South Gate is a city in the Los Angeles County, California, United States. It is part of the Gateway Cities region of southeastern Los Angeles County. As of January 1, 2009, the city had a total population of 102,770. The "City of South Gate" was incorporated on 20 January 1923 by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
The city was named in 1918 after the South Gate Gardens on the Cudahy Ranch. The city was incorporated five years later using a shortened form of that name. The name refers to the city's being south of Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles River runs through the eastern part of South Gate.
South Gate's climate is warm during summer when temperatures tend to be in the 70's and cool during winter when temperatures tend to be in the 50's. The warmest month of the year is August with an average maximum temperature of 84.8°F, while the coldest month of the year is December with an average minimum temperature of 48.3°F. Temperature variations between night and day tend to be fairly limited during summer with a difference that can reach 19°F, and fairly limited during winter with an average difference of 19°F. The annual average precipitation at South Gate is 15.07 Inches. Rainfall is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year. The wettest month of the year is February with an average rainfall of 3.75 inches.
The census of 2000 recorded 96, 375 people, 23,213 households, and 20, 063 families residing in the city, with a population density of 13,084.6/sq mi (5,052.0/km²). There are 24,269 housing units at an average density of 1,271.4/km² (3,294.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was the following:
There are 23,213 households out of which 58.2% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.6% are married couples living together, 18.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 13.6% are non-families. 10.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 4.8% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 4.15 and the average family size is 4.37.
In the city the population is spread out with 35.6% under the age of 18, 12.5% from 18 to 24, 31.6% from 25 to 44, 14.9% from 45 to 64, and 5.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 26 years. For every 100 females there are 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 95.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $35,695, and the median income for a family is $35,789. Males have a median income of $25,350 versus $19,978 for females. The per capita income for the city is $10,602. 19.2% of the population and 17.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 24.2% of those under the age of 18 and 12.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
58.08% of the people in South Gate, CA are religious, meaning they affiliate with a religion. 39.99% are Catholic; 6.75% are Protestant; 1.04% are LDS; 3.33% are another Christian faith; 5.93% in South Gate, CA are Jewish; 0.07% are an eastern faith; 0.98% affilite with Islam.
South Gate developed during the 1920s and 1930s as an industrial city (primarily in "metal-bashing" industries) and its blue-collar community was predominantly non-Hispanic white.
During the 1940s and 1950s, South Gate was one of the most fiercely segregationist cities in Southern California; gangs of white youths were known to prowl the streets looking for blacks who dared to cross over from neighboring Watts. One of the most infamous clubs of the area at that time was the Spook Hunters.
The population reached some 55,000 by 1964.
The next year South Gate began to change. In August 1965, the Watts riots erupted. Watts was virtually 100 percent black, and South Gate, immediately to the east of Watts, was nearly 100 percent white. Although the rioters were mostly confined to black areas of south-central Los Angeles and did not cross the line into South Gate, younger whites in South Gate started to look elsewhere to buy their first houses. As the white population of South Gate began to decline, the Mexican population, which earlier had established a foothold, began to increase.
Since the 1970s, South Gate has had a large Hispanic community, which became dominant in the 1990s as working-class Hispanics and immigrant Latin American families filled the vacuum left by white flight.
As of June 2009, California's EDD lists the unemployment rate in South Gate, CA, as 14.4%, with negative job growth. The California State Board of Equalization lists South Gate's sale tax rate as 10.75%. The income per capita is $11,566, which includes all adults and children. The median household income is $41,064.
South Gate's commercial activity is concentrated in the following zones:
As of April 1, 2009, the City of South Gate imposes a 10.25-percent,which is now 10.75. 11 cents per dollar sales tax (statewide plus local supplementary), which matches Pico Rivera's sales tax rate as the highest in the State of California.
On July 9, 2009 the South Gate City Council held a special meeting where a resolution was adopted declaring a fiscal emergency for the City of South Gate. Resolution adopted declaring the City of South Gate in a fiscal emergency.
The City Council consists of five persons elected at large by the residents of South Gate. These Council members serve a four year term and establish the governing policies and procedures for the city. The Mayor is selected on an annual, rotating basis from among the Council members.
The City Clerk in South Gate is an elected position that serves a four-year term. As the official record keeper for the City, the City Clerk is responsible for maintaining all central and legal files, preparing City Council meeting agendas and minutes, conducting municipal elections and assisting the Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder with voter registration.
Maria Belen was elected City Treasurer of South Gate on March 24 Political Party
From 2001 to 2003, then-city treasurer, Albert Robles, along with three accomplices on the city council, accepted bribes and in turn gave taxpayer dollars to friends and relatives to perform city contracts. The three accomplices formed a majority of the five member city council, so they could effectively run the city any way they wanted. For example, in 2002, Robles was arrested on felony threat charges but was appointed by the city council to the deputy city manager position and had his legal bills covered by the city. The city council gave themselves a 2000% pay raise, and cut the pay of city clerk Carmen Avalos by 90%, after she complained about corruption and election fraud in the city to the California State Secretary.
Robles was convicted of bribery in July 2005. In November 2006 he was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, ordered to pay the city of South Gate $639,000 in restitution, and was immediately put into custody.
In March 2006, Rudy Navarro, who was elected to replace Albert Robles as city treasurer, was caught making a false statement on his biography as posted on the city's official web site. He claimed that he earned a degree from San Diego State University, when he actually had not completed all the requirements.
South Gate's recent political history has been characterized by political observers and editors as having elements of Third World Politics.
The most complete account of the South Gate corruption scandal can be found in journalist Sam Quinones' book, ANTONIO'S GUN AND DELFINO'S DREAM: True Tales of Mexican Migration (Univ. of New Mexico Press, 2007). See www.samquinones.com.
Most of South Gate is served by the Los Angeles Unified School District public school system. A small section of South Gate is served by the Paramount Unified School District and Downey Unified School District.
Part of South Gate is served by Downey Unified School District.
County of Los Angeles Public Library operates the Leland R. Weaver Library at 4035 Tweedy Boulevard and the Hollydale Library at 12000 South Garfield Avenue.