Friday, December 4, 2009

How Well Do You Know East L.A.?

If you have been a reader of this blog you know a few things about Pan American Bank. You know that Pan American Bank is the only bank headquartered in East Los Angeles. You know that Pan American Bank has been in East Los Angeles since 1964. You know that Pan American Bank was founded by Romana Acosta Banuelos, the first Latino Treasurer of the United States. And you know that Pan American Bank's mission is to serve the Latino communities of East Los Angeles and Santa Ana. What you may not know is where East Los Angeles is located and what it is all about. So this post today is about sharing a little something about the East L.A. community.

East Los Angeles or East L.A. or East Los, is an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County, California that spans a total area of 7.4 square miles. East Los Angeles is bounded by the city of Los Angeles to the west, the unincorporated area of City Terrace to the northwest, the city of Monterey Park to the northeast, the city of Montebello to the east, and the city of Commerce to the south. The unincorporated area of East Los Angeles was once known as "Maravilla" and also "Belvedere Gardens".

According to the 2000 census, the area had a total population of 124,283 with 29,844 households, and 25,068 families residing in the community. There were 31,096 housing units and a whopping 96.8% of the population was Latino.

Of the 29,844 households, 51.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.1% were married couples living together, 21.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.0% were non-families. Only 12.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.15 and the average family size was 4.42.

The age distribution of the community was as follows: 34.6% under the age of 18, 12.6% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 14.2% from 45 to 64, and 7.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 26 years. For every 100 females there were 101.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.2 males.

According to the 2000 census, the median income for a household in the community was $28,544, and the median income for a family was $29,755. Males had a median income of $21,065 versus $18,475 for females. The per capita income for the community was $9,543. About 24.7% of families and 27.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.0% of those under age 18 and 13.5% of those age 65 or over. East Los Angeles has a very large Latino population that consists of Mexicans, Guatemalans, Salvadorans, and Hondurans.

As East Los Angeles is an unincorporated community, it does not have a local government, and relies on the County of Los Angeles for local services. Despite multiple failed attempts in the past, residents are currently campaigning for cityhood for East Los Angeles.

The East Los Angeles Latino Walk of Fame was inaugurated in April 30, 1997 to honor outstanding leaders who have made historical and social contributions. East L.A. was both the origin and destination of Cheech Marin in both the song and the movie Born in East L.A.

Famous people born in East Los Angeles are many including Constance Marie, Edward Olmos, Lee Baca, Oscar De La Hoya, and Paul Renteria.

Over the course of the next couple months I will discuss initiatives that the Bank has undertaken. Many of the initiatives are driven by the 2000 census as well as current events such as the Cityhood for East Los Angeles.

I hope that this information gives you a better understanding of our community. It should also explain why our mission is so important. I am excited to share these developments with our readers and look forward to the feedback received as we continue on this journey together.

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