Conservative Areas in the East Bay
Berkeley Parents Network >
Housing, Neighborhoods, & Moving >
Conservative Areas in the East Bay
Are there areas in the East Bay (or even Bay Area) that are
considered conservative? My husband and I are not originally
from the Bay Area, but have lived here for about 7 years and
would like to make this our ''permanent'' home. We currently
live near Montclair in Oakland with our 1 year old daughter.
While we love the area (and all that the Bay Area and Nothern
California have to offer), we have not made a great connection
with anyone we have met here. We think that is because we have
yet to meet people who share the same values and beliefs that
we do (a few: we believe having one parent at home is best for
our family, we think abortion should be illegal, we do not give
money to homeless, we support being in Iraq). We are thinking
about moving to a bigger house for a growing family and would
like to live in a place where we feel more like our neighbors-
where we aren't frowned upon for using our lawn mower, killing
ants with spray, letting our daughter watch television, etc.
Is the Bay Area the place for us long term? Are there more
conservatives out there? There must be- Michael Savage is
airing from San Francisco! By the way, we are not on a mission
to change other's political/social view points- we know that
everyone has the right to different opinions. We just think it
would help in raising our kids to be in a community that
supports our core values.
Hannity and Savage listener
Alamo (near Danville) is very conservative. My relatives,
who are the most conservative people I know (which is
saying a lot) live there and love it. I think my uncle
has his radio tuned to 560am (the conservative talk show
station) non-stop. It is a very pretty, quiet nice family
town, though it might be hard to find a house there for under
$1,000,000. The schools are also excellent.
Orinda also seems quite conservative. Good luck!
If you stay in the Oakland/Berkeley area I would suggest
joining a conservative church in the area maybe? Or you could
volunteer for republican canidates to meet like minded people?
My brother in law is a Rush Limbaugh hard core republican from
the East Coast - they live in San Mateo and he's learned to be
the defender of all things republican in a land of limo
liberals - but with humor and light heartedness not
defensiveness which turns people off. San Mateo county though
it is pretty Democrat tends to be more traditional than
Berkeley and I as a liberal gay parent who grew up there know
that if I lived there now I would consider it pretty
conservative. We still get blank stares sometimes when we
discuss attachment parenting with people from the San Mateo
area. And doesn't Michael Savage live in Marin the bastion of
liberal ideals :-)
If you are looking for Bush/Cheney country around the east bay -
I would suggest looking around Dublin Pleasanton/Dublin area
and maybe closer to Walnut Creek? I am sure there are other
like minded people out there in Montclair but maybe they are
afraid to come out as conservative?
Anecdotally, I think that the further east in the Bay Area you
go, the more conservative things are. Antioch comes to mind, for
example, as does Livermore, and that area. You could also
consider moving to Sacto or elsewhere in the central valley,
which tends to be much more conservative than the Bay Area.
Finally, check out this web page: http://www.fundrace.org/neighbors
You can input any address or zip code and it will give you a list
of contributions from residents of the area to presidential
candidates. You can certainly use that to guage the relative
liberalism or conservatism of a region.
Head east! As in the Lamorinda area, Walnut Creek, Danville.
Those are all fairly conservative areas by Bay Area standards.
As a life-long moderate thinking Democrat, married to a life-
long Republican (who is a big time Hannity fan), we settled in
Walnut Creek 6 years ago. It suits us both well for many
reasons--sense of community, good neighbors, great shopping,
happy in the burbs
You are right, and maybe that's why you have not made a connection?
I am sure there must be some conservative areas in the Bay Area
SOMEWHERE as this is what makes our area great--diversity. But
where? I have no idea. I think the further out you go (ie
Antioch, Clayton to the east--I remember meeting someone in
college from Aptos, down south, who was as Republican as they
come) the more luck you will have finding what you are looking
for, morally and/or poltically speaking. But will you find the
same great feel in the neighborhood compared to where you are
living now? I doubt it. You will have to make some sacrifices.
