Life in District 34

Congressional District 34 of Los Angeles includes: Downtown Los Angeles, Highland Park, Cypress Park, Garvanza, Glassell Park, Westlake, Koreatown, Little Bangladesh, Little Tokyo, Boyle Heights, Eagle Rock, Mount Washington, Montecito Heights, Lincoln Heights, City Terrace, El Sereno, and Monterey Hills.




People (735,150 Population):

- 4.7% Black / African American
- 19.6% Asian
- 64.2% Hispanic or Latinx (of any race)
- 1.5% Native American / Indigenous
- 10% White alone / Other  

- Born in United States: 398,203
- Foreign Born: 336,947


- Civilian Labor Force: 384,581

- Employed: 354,331
- Unemployed: 30,250
- Unemployment Rate: 7.9%

- Workers who drove to work: 207,103
- Public transportation: 67,998
- Walked: 17,400

 Housing Costs:

- The median value of a living place $501,900 in CD34 and $178,600 in the US. 
- The monthly mortgage payment of someone living in CD34 was $2,231, while the US was $1,492.
- The median gross rent in CD34 was $3,698 while the US was $928.

 Socio-Economic Status:

- Median household income: $38,326

- % of Over 18 yrs without health insurance: 18.6%
- % of Under 18 yrs without health insurance: 6%

- % of families below the poverty line: 21.5%
      - With children under 18: 31.8%
      - With children under 5: 25.7%

- % of single mothers below the poverty line: 33.6%
      - With children under 18: 46.9%
      - With children under 5: 48.1%

- % of ALL people in CD34 below the poverty line: 26.6%
      - With children under 18: 39%
      - With children under 5: 41.6%  
      - 18 years and over: 23.1%
      - 65 years and over: 25.5%

- # of Homeless in Downtown Los Angeles alone: 10,000


- % of high school graduate or higher: 64.9% 
- % of bachelor's degree or higher: 24.1% 




The minimum wage in Los Angeles was $9/hour in 2015, and has recently been approved to reach $15 by 2020.

Year 2015: $9 x 2080 work hours = $18,720 
Year 2016: $10 x 2080 work hours = $20,800

In 2016, your yearly taxes after deductions and exemptions will probably amount to about $1,300.

So let’s say you’re single and live in LA, making the minimum wage of $10/hour or $20,800 year. Deduct taxes of $1,300 and you’re left with $19,500 at your disposal.

Let’s be conservative and say your rent is $900 per month (which is way less than the median rent of $3,698 in the District), BUT you got $80 for cable & internet, $40 for electricity, and $20 for water & gas, so your real monthly rent costs are $1,040. So you’re looking at $1,040 x 12 months = $12,480 per year in rent costs alone.

Now let’s add in transportation costs of about $70 per month on gas and $50 per month on car insurance, so you’re looking at $120 x 12 months = $1,440 on transportation costs.

Now let’s add in monthly premiums of Health Insurance under Obamacare. Considering you’re subsidy eligible, you’ll pay $75 for some decent insurance. Now let’s say you don’t go to the doctor the entire year because you’re healthy. So $75 x 12 months = $900 (really being generous on the health insurance).

Now let’s add in the fact that you’re taking part time classes at Cal State Los Angeles so you can get a better paying job, so the annual costs for “part-time” classes is about $4,000 (tuition/mandatory fees and books/supplies). Let’s say you get financial aid to cover $1,000 so you’re left paying $3,000. But you don’t have $3,000 to spare right now so you take a loan out for $3,000 for 60 months and pay a 4.5% interest rate, so your monthly education costs are about $56. $56 x 12 months = $672.

Now let’s pretend you’re eating fast food every day or cheap food because you’re balling on a budget. Let’s say you spend $10 a day on food, so $10 x 365 days = $3,650.

So I think we covered all the basic costs… Rent/Transportation/Health Insurance/Education/Food.

So let’s do some math now.

In 2016, our person living in LA makes $20,800, less taxes of $1,300, less rent costs of $12,480, less transportation costs of $1,440, less health insurance costs of $900, less public university education costs of $672 (since you’re taking out a loan), less food costs of $3,650 = $358! CHA CHING!

And I’m just being generous with some of the costs here… Mind you this person in our example is someone who has NO LIFE… This person works, studies, eats, sleeps, pays bills, and that’s it. This is actually felt even harder on families in the District because 1 out of every 5 families live below the poverty line. This is why Los Angeles ranks in the top 3 for the largest homeless population in the world.

Food for thought: The Federal Minimum Wage is $7.25.  

Our middle class is disappearing, the working class will work themselves to death, the poor will become poorer, and homelessness will continue to grow.


kenny_headshot_crop.jpgPosted by: Kenneth Mejia on May 06, 2016 

Showing 3 reactions

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  • S K Willis
    commented 2017-04-01 15:44:06 -0700
    This is an excellent resource page, Kenneth! Most of our so-called representatives in Congress or State Houses never bother to do the math because they don’t care. The prevailing attitude I perceive among the comfortable is that the poor are a surplus, low-value population to be ignored or gotten rid of, by any number of means. As a society, we’ve ceased being our brothers’ keepers. This must be reversed, if we are to maintain our humanity.
  • Justice News Network
    commented 2017-03-07 15:59:47 -0800
    The Fix in in and it is NOT in out favor people. We must ALL pull together to defeat the forces of oligarchy that keeps us broke, in debt, sick and hungry! Volunteer for Kenneth no matter where you live! We are all in this crap together! Larry
  • Sean Traba
    commented 2017-02-28 09:45:00 -0800
    Fucking unionize.