Santa Clarita: Hidden Diversity

At 20 years old, I have spent more than half my life living in the very busy and diverse community of North Hollywood. After my parents spent years and years house hunting to no avail, they finally got their opportunity to move into their first house in a nice neighborhood. Even though Santa Clarita is just right outside the outskirts of Los Angeles, the difference in the two communities can be largely seen. I went from living in the extremely diverse City of Los Angeles to the predominately white City of Santa Clarita.

Santa Clarita’s residents consists of 51 percent white people, with Hispanics making up the second largest community at 31 percent. The nice suburban homes house middle to upper class families. Only 6.5 percent of people living in Santa Clarita are below the poverty line.

The culture shock that came with moving to a new city was slightly avoided when I attended a diverse high school. Despite earning the nickname “Ghetto Valley” from other high schools, Golden Valley was a very nice, well kept school in SCV. The difference between LAUSD schools and William S. Hart School District schools is evident.

My mother migrated from El Salvador to America when she was 18. While my father came to the States at a much younger age from Mexico. My parents’ hard work paid off when their dream of owning a house became a reality. The hardest part about moving for me was transferring schools. I thought the difference was going to be significant to the LAUSD schools I attended all my life, I later found out that Golden Valley High School was the most diverse school in Santa Clarita.

A majority of my closest high school friends were immigrants or children of immigrants. In Santa Clarita, many immigrants would probably find it initimidating to live in, considering more than half of the population is white. I have witnessed various counts of racism in my community which is an issue that costs SCV from blossoming into a more accepting and diverse city.

Santa Clarita’s household medium income of $89,916 is ten percent higher than that of Los Angeles. The proof is in the nicely manicured lawns adorned with white picket fences. About 22.3 percent of the population in Santa Clarita is foreign born with the majority from Latin America. The second largest being from Asia.

Although Santa Clarita is widely different from the constant hustle that is the large city of LA, I am still interested in the small amount of people of color sprinkled all around SCV. Many of these families, like mine, have a story about working hard to achieve their dreams of owning a house in a nice neighborhood. Although immigration enforcement is not a widely covered topic in Santa Clarita, racism is evident and I believe it is one of the reaons that drives diversity out of the city.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.