Fault Lines: Navigating the income divide and everything in between

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An old factory that used to build planes in Downey now has broken windows and sits empty.

On 6th Street, just west of Downtown Los Angeles, these are the things you can see: Good Samaritan Hospital. Liquor stores. Vinyl “Se Renta” signs hanging off the sides of crummy apartment buildings. And these are the things you don’t see: Almost 64 percent of people who live in this neighborhood are poor. Over 70 percent of the children live in poverty. The median household income is less than $20,000 a year.

Keep heading west on 6th Street, though, and an eight-bedroom house at Rossmore Avenue just sold for north of $8,000,000. Middle income in this neighborhood is over $150,000 a year. The poverty rate for children in this neighborhood is zero.

Los Angeles, like the rest of America, is increasingly divided when it comes to income. We’ve got the richest of the rich, the poorest of the poor and everyone in between. So we’re launching a new series called Fault Lines to take a look at how the city is both defined by and transcends the gaps between us. Are Angelenos moving up the income ladder? Are there places in LA where the rich and the poor mix? What does it mean to make the median income in Los Angeles? How does LA compare to the rest of the country? How have art, literature and film tackled the divide?

Stay tuned for entries on all of these questions and more. And we want to know your thoughts on how what we make defines how we live in Los Angeles. Fill out the form below to weigh in.