Berkeley born and raised
Dear Savage Listener,
I think we live in a time ''and a state'' where the majority of
people do not share your views. No matter where you live, you
will probably not have the same views/morals as your neighbors -
it's a sign of the times. However I think you can surround
yourselves with those with likemindedness. It will just take
time & effort. I live in a wonderful neighborhood in
Pleasanton (east bay). I like my neighbors, but I don't know
their political opinions. However the majority of my friends
are conservatives like me. Most of these friendships were born
from going to a great church. We have found that we are on the
same page spiritually, morally, and politically with most of
the young families who attend our church regularily. You can't
pick your neighbors, but you can pick your friends. Try to
think of some places you could go that would be appealing for
conservatives as yourselves.
Bush supporter, pro-life advocate...
No. You'll have to move. Just kidding.
Seriously though, do you really need to have identical political
views to make connections with your neighbors? My parents and I
have completely opposite political views on practically
everything and we're still close. In fact, it makes for
interesting discussions and gives me the opportunity to
understand the other point of view even if I disagree with it. I
can understand being reluctant to get into big debates all the
time, but if you have kids then I'm sure you'll find some common
Try Concord or other cities in eastern Contra Costa. I used to
canvass for an abortion clinic all over the Bay area, and we
always had the toughest time raising money out there! Good
Lots of areas are fairly conservative politically and the further
you get from Berkeley, the more likely you are to find someone
who supports your views.
Based on the number of complaints from my liberal friends who
feel like they are the only ones in their town, I'd suggest
Danville and San Ramon (if you are affluent) or El Sobrante,
Concord, or Vallejo (if you are looking for a cheaper housing
Fairfield and Suisun are also very affordable and since they are
near a military base, many families have someone near and dear
who is in the military and they think we're all crazy in Berkeley.
I think there are many conservative people in the Bay Area,
but there is also an overt feeling of acceptance of others as
well. I do know people who share your views, and they are
very happy living in Danville. I know another family (Born
Again Christians who home school their four children) who
are very happy in Roseville. Perhaps you would feel more at
home if you were not in the heart of the Bay Area, but in one
of these cities. These families have found a community of
friends there, which I don't think they could have done as
easily if they lived in Berkeley, Albany, or Oakland, I imagine.
There is a place for everyone
Try Contra Costa County, or parts of the Peninsula (San Mateo,
Hillsborough, parts of San Jose & Santa Clara), Vacaville,
Fairfield, Benicia... generally, wealthier areas and more rural
areas. But the Bay Area generally is more liberal -or, as us
liberals describe ourselves-more compassionate. So if that
drives you nuts, you may ultimately be more happy in parts of
the Central Valley, parts of LA, farther up the coastal and
inland areas of Sonoma or Napa Counties, or some place like
Colorado Springs. maybe you can google a search for republican
You could move to Danville. I was raised there, by conservative
republican parents. Its not far, maybe 20 minutes farther east off 680.
They have American Flags all over town, and many, many manicured
We live in Kensington and although I wouldn't call it
conservative, I as a Republican do not feel out of the
mainstream until I cross the border into Berkeley with its
''Redefeat Bush'' signs. My experience in Kensington
has been one of tolerance for conservative views and support for
family values - your requirement for a large home may send you
north or east, however.
I work in Pleasanton. This may be a skewed sample but I notice
that many people who live in the tri-valley area SEEM to be more
conservative than those of us who live in Berkeley-Oakland
areas. Not sure you'd find what you're looking for out there
While I am not as conservative as you, I can understand your
concerns and know how frustrating it is to be around people who
do not share your beliefs.
I came here from the South Bay (near Palo Alto) which is
somewhat more conservative (and is certainly an easier place to
find a conservative enclave) then here. I have a conservative
friend who lives in Redwood City and is quite happy there.
Another idea is to go east of the hills. I have a *very*
conservative friend who lives happily in Dublin and know others
in Walnut Creek and sprinkled throughout the various towns.
Good luck finding a place that will make you happy!
Try your local public library. They can help you look up results
from the last few elections, either by county or by city. This
can give you an idea of the general political climate of an area.
I did this before we moved to Orinda, since I was worried that
it would be *too* conservative for me after living in Berkeley.
Turns out that statistically speaking, Orinda is the most liberal
city in eastern Contra Costa County! (There's another hint for
you...the further east you go, the more right-wing the politics.)
