Negative comments hurled against Inglewood leaders on Tuesday at the council meeting were so outrageous that I have to speak. Someone actually had the audacity to say that all Mayor Butts has done is let dollar stores and hair salons come into Inglewood and that he and the council haven’t done anything significant to make progress. He actually said Madison Square Garden was going to rebuild the Forum anyway, without any help from the leadership. In fact, Mayor Butts had nothing to do with the Forum getting here.
Wow! That’s amazing! And it would be laughable if it weren’t so wrong and insulting.
For the record, hair shops and discount stores were here long before the mayor was elected in 2011. And the renovated Forum was not. As to the council’s input, no one just comes into a city and invests $100 million to renovate the Forum without any involvement from the city. That just does not happen. And in this day and age when communities are holding corporations to a higher standard, it would be foolish to assume that they could stronghold the residents.
The negative talk about Inglewood leaders