All of us fantasize sometimes about what we would do if the world were our oyster. And some people in Inglewood have given me far too much credit for the positive things that have happened here. At Tuesday’s council meeting, for example, Inglewood Today was attacked for reporting positive news about the city.
But who could have imagined even a year ago that Inglewood would be in the position it is in today?
Last year around this time, the Forum had just reopened, ground had just been broken on the Hollywood Park Tomorrow site. Things were starting to look up. The community was starting to come alive and people were hopeful that in Inglewood, better days were ahead. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. What followed next was a series of positive events that no crystal ball could have ever predicted. And regardless of how people carry on about the mayor running this city like a dictator, no effort of just one person is enough to make billionaires like Rams owner Stan Kroenke put up money for a new stadium in Inglewood.
The phenomenal success Inglewood is experiencing right now is a combination of a lot of things that are, quite frankly, beyond the control of one man. It is a combination of perfect timing, location, weather, home prices, available land, and a decline in the horse racing industry which led to a huge new opportunity. When you look at the way things are shaping up, how all the stars are aligning, if you have any respect for fate, then you have to know, that this is simply Inglewood’s time.
Haters can get mad all they want. They can criticize our newspaper for magnifying the positive aspects of this city and promoting civic pride. As Inglewood’s official newspaper, we owe it to our readers to report what is happening here. And no one can deny that this city is in the midst of a revolution, one that will forever change the lives of its residents and businesses for the better. A big part of this change is preceded by building a positive image.
So I make no apology for spreading the good news about a city that I love. I do not need to justify why Inglewood Today has chosen the side of progress.
As I have said many times, when Inglewood Today produced his first issue almost 21 years ago, it was in response to a series of negative, distorted reports by mainstream media. Inglewood was portrayed as a poverty-stricken community of drug dealers and gang-bangers, with little hope for improvement. Embarrassing video of council meetings showing a divided city council, who fought until the wee hours of the morning, only served to further keep investors from looking our way.
Yet, Inglewood stakeholders, those who really love this city, knew what they were reading in the press did not accurately reflect their lives. They knew there were problems that needed fixing. But they also knew they were not being fairly portrayed. Inglewood was blamed for crimes that occurred in Los Angeles. Reporters saw no distinction. If you were a person of color living in Inglewood and something bad happened, it was easier for reporters to lump you together with people of color in Los Angeles, than to check their facts.
Does Inglewood Today publish too many nice stories? Well forgive me while I brag, but I think decades of negative, inaccurate reports deserve an opposite approach. I am proud of this city and make no apologies for it. With the new and improved leadership in City Hall, solid development projects backed by real money—including a stadium funded by private (not tax payer) dollars, I’d say this city has hit a home run. Not every city can be so fortunate.