A Lefty over the Hill
You're not alone!! We listen to 560AM and we live in the
most liberal district in SF. But I understand what you are
talking about. People complain about Bush and Iraq like you
already feel the same way. There is diversity in color but not
ideas. We see ''matt gonzalez'' and ''kucinich'' signs on
neighbors' houses, so we avoid politics. It's hard at
gatherings when others bring it up but I choose to stay out of
it. Sometimes it's very frustrating, like during the Davis
recall when it was the only subject people talked about.
However, we're content with our lives, raising our kids,
going to church, etc, so it's not a huge problem - our voice is
when we vote. I like and dislike my neighbors not by politics
but by who is blocking my driveway ;)
We like the Bay Area for so much that we put up with the cons
as in any place. Though we know we would move if that balance
shifted too much, like more taxes, rise in violence, bad
schools, etc. If the state allowed city income taxes, we'd
leave the state. If our kids were assigned to bad schools in
SF, we'd probably move to San Mateo or Benicia. But even
Benicia has violence-though rare.
Don't know if you'll find many conservatives in the Bay Area,
but Peninsula, Solano, Pleasanton are less liberal. Stay away
from SF, Berkeley and Marin;) We think that the Bay Area has
good values for our children and hope we can give them the
strength and reason to weed out questionable ones. We also
believe our guidance is the most influential.
I tried to leave out my politics in this response. I'm not
on a mission to change the world either.
conservatives in the closet
You can email me if you want information on how Danville differs
from Oakland. We lived in a little house in upper rockridge &
loved it, but finally had to move to get a larger house when the
family grew. We have found Danville a great place to raise a
Some of your values don't necessarily ring as "conservative" vs.
"liberal" to me (for instance lots of "liberals" would love one
parent stays at home if they could afford it.) However, if you are
conservative areas, just go east through the tunnel. I was raised
in Orinda; way too conservative for me. I know liberal types who
have fled because of the perceived conservativism. Perhaps in
affluent areas of the Bay Area as well, such as Piedmont and some
of the cities on the Penninsula.
I tend to take for granted that everyone I know thinks as I do. I
rarely meet someone of your ilk in these parts. Its one reason I
dont' want to leave the Bay Area, despite the outrageous cost of
living. But in the end, I'm sure you'll find plenty of
conservatives, and can make the life you want to here.
I am sorry you feel like outsiders in the Bay Area. However, because
the Bay area is steeped in progressive thinking and is rife with
universities and the free thought that can go along with them, your
best bet is to move. In the Bay Area (if not the country in general),
the more expensive and "wealthy" the demographic tends to be, the more
conservative it also tends to be. Since you live near Montclair in
Oakland (an expensive area), and find it not conservative enough for
your liking, it really seems to me that short of moving over the hills
to Walnut Creek or Danville, you probably would be happier if you lived
elsewhere in the country. Furthermore, there are many people working
hard to dissolve the boundaries between the "haves" and the "have
lesses", and who resent the insulated communities that conservatives
have tried to form in the Bay Area, so moving to one of those areas may
not solve your issue of feeling like you don't fit in in the Bay Area
as a whole.
In the Bay Area we are overwhelmingly pro-choice, pro-gay rights,
pro-social programs, and anti-war. It does not seem to be such a good
fit for you, especially since you have lived here for seven years and
have not made good connections with anyone. I know of some folks who
moved to Atlanta for precisely these reasons, and they are much happier
Good luck to you wherever you live,
WOW! I wish you would move near me! I live in Pinole and feel the
same way. I would also add that in addition to Micheal Savage,
I'm an avid Dr. Laura listener! I think the problem is that the
things that you believe in can cross political bounderies.
Especially the SAHM issue.
I haven't found an enclave of conservatives anywhere. I've lived in
Oakland (that's a lost
cause) and Richmond (most people didn't seem interested in
discussing their opinions) and now live in Pinole (no clear cut
politics). It may be that
you have to move farther East. I will be interested to see other
replies. If you'd like to discuss this issue, feel free to email.
If you are looking for more conservative areas, you need to go
East. As you go farther in to the suburbs, you will find more
conservative people. I live in Lamorinda, and there is a
combination of political views, but I would say conservatives
(or what would be called moderates in any other part of the
USA) outnumber liberals. The bottom line in Lamorinda is
living in a safe community with good schools, so frankly,
nobody much cares what your political views are - they just
want to know that you voted for the latest parcel tax!
