With the possible only exceptions of Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and of course Los Angeles itself, the name Compton has more media-generated recognition and subjective resonance around the world than does the name of any other city or community in the greater Los Angeles area. And like the other areas, the reality of Compton is more complex and layered than the images and ideas associated with the name. As one of Los Angeles County’s older cities, it was within the first ten to become one of Los Angeles’s incorporated cities about twelve years before the beginning of the twentieth century. More than a hundred years before, Compton was part of a Spanish land grant known as Rancho San Pedro. With the fading of the northern California gold rush as the findings depleted, migrants came south and Compton became the home to many. As the city was developing, the plan was to divide the land into large residential parcels enabling homeowners to raise crops and livestock on them. To date, the result of this plan – single-family houses on large plots of land – still dominates the landscape of Compton, but while in the earlier decades the homeowners were relatively affluent, few of the current resident would qualify as middle class. For despite this superficial detail, a number of causes such as an increase in crime, people moving out of the area after the Watts Riots leading to a drop in tax revenue, and problems with government corruption and neglect, among other forces, led to a version of the city that became famous in the early 1980’s when local rap and hip-hop artists adopted a form of “party” music made popular in New York City and transformed it into a hard-edged, aggressive comment on life in Compton for its residents. Since those years, Compton has actually changed from a largely African-American community to one that is largely Latino and Hispanic.
The city of Compton is almost at dead-center of map of the Los Angeles area, if one does not include the San Fernando Valley. It lies halfway between the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and downtown Los Angeles. The city of Compton is split down the middle by the Alameda Corridor, a twenty mile long rail trench set below street level through which a full quarter of the goods unloaded from the Port is transported to various shipping junctions in Los Angeles. Compton is south and southeast of Willowbrook and south of Lynwood. Compton’s neighbor to the east, across from the Long Beach Freeway (also known as “the 710”), is Paramount. The city of Carson is Compton’s southern and southwestern neighbor, while to the south and southeast is North Long Beach. One rarely known fact is that Compton is home to an airport, the Compton/Woodley Airport, which, like Van Nuys Airport, is a “general aviation” airport. About one hundred eighty takeoffs or landings occur each day at this airport. Also, the headquarters for a number of large grocery chains and other businesses call Compton home. Compton workers have rights. Our office pursues cases against employers who fail to provide employees with all owed regular and overtime wages, or who attempt to compel employees to work without taking mandatory meal breaks and paid rest breaks by convincing them that they will be terminated if they complain. If you have not been paid all the wages you are owed for your labor, or if your employer has not provided you with meal and rest breaks, contact us for a free consultation.