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Pico Rivera, California
Pico Rivera, California is a city in Los Angeles County about 14 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. The City of Pico Rivera has a population of about 60,000 and a land area of over eight square miles. Pico Rivera was formerly two small separate communities named, unsurprisingly, Pico, on the north, and Rivera, on the south. Rivera was once compared to Mesopotamia, as it was situated between two rivers, the Rio Hondo and San Gabriel—a fanciful comparison given the flows of the Rio Hondo and San Gabriel were much less than that of Mesopotamia’s Tigris and Euphrates rivers. When annexation fever grew, spurred in part by rumors that the City of Downy intended to annex the region, Pico and Rivera incorporated as Pico Rivera in 1958. To the north and northwest of Pico Rivera are the cities of Montebello and Bell Gardens; to the east is Whittier; and to the south are Downey and Santa Fe Springs. Pico Rivera offers more affordable housing than many neighboring cities.Business and Jobs
In 2016, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation named Pico Rivera the most business-friendly city in Los Angeles County with a population of less than 68,000.
El Rancho Unified School District is one of the largest employers in Pico Rivera. The district is comprised of eight elementary schools, one early learning program, three middle schools, two high schools, and one alternative education center. The district has over 7,500 students, 300 teachers, and 400 staff. Annual expenditures by El Rancho Unified School District exceed $70 million.
Wal-Mart, which opened its Pico Rivera store at Pico Rivera Towne Center in 2002, is another large Pico Rivera employer. The City of Pico Rivera receives well over $1 million in tax revenue from Wal-Mart.
Commercial development in Pico Rivera is largely focused along Whittier and Washington Boulevards. In addition, a portion of Durfee Avenue contains buildings devoted commercial, industrial, and office uses. Commercial and industrial uses are also found along Telegraph Road, Rosemead Boulevard, and Slauson Avenue. Pico Rivera is also home to industrial parks—Pacific Gateway Business Park and Pico Rivera Commerce Center. Several freeways (including the San Gabriel River Freeway [Interstate 605], the Pomona Freeway [California State Route 60], and the Santa Ana Freeway [Interstate 5]) and rail lines (some that connect with the ocean ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach) provide easy access to and from Pico Rivera businesses. Pico Rivera is also attractive to businesses due to its proximity to downtown Los
Angeles and other economic centers. Pico Rivera is among the southeast Los Angeles County cities that comprise the Gateway Cities Council of Governments, whose aim is to improve the quality of life of its residents.Government
The City Council is the legislative body for the City of Pico Rivera. The five council members comprising the City Council are elected at large. One council member acts as Mayor and another council member acts as Mayor Pro Tempore. The City Council appoints the City Manager. The City Manager is responsible to ensure that the City operates effectively while complying with all laws, policies, and regulations. The City has three main active commissions: Planning, Parks and Recreation, and Veterans. The California State Auditor’s Office has designated the City of Pico Rivera as a “low risk” city in terms of fiscal health.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department provides law enforcement services for the City of Pico Rivera. The Pico Rivera Sheriff’s Station serves Pico Rivera as well as several neighboring communities.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department provides fire and emergency services for Pico Rivera. Los Angeles County Fire Department Stations 25 and 40 are located in Pico Rivera.
Southern California Edison provides electrical services and Southern California Gas Company provides natural gas services for Pico Rivera.History
The economy of Pico Rivera traces its roots to the completion of Atchison, Topeka, Santa Fe and Union Pacific railroad rail lines through the area in the 1870s. A Santa Fe railroad depot was built to serve the region. Early area communities included Barton Ranch, Gallatin, Maizeland, and Ranchito. The Old Maizeland School was built in 1868 in present day Pico Rivera. Thereafter, the narrow and fertile floodplain that was to become Pico Rivera developed as an agricultural area with large groves of citrus, walnuts, and avocados, as well as figs, grains, and vegetables. After World War II, the farmland was gradually replaced by homes and businesses.
Pico Rivera was the home of a Ford auto assembly plant called Los Angeles Assembly that opened in 1957, the year before Pico Rivera incorporated. Los Angeles Assembly was built in part to replace an older and less efficient plant in Long Beach. The plant closed in 1980 after many well-known models, including the Ford Falcon, had rolled off the conveyor belt and become part of America’s car culture. Northrop
Corporation then purchased the facility and transformed it into a B-2 bomber production plant at a cost of over $1 billion. At one point, the Northrop plant had around 9,000 workers. However, Northrop’s successor company, Northrop Grumman Corporation later closed the plant. The closure eliminated many high-paying jobs with consistent full-time hours and benefits (engineers, lab technicians, and designers), taking away a portion of Pico Rivera’s tax base and key spending for many local businesses. The site is now occupied by the Pico Rivera Towne Center retail complex.Recreation and Entertainment
At the northern tip of Pico Rivera is the Pico Rivera Sports Arena, a popular venue for music events.
Also at the north end of the City is Whittier Narrows Recreation Area, a sizable open space area covering about 4,100 acres.
Pico Rivera is home to several small parks.
Pico Rivera Municipal Golf Course has a lighted 9-hole executive golf course set on rolling terrain, a driving range, and putting greens.Contact Us
The attorneys at Kokozian Law Firm, APC practice employment law and represent workers throughout California. If your employer or former employer has violated your rights, call the caring employment attorneys at Kokozian Law Firm, APC or Contact Us via our online form. We advance all costs. No recovery, no fee.