Everyone in Lamorinda mows their lawns (and most hire someone
to do it for them!!), and most kids I know watch at least some
A suggestion for you - since this is an election year, I would
drive around some areas you are interested in this Fall, and
see how many ''Bush/Cheney'' signs you see in people's yards! I
consider myself a moderate, but am definitely considered
conservative for the Bay Area. I will have my ''Bush/Cheney''
sign out this year, even though I am sure my one (!!) liberal
friend in the area will give me a hard time! I would have
never done that 4 years ago (I moved here from the mid-west and
was still getting to know the area then), but I also think I am
getting too old to care what anyone else thinks of me anymore!
Good luck with your decision. This is such a beautiful place
to live, I am sure you will find your place in it!
On this side of the tunnel, Piedmont is a fairly conservative
town, altho it has quite a few liberals as well. (I did see
several Bush signs on lawns during the last election.) On the
other side of the tunnel, Lafayette, Orinda, and Moraga are
worth investigating. Maybe you could inquire as to what
percentage of the population is registered Republican...
somewhere in the middle
Perhaps I'm reading between the lines a little, but you sound like
looking for a community where LOTS of people share your view. At the
risk of sounding like the Berkeley born-and-raised 41 year old I am,
there are plenty of homogenous communities with
republican, anti-choice pro-war folks. Danville and Blackhawk, with
their gated communities, come to mind. Certain parts of the South Bay
might suit you (Hillsborough), too. Some parts of the LaMorInda area.
One last note: the beauty of the Bay IS its diversity. Would you
be more happy in a place where there are folks who see eye to eye with
you at every corner? Not that we don't want you here because we need
people like your family to make the bay area the only sane place on
earth. It's just, Montclair is a pretty conservative place for the bay
If you're not happy there (and you deserve to be happy), then why force
Alameda is a very conservative place. It is changing a bit since the
is not there. But, there is a good mix of people. Lots of stay at
and the views you expressed.
I also hear Concord is very conservative.
Keep looking you will find us!
I have many friends who live out in Contra Costa County and they
seem to think that it is quite conservative. They send their
children to Orinda schools and feel the education is very
strong. The Danville and Alamo areas seem like a good place for
you if you want to stay in the bay area. The houses are
beautiful and there is BART access. I hope we can keep the bay
area eclectic and I personally encourage you to stay here even
though I do not share your values.
It sounds like you might like Fremont. When I lived there, I
-religious community members who were very active in
schools and worked against books they considered
offensive, sex ed, the gay school board president, etc.
-lots of American flags, yellow ribbons, Republican bumper
stickers, etc...which I don't see much of around here.
There were also plenty of liberal people who weren't afraid
to express their views, but there was definitely a more
conservative element in Fremont than I've found in the
Oakland/Berkeley area. Now, I haven't lived there for years,
but I do go back to visit...and from my conversations with
friends and family it seems that the political makeup of the
city has stayed much the same.
Happy to Live in Oakland
Check out El Sobrante and north of there (Pinole, Hercules,
etc.)...it's a rather different world from Berkeley, Oakland,
I spent 10 years doing political organizing for a lefty cause
throughout the bay area and, trust me, there are *lots* of
conservative folks in the bay area. Probably the highest
concentration of conservatives would be in Contra Costa county.
Danville, Lafayette, Concord etc. On the Penninsula you could try
Belmont or Hillsborough or Daly City. Marin county, despite its
reputation (earned in the 50s-70s) as a stronghold of
progressivism has a huge number of conservative people. Try Ross
or even Mill Valley (believe it or not). I'm certain you have
lots of like-minded neighbors there in Montclair, however.
Perhaps they are not your direct neighbors, but they're out
there. And, that's just the thing, wherever you go you'll find a
diversity of political leanings and strong feelings about bug
sprays, war and abortion. It just depends on your neighbors. The
places I've listed just tend to have higher concentrations of
I live in Alameda and I would say that it is a
fairly ''conservative'' town for the Bay area, since I used to
live in Berkeley. Come to the 4th of July parade, it really
does seem like a midwest kind of thing, a true homwtown thing. I
don't know what you are looking for exactly, but there are lots
of places that are not bastions of liberalness. In fact, I'd
say most of the bay area. Go out in the burbs. The further
away you get from SF and Berkeley the more likely you are to
find like-minded people.
where are all the liberals?
