Oakland, founded in 1852, is a city on the east side (aka East Bay) of San Francisco Bay in Northern California in the United States. To its north is Berkeley, home to the famous university campus (University of California, Berkeley). To its west is San Francisco, across the Bay Bridge. To its south is the city of San Leandro, and to the east Oakland is bounded by five of the East Bay Regional Parks. Oakland is home of the Port of Oakland, which is one of three major shipping ports on the US West coast.
Oakland's media reputation is as a high-crime city with a crumbling public education system. However, weather, location, hillside neighborhoods with stunning views of San Francisco and the Bay, aggressive policies to reduce crime, and a substantial offering of shopping districts and restaurants representing cuisines both homegrown and worldwide have led real estate prices to skyrocket in the past decade.
Oakland is the county seat of Alameda County. As of 2000, the city's population was 399,484, making it the third largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area after San Jose and San Francisco.
Tourist attractions in Oakland include the Oakland Museum, the Art Deco Paramount Theater, Chinatown, Jack London Square, Lake Merritt, Children's Fairyland and Network Associates Coliseum, home to the Oakland Raiders National Football League team, the Oakland Athletics Major League Baseball team, and the Golden State Warriors National Basketball Association team. The city's commercial and residental structures exhibit a great variety of styles, including Art Deco and Craftsman.
The Oakland Tribune published its first newspaper on February 21, 1874. The Tribune Tower, which sports a clock, is one of Oakland's landmarks.
Oakland hosts Oakland International Airport, which serves much of the low-cost air traveler's market from the San Francisco Bay Area.
Oaklanders are understandably frustrated by the misuse
of the most famous quote said about their city. "There's no
there there," was uttered by Gertrude Stein upon learning as
an adult that her childhood Oakland home had been torn down. Her
quote did not have anything to do with the city itself. Modern-day
Oakland has turned the quote on its head, with a statue downtown
simply titled, "There."
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 202.4 km² (78.2 mi²). 145.2 km² (56.1 mi²) of it is land and 57.2 km² (22.1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 28.28% water.
Oaklanders most broadly refer to their city's terrain as "the flats" and "the hills," which up until very recent waves of gentrication have also been a reference to Oakland's deep economic divide, with "the hills" being more affluent communities. About 2/3rds of Oakland lies within the flat plain of the San Francisco Bay, with 1/3 rising into the foothills and hills of the East Bay range.
Oakland's average temperature of 55F/13C is a little lower than many other California cities. Oakland's average high is 62F/17C and average low is 48F/9C with the warmest month being September, and the coldest month being January. An average of 23 inches of rain falls each year with almost all rain occurring between October and May.
Rand McNally ranked Oakland's climate as the best
in the United States.
There are 150,790 households out of which 28.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.0% are married couples living together, 17.7% have a female householder with no husband present, and 42.7% are non-families. 32.5% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.6% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.60 and the average family size is 3.38.
In the city the population is spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 34.0% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 93.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $40,055, and the median income for a family is $44,384. Males have a median income of $37,433 versus $35,088 for females. The per capita income for the city is $21,936. 19.4% of the population and 16.2% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 27.9% of those under the age of 18 and 13.1% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Soon Oakland, which had been quite prosperous and affluent before the war, found itself with a population that was dominated by a lower income class than had been typical for the city. Much of Oakland's current reputation as a high-crime city can be traced to the transformation that occurred after World War II.
On October 17, 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake caused significant damage in Oakland, despite the fact that the epicenter of the quake was more than 70 miles (100 km) away from the city. The Cypress structure, a double decker portion of freeway that collapsed during the earthquake was in Oakland, and the portion of the San Francisco Bay Bridge that fell down was on the Oakland side of the span.
On October 20, 1991, the city was struck by the Oakland Hills firestorm. Due to an intense Diablo wind a small brush fire in the East Bay hills turned into an out of control wildfire that spread quickly across 1,600 acres (6 km²) of the dense housing of Oakland and Berkeley's hills. 25 people were killed, 2,449 single family houses were burned down, 427 apartment and condo units destroyed and $1.5 billion in damage were accrued. The fire remains one of the most damaging fires in California history.
Jerry Brown, a former governor of California,
known to some as "Governor Moonbeam," was elected mayor
in 1998 and re-elected with little opposition in 2002. In March
2004, Oakland's voters approved Measure P, an affirmation of the
so-called "strong mayor" system, which enshrined permanently
changes in the city charter that had given the mayor chief executive
power over city government rather than the city manager (as had
been historically the case prior to Brown's election as mayor).
Copyright © 2004
by California Brazil.com