouse Shopping Center, and Marina Square Center.

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, 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 had the better 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. 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.

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 Tony Santos, whose first term started in December 2006 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), Bill Stephens (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), Pauline Cutter (Area 2), Carmen Sullivan (Area 3), Mike Katz-Lacabe (Area 4), Diana Prola (Area 5), Lisa Hague (Area 6) and Morgan Mack-Rose (At-Large).

Health Care

The Alameda County Medical Center's psychiatric hospital, the John George Psychiatric Pavillion, is located in unincorporated San Leandro.[7] Fairmont Hospital, located close by, is an older hospital, no longer used as a full service hospital, but is home to other medical services.[8] San Leandro Hospital is the city's full service hospital.[9]

Notable residents and natives

In film

In The Princess Diaries (film), the cable car conductor, Bruce Macintosh, proclaims that he is from San Leandro.

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. ^ Demographic Research Unit of the California Department of Finance,, May 1, 2008
  2. ^ CH2M Hill, California Department of Health Services, Toxic Substances Control Division, Phase I Remedial Investigation Rpt, 1465 Factor Avenue, San Leandro, California (1987).
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ Kyle, Douglas E.; Hoover, Mildred Brooke (2002). Historic Spots in California. Stanford University Press. p. 14. ISBN 0804744831.,M1. 
  6. ^ 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
  7. ^ John George Psychiatric Pavillion website
  8. ^ Fairmont Hospital website
  9. ^ San Leandro Hospital website

External links



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