The East Bay 'burbs are for you! Look no farther than Orinda
(where I live), Moraga, Lafayette, Walnut Creek, Danville and
San Ramon. I'm a liberal living in the burbs(left my beloved
Berkeley) and I find it WAY too conservative. My neighbors spray
for ants(we live near a creek, yikes!), their kids watch a lot
of TV, they are very patriotic, they fought against a temporary
homeless shelter for the frail elderly and families with
children, they own firearms, voted for Wal-Mart and Arnie and
love Bush. What more can I say, you'll feel right at home in
When can I move back to Berkeley?
The place you're looking for does exist on the other side of the
tunnel. Pleasant Hill would be perfect for your family. My
sister-in-law lives out there and she and her huge circle of
friends share your beliefs. In terms of their beliefs, I think
that they are in the majority. It is quite conservative out
there. The churches are quite conservative as well.
Good luck in your search.
I'll be curious to hear the tone of the responses your letter
generates, and see whether such a place exists.
The East Bay includes all types of people and tolerates
most racial, political and social minorities -- but, as you may
have found, many of those who consider this part of the
country ''tolerant'' do so because they are tolerated, not
because they are tolerant.
I hope that your questions help open a gentle dialog here on
the concept of extending tolerance to include those of the
It has been my experience that in every slice of the local
culture most people here will be slightly more progressive
and liberal than would be the comparable ''slice'' of people
in communities in many other parts of the country. A range
of opinion, behavior and expectation do exist, however.
When I told a friend about your letter his response was
''Berkeley [even] has 3,000 registered Republicans''.
I suspect the answer to your original question is that the
farther you stray from the epicenter of Berkeley, the more
likely you will be to find like minded people. Some would say
Lamorinda, but I'm unconvinced that a dearth of diversity
actually indicates a presence of conservative lifestyle.
I lived in Berkeley for 10+ years and found it to be really a
close-minded place in that there is a certain narrow set of
political views one is supposed to have. About a year ago I
moved to the Tri-Valley area, and have found that in addition
to a greater diversity of political views here (they run the
gamut), people are less rude and judgemental when you don't
share their views. Its refreshing. Maybe stay in the Bay Area
but move to a more accepting town?
Democrat that listens to Dr. Laura
Try Orinda, Lafayette, Walnut Creek, Newark, Fremont, etc.
Those areas are much more conservative politically (at least
the people I know in them), although there is a bit less racial
and cultural diversity. The farther you go away from the Bay
Area, the more that is true (in my experience).
Best of luck to you!
I have been reading the replies to your question regarding
finding a more conservative area in the bay area to live.
Almost all the replies suggest towns east of the oakland/san
leandro/hayward hills. I've lived in Oakland, and I now live in
Livermore, one of the areas mentioned. You'll find more company
here in the Tri-valley. People keep their lawns very manicured,
there are lots of stay at home moms and people who support for
the war in Iraq. We're registered democrats who bought our
house from republicans; I know because we keep getting their
campaign donation requests.
But politically the Tri-valley isn't the opposite of Berkeley.
Everyone is not conservative. Political leanings run the
spectrum. I have never felt a sense that there is a
intollerant, dominant political thought process here, either
liberal or conservative. None of my neighbors or aquaintances
have asked me about my political leanings. Out of curiosity, I
went on-line and checked out the political contributions to the
presidential campaigns. They are split 50/50 between the
different democrats and George Bush. There is a house on my
street with a display of small American flags, and next to it, a
sign for Kerry. So far, I haven't seen a George Bush sign.
However, our fall mayor's race was HOT; lots of people had
campaign signs up. Pombo and Taucher represent different parts
of the Tri-Valley. So, if you're looking to find a consensus of
conservative thought, thi! s isn't the place. But, you will find
plenty of company in your political views.
this page was last updated: Aug 30, 2004
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website during
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network