San Leandro is a suburban city in Alameda County, California, United States. It is located on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay, between Oakland to the northwest and Hayward to the southeast. The San Leandro Hills run above the city to the northeast. The trace of the Hayward Fault passes under Foothill Boulevard in San Leandro.
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, OSIsoft, Otis Spunkmeyer, and a Coca-Cola plant. Maxwell House operates a coffee roasting plant, where the Yuban brand is produced. The factory is scheduled to close as of 2015, as part of a cost cutting plan instituted by parent company Kraft Foods. The city has five major shopping centers, the Bayfair Center, Westgate Center, Greenhouse Shopping Center, Marina Square Center, and Pelton Plaza. Lucky’s flagship store opened in San Leandro.
“On October 17, 2011, the San Leandro City Council unanimously approved a license agreement allowing installation of a fiber optic loop, known as ‘Lit San Leandro,’ through several areas of the City using existing conduit.” A network expansion was completed in 2015 bringing the total length of fiber in the city to over 18 miles. The network is capable of transmitting at up to 10Gbit/s and is currently only available to business users.
The Zero Net Energy Center, scheduled to open in 2013, is a 46,000 square foot electrician training facility created by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 595 and the Northern California chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association. Training will include energy efficient construction methods, while the facility will operate as a zero-energy building.
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 board of the San Leandro Unified School District is composed of Monique Tate (Area 1), Lance James (Area 2), Vacant (Area 3), Mike Katz-Lacabe (Area 4), Diana J. Prola (Area 5), Ron Carey (Area 6), and Evelyn Gonzalez (At-Large).
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.)
Student enrollment declined in San Leandro and statewide in the late 1970s through the mid 1980s. In California, public schools receive their financing from the state based on the number of students. As a result of declining enrollment and corresponding decreases in state funds, both the San Leandro and San Lorenzo school districts were forced to close schools in the 1980s.
The San Leandro school district could not afford to operate two comprehensive high schools given the decline in enrollment. Amid much controversy, the school board voted to close Pacific High School, which 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 the City of San Leandro with only 1 high school instead of 3.
In 1989, the San Leandro school district sold the property on which Pacific High School was located and the site was developed into the Marina Square Shopping Center. The school’s adjacent football field, Burrell Field, and baseball fields were retained. In 2012, the voters of San Leandro approved the Measure M $50 million construction bond for the renovation of Burrell Field and the baseball fields.
In 1990’s and post 2000, student enrollment in the San Leandro school district increased. A new science wing was built at San Leandro High School followed by an Arts Education Center with a performing arts theater. In 2010, a separate campus one block from the main campus at San Leandro High School was opened for 9th grade students and is named after the civil rights leader Fred T. Korematsu, who had many connections to San Leandro and lived close to the city.
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.
San Leandro is a charter city. Under section 125 of the city’s charter, the city has a Mayor-Council-Manager form of government. Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter was elected in November 2014, and serves on the City Council with six Council members. Council members are elected by all voters in the city. However, the Council members must reside within the district they represent. The San Leandro City Council members are Deborah Cox (District 1), Ursula Reed (District 2), Lee Thomas (District 3), Benny Lee (District 4), Corina Lopez (District 5), and Jim Prola (District 6). Council member Thomas also serves as the City’s Vice Mayor for 2017.
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-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.
The Alameda County Medical Center’s psychiatric hospital, the John George Psychiatric Pavilion, is located in unincorporated San Leandro. Fairmont Hospital, located close by, is an Acute Rehabilitation, Neuro-Respiratoy and HIV care center. San Leandro Hospital is the city’s full service hospital. Also present within the city are Kindred Hospital San Francisco Bay Area, a long-term acute care facility, and the sub-acute unit of the nursing home care facility, Providence Group, Inc’s All Saint’s Subacute. A Kaiser Permanente Medical Center opened in June 2014, providing Emergency Medical Services.
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. 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.
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