California 29th District
In the early part of the 20th century, when Los Angeles was growing rapidly and on its way to becoming one of America’s major cities, its richest citizens settled not on the beach (too clammy and cold) or on the west side (too dusty and remote), but in communities they built at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. Their snow-capped peaks, rising 10,000 feet above the city, are visible most of the year. The place to be was Pasadena, home of the Rose Bowl, Cal Tech, and a baroque-domed city hall. Pasadena and South Pasadena have carefully preserved their bungalow neighborhoods, and Pasadena preserved and rebuilt the 80-year-old curving Colorado Boulevard Bridge over Arroyo Seco. More middle class is Glendale, north of downtown Los Angeles, site of Forest Lawn Cemetery and DreamWorks Animation. To the west, beneath the Verdugo Mountains, is Burbank, the “media capital of the world” as the headquarters for NBC Studios, ABC Studios, Warner Brothers, and Disney, plus many small entertainment and multimedia companies. With their lower taxes and business-friendly attitude, Glendale and Burbank were booming before the nationwide recession struck in 2007 and 2008. To reduce traffic congestion, planners are exploring a lengthy tunnel to link the freeways in South Pasadena and Pasadena.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
The 29th Congressional District of California includes Pasadena, South Pasadena, Glendale, and the eastern half of Burbank. Historically, these were solidly Republican cities, but they have become more Democratic in recent years, for various reasons—Pasadena because of the cultural liberalism of affluent voters and the Democratic preference of the growing black community; Glendale because of large communities of Armenians (the nation’s largest), Iranians, Koreans, and Filipinos; and Burbank from the trendiness of show business. The district also includes, south of South Pasadena, cities with large Asian populations: Vietnamese in San Gabriel and Chinese in Alhambra, Temple City, and the northern edge of Monterey Park (which the locals call Little Taipei). This is a polyglot district—24% Hispanic, 26% Asian, 11% Armenian, and 6% African-American. It has become solidly Democratic, casting only 37% of its votes for President Bush in 2004 and 30% for Republican presidential candidate John McCain in 2008.