The narrowest definition of Los Angeles is the City of Los Angeles, which excludes all neighboring areas. This city has 462 square miles of land mass and a population of 3.8 million people. The charter of the City of Los Angeles, ratified by voters in 1999, created a system of neighborhood advisory councils that would represent the diversity of stakeholders, such as those who live, work, or own property in the neighborhood. These councils are relatively autonomous and spontaneous in that they identify their own boundaries, establish their own statutes, and elect their own officials.
There are about 90 neighborhood councils in Los Angeles. Residents elect Supervisors for the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Supervisory Districts. Additionally, there are numerous colleges and universities outside the city limits in the greater Los Angeles area, including the Claremont Colleges consortium, which includes some of the most selective liberal arts colleges in the United States. The Department of State also provides rail service through Metrolink and the Los Angeles County metropolitan area.
The Los Angeles Transportation Authority has Amtrak intercity passenger trains.The city's main train station is Union Station, located just north of downtown. Furthermore, the city contracts directly for local and commuter bus service through the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT). As the home of Hollywood and its entertainment industry, numerous singers, actors, celebrities, and other artists live in several districts of Los Angeles. During World War II, Los Angeles was a major manufacturing center for wartime products such as ships and aircraft.Los Angeles has a diverse economy and is home to businesses in a wide range of professional and cultural fields.
It is often characterized by low-rise buildings compared to New York City. The city is located in a basin of Southern California adjacent to the Pacific Ocean that extends through the Santa Monica Mountains to the San Fernando Valley. Calship built hundreds of Liberty and Victory Ships on Terminal Island during this time.Air quality issues in Los Angeles and other major cities led to the passage of early national environmental legislation such as the Clean Air Act. The eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains extends from the center to the Pacific Ocean and separates the Los Angeles basin from the San Fernando Valley.
This area was home to Chumash and Tongva indigenous peoples before it was claimed by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo for Spain in 1542.Many varieties of Judaism are represented in the greater Los Angeles area, including reformists, conservatives, orthodox, and reconstructionists. In fact, Eric Garcetti - current mayor of Los Angeles - used to be a city councilman for a district that contained a good part of Hollywood.The region is also home to many native species such as the endangered Los Angeles sunflower. Japanese Americans make up 0.9% of Los Angeles' population with two major communities: Little Tokyo established in the center of the city and another located in Sawtelle district of West Los Angeles.The Port of Los Angeles - also known as WORLDPORT LA - occupies 30 km (18 miles) of land and water along 43 miles (69 km) of coastline. There are numerous additional colleges and universities outside the city limits in the greater Los Angeles area, including the Claremont Colleges consortium.
Many cities exist within Los Angeles County but have far fewer dealings with county affairs than does San Francisco County with its City counterpart. Unlike San Francisco's situation however, Los Angeles was not an only child.