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. The climate of the city is mild throughout the year.
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.
As of the census 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% 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 or African American, 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.
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" 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 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.
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 the early part of the 20th century. 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 enrollments 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 and SLAM. One of the award winning national programs located in San Leandro is DECA, an association for marketing students. Recently 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. The overall quality of San Leandro High School is in question, however, as indicated by its low API index and ranking of 4 compared to all other schools in California and 2 when compared to other similar schools (Scale of 1-10). The campus is also characterized by frequent violence between differing ethnic groups. In 2005 there were 419 suspensions and 21 outright expulsions (see pg 2)(15.9% of the entire school). There have been numerous accusations toward the school board about ignoring pupils using false addresses from nearby troubled communities, inflating the schools population causing overcrowding.
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.
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 7-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).
The Alameda County Medical Center's psychiatric hospital, the John George Psychiatric Pavillion, is located in San Leandro. Fairmont Hospital, located close by, is an older hospital, no longer used as a full service hospital, but is home to other medical services. San Leandro Hospital is the city's full service hospital.
In The Princess Diaries (film), the cable car conductor, Bruce Macintosh, proclaims that he is from San Leandro.