“East Los Angeles is a special community, a mix of cultures and people from all over the world finding their way to this 7.4 mile, boot-shaped piece of land hoping for a better future. East L.A. started in the mid-1870’s as a community of hardworking immigrants, where people could live affordably.
Today, East L.A. is not as diverse as it once was. With an area spanning 7.47 miles, East L.A.’s population is 97.7% Hispanic and highly dense with about 127,000 inhabitants. 1.1% of residents consider themselves to be White, 1.0% consider themselves to be Asian, and .03% consider themselves to be Black.
As a community we are considered to be “low-income,” at a median of $40,177 and a per capita income of $12,742. We are considered to be underpriviledged, meaning that we do not develop politically, economically, or socially at a rapid pace. We are uneducated as well. 46.7% of the population are High School graduates. 6% of the population have a Bachelor’s degree. We are also considered “violent,” with the overall crime rate in East Los Angeles being 153% igher than the national average. For every 100,000 people, there are 20.5 daily crimes that occur in East L.A.; if you live in the neighborhood, there is a 1 in 14 chance that you will be a victim of a crime. On paper, East L.A. might be a community that one would want to avoid at all costs. (www.city-data.com)
Statistics do not portray an accurate picture of East L.A. though. East Los Angeles is more than race, income, and social status. East L.A. focuses more on family virtues, work ethic, and progressivism. We have entrepreneurs in surplus. East L.A. is a community that has formed leaders, celebrities, and heroes. This map [project] highlights some of the individuals who took a chance at making a difference for themselves and for their community. These East L.A. stars are people who are well-recognized within the community. These are the men and women who put smiles on the faces of community members every single day. Some of them are hardworking immigrants who came to this country in search of a better life and also provide a better future for their family. Each person from East L.A. has a story worth telling.”
– Andy Alvarez, ELARA Graduate and Public Matters Urban Futures Lab Fellow