The city of Whittier, California is located in the southeastern part of Los Angeles County and is bordered by the cities of Montebello, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs, and La Habra. The city has a total area of 8.7 square miles and a population of 87,413 as of 2019.
The geography of Whittier is mostly flat with some low rolling hills in the northern parts of the city. The San Gabriel Mountains are located to the north with Mount Baldy being one of the highest peaks at 10,064 feet above sea level.
Whittier lies within the Greater Los Angeles Area and is part of the Gateway Cities Region which includes cities such as Montebello, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs, La Mirada and Norwalk among others. The climate in Whittier is generally mild with warm summers and mild winters due to its location near the Pacific Ocean.
The city has several parks including Penn Park which features a lake for fishing and boating as well as picnic areas; Hellman Wilderness Park which includes hiking trails; Washington Park which offers an outdoor amphitheater; and Whittier Narrows Recreation Area which offers bike paths, walking trails, golf courses, fishing spots and more.
Whittier also has several shopping centers such as Uptown Whittier Shopping Center which features shops like Target; Marketplace at Whittwood Shopping Center with stores like JCPenney; Quad at Whittwood Shopping Center featuring stores like Macy’s; Friendly Hills Plaza offering stores like Starbucks; and Eastland Center featuring stores like Ross Dress for Less.
Overall, Whittier is a diverse city with a variety of geographic features that make it an attractive place to live for those looking for a mix between urban life and outdoor recreation opportunities.
History of Whittier, California
The city of Whittier, California was first settled in the mid-1850s by Quaker settlers who were looking to escape religious persecution in the east. The original settlement was called “Friendsville” and was established in 1854 by a group of Quakers led by John Bailey. In 1887, the town changed its name to Whittier after poet John Greenleaf Whittier who had a strong connection to the Quaker faith.
During the early years, the economy of Whittier was based primarily on agriculture with some small manufacturing businesses as well. The city experienced rapid growth starting in the 1920s when oil was discovered nearby and several oil fields were developed around the city. This brought an influx of people and money into Whittier and helped it become an important center for commerce and industry in Los Angeles County.
In 1957, Whittier incorporated as a city with its own mayor and city council. Since then, it has grown steadily with new developments such as The Quad at Whittwood Shopping Center, Uptown Whittier Shopping Center, Washington Park, Penn Park, Hellman Wilderness Park and more being built throughout the years.
Today, Whittier is home to 87,413 people according to 2019 estimates and has been ranked as one of America’s best small cities for young families due to its low crime rate and good schools. It is also known for its diverse population which includes a large number of Latino immigrants from Mexico as well as numerous Asian Americans from countries such China and Vietnam.
Overall, Whittier is a vibrant community that has experienced steady growth over the years while still maintaining its unique character which makes it an attractive place for both families and young professionals alike.
Economy of Whittier, California
The economy of Whittier, California has been largely driven by its proximity to Los Angeles and its diverse range of industries. In the early days, the city’s economy was based primarily on agriculture with some small manufacturing businesses as well. However, in the 1920s when oil was discovered nearby and several oil fields were developed around the city, it experienced rapid growth and became an important center for commerce and industry in Los Angeles County.
Today, Whittier is home to a variety of industries such as manufacturing, retail, healthcare, education and professional services that all contribute to its economic success. The city’s largest employers include Whittier Hospital Medical Center, PIH Health Hospital-Whittier, Uptown Whittier Shopping Center and Rio Hondo College. In addition, there are also numerous small businesses located throughout the city that offer goods and services to local residents.
Tourism also plays an important role in Whittier’s economy as visitors come from all over to take advantage of the city’s many attractions such as Hellman Wilderness Park which offers hiking trails and stunning views of the San Gabriel Mountains; Penn Park which features a duck pond; The Quad at Whittwood Shopping Center which offers shopping opportunities; and Washington Park which is home to many historical sites like the historic Forbes Mansion.
Overall, Whittier is an economically vibrant community with plenty of opportunities for both businesses and individuals alike. It has experienced steady growth over the years due to its diverse range of industries while still maintaining its unique character that makes it an attractive place for families and young professionals alike.
Politics in Whittier, California
The politics of Whittier, California are largely shaped by the city’s membership in Los Angeles County and its proximity to the state’s capital, Sacramento. The city is represented in the United States House of Representatives by Congresswoman Grace Napolitano and in the State Assembly by Assemblymember Ian Calderon. At the local level, Whittier is governed by a five-member City Council who are elected at-large for four year terms.
Whittier’s local government is responsible for providing services such as police and fire protection, public works, parks and recreation, library services, transportation infrastructure, economic development and housing assistance. The City Council also has a role in setting policy and making decisions on matters such as land use, zoning regulations and public works projects.
The City Council is also responsible for appointing members to various boards and commissions that provide oversight on specific areas of interest such as planning and zoning or environmental protection. Additionally, Whittier has an active citizen involvement program which encourages residents to get involved in their local government through volunteer activities such as attending council meetings or serving on boards and commissions.
In addition to its local government structure, Whittier is also home to many political organizations that seek to engage citizens in civic affairs such as the Democratic Party of Los Angeles County which holds monthly meetings at City Hall; the League of Women Voters which hosts educational events throughout the year; and Whittier Together which seeks to bring together community members from all political backgrounds to discuss issues relevant to their neighborhood.
Overall, politics play an important role in shaping Whittier’s future as citizens have a wide range of opportunities to get involved with their local government through volunteering or joining political organizations. Through this engagement they can help shape policy decisions that will benefit their community for years to come.