Contra Costa County is one of the original 27 counties in California, established in 1850 at the time of statehood. It is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is home to a variety of cities, towns, and villages. The county is known for its diverse geography, ranging from the Caldecott Tunnel to the Indian gaming casinos proposed in Richmond and surrounding areas. The Contra Costa Canal is a fenced irrigation canal lined with concrete that runs through the center of the county.
It provides industrial and agricultural water to farms and industry. Property titles in Contra Costa County can be attributed to multiple subdivisions of some original land grants made between 1836 and 1846, when California was an independent province of Mexico. Before 1903, most trips to downtown Contra Costa County were by boat or rail to Martinez, on the north coast. From there, people could travel to industrial areas in the east along the coast or agricultural regions in the south.
The population of Contra Costa County is diverse, with 614,512 (58.6%) white people; 97,161 (9.3%) African Americans; 6,122 (0.6%) Native Americans; 151,469 (14.4%) Asians (4.6% Filipinos, 3.8% Chinese, 2.1% Indian); 4,845 (0.5%) Pacific Islanders; 112,691 (10.7%) from other races; and 62,225 (5.9%) from two or more races. El Sobrante, Bay View, Mountain View, and San Miguel are some of the cities located in Contra Costa County. Since 2003, four Indian gaming casinos have been proposed in Richmond and surrounding areas of western Contra Costa County. Democrats have wide advantages in voter registration numbers in all political subdivisions of Contra Costa County. In 1937, the two-hole Caldecott tunnel for road vehicles was completed, making the interior of Contra Costa County much more accessible.