California JPIA logoThe California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (California JPIA) recognizes the City of Lakewood, which celebrated its 70th Anniversary in April.

The city was incorporated on April 16, 1954, but the groundwork for establishing it was laid years before. In February 1950, the Lakewood Park Corp. commenced construction on 3,385 acres of farmland situated in unincorporated Los Angeles County, just north of Long Beach. This transformation would become America’s largest planned community at the time. Called the “$250-Million Planned Community,” the development incorporated schools, parks, places of worship, 16 small shopping centers, and the expansive Lakewood Center mall. Additionally, it prioritized safety with parkway panels and service roads separating residential areas from main roads.

Now, 70 years later, the city continues to be known as one of the most successful, family-friendly, and affordable communities in Southern California. Lakewood has evolved into a vibrant residential community of nearly 80,000 residents, with a broad ethnic diversity that closely mirrors Los Angeles County as a whole. Known for its picturesque parks, diverse recreational opportunities, well-kept infrastructure, family-oriented neighborhoods, and dedication to safety, Lakewood stands as a testament to a thriving city.

To honor its 70th anniversary, the city hosted several celebratory events, including a luncheon at the senior center with city council members. The lunch included music, dancing, and a birthday cake. Several family members of the original council attended and were introduced to the audience. The city also hosted a “Family Movie Night” featuring the classic film “Back to the Future,” which is largely set in 1955. Residents, who were encouraged to dress in 1950’s attire, enjoyed carnival games, free popcorn, food trucks, and photo opportunities, including one large collage bearing nostalgic photos of Lakewood’s past.

“Seventy years ago, the residents of the largest planned community in America made the bold decision to incorporate, establishing the city that we love,” said Mayor Todd Rogers. “With Lakewood’s founding in 1954, the movie is a glimpse into what life might’ve been like here too. What was once lima bean fields, is now filled with parks, schools, businesses, homes, and our wonderful residents.”

Providing innovative risk management solutions for its public agency partners for more than 45 years, the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (California JPIA) is one of the largest municipal self-insurance pools in the state, with more than 125 member cities and other governmental agencies. Members actively participate in shaping the organization to provide important coverage for their operations. The California JPIA provides innovative risk management solutions through a comprehensive portfolio of programs and services, including liability, workers’ compensation, pollution, property, and earthquake coverage, as well as extensive training and loss control services. For more information, please visit the California JPIA’s website at