Guide to Local Municipal Resources in Los Angeles, California
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Guide to Local Municipal Resources in Los Angeles, California

This guide of local municipal resources will help you find the resources you may need in the City of Los Angeles.

The phrase “municipal resources in Los Angeles” makes me immediately think of Tommy Lee Jones in Volcano. In a state of emergency like a natural disaster, the film does have merit. However, the average citizen does not always know where to look. This guide will help you find the resources you may need in Los Angeles.

The population of Los Angeles, as of the 2000 Census, was 3,684,820. Founded in 1781 the city has a total area of 465 square miles. It is the second largest city in the nation.


There are numerous churches in Los Angeles. Church goers have a choice of Anglican, Apostolic, Assembly of God, Baptist, Bible, Brethren, Calvary Chapel, Catholic, Church of Christ, Congregational, Episcopal, Evangelical, Foursquare, Lutheran, Mennonite, Messianic, Methodist, Nazarene, non denominational, Orthodox, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Reformed and Seventh Day Adventist.


Over 900,000 youth are enrolled in the Los Angeles Unified School District. There are over 400 elementary schools that eventually feed into 94 senior high schools within the district. The district takes in the entire Los Angeles County, not just the city.

Colleges include:

DeVry University

California State University, Dominguez Hills

California State University, Fullerton

California State University, Long Beach

California State University, Los Angeles

California State University, Northridge

Los Angeles City College

Loyola Marymount University

Mount St. Mary's College

University of California, Los Angeles

University of Southern California


The Emergency Preparedness Department coordinates training, planning and recovery activities among the City’s emergency personnel. It is a resource department that, like in the movie Volcano, pulls resources together and maintains communications among the responders.


The Los Angeles Police Department protects the citizens of and visitors to Los Angeles.


The fire department  is divided into five bureaus to better protect the nearly four million residents of Los Angeles. The department is responsible for traditional fire fighting duties as well as prevention programs and pre-fire inspections. Part of the prevention includes preparedness exercises and plans, such as earthquake preparedness


Emergency medical services fall under the fire department.


While the movies always seem to include Cedars Sinai and the Good Samaritan Hospital of Los Angeles, there are over 140 hospitals in the metro area. The US News has ranked them including the specialties of each. (The US News site was accessed 30 December 2011).


The government is set up in a mayor/council/commission form. The City Clerk of Los Angeles has compiled a nice list of government resources for the city. It was written in 2006 the specific people may be out dated but the offices and layout and general info are still good resources to have on hand.

There are over 40 departments and bureaus within the city government. Below is a partial list that residents might need more often.

Animal Services Department

Building and Safety Department

Commission for Children, Youth and their Families

Commission on the Status of Women

Community Development Department

Cultural Affairs Department

Department of Aging

Department on Disability

Department of Recreation and Parks

Harbor Department

Housing Authority

Los Angeles Public Library

Planning Department

Office of the Treasury

Zoo Department



In addition to the Los Angeles Times, residents and visitors have no shortage of newspapers from which to choose. Some specialize in news, entertainment, sports or business. Others focus on a specific ethnic background like the Dia a Dia for the Hispanic community or Balita for the Fillipino community.

In addition to newspapers, Los Angeles has its choice of magazines, radio, television and online sources. The most cumulative reference source for Los Angeles media is the Los Angeles Media Hub. This is a great reference for not only residents but also local businesses trying to promote their company or products.


All ground transportation falls under the city’s Transportation Department. In addition to operating the bus transit program, this department also oversees taxi cabs, ambulances, and sightseeing vehicles.


Los Angeles is home to four of the busiest airports in the world. They are the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the Ontario International Airport (ONT), the Palmdale Regional Airport (PMD) and the Van Nuys Airport (VNY).


The Bureau of Sanitation collect, treat, dispose and recycle the solid and liquid waste.


The Department of Water and Power (LADWP) supplies water and electric to the citizens and businesses of Los Angeles. Concerns about water should be called into 800-499-4611. Electric concerns are divided into two areas. Those in the metro/harbor areas should call 800-821-5278. Those in the San Fernando Valley or West Los Angeles area should call 800-821-5279.

The City participates in several utility assistance programs. The LADWP offers a limited number of low income weatherization grants to single family home owners. There are some restrictions and qualifications. For more information call the Weatherization Assistance Program Hotline at 888-822-8497. The LADWP also offers discounts for low income and senior citizens. The Bureau of Sanitation has a discount program for low income residents to help with their sewer bills. For more information contact the Office of Finance at 213-978-3050.

The Southern California Gas Company also offers several programs to assist with utility bills. 

While this list is by no means a comprehensive list, it does include the essentials that most residents will come into contact with at some point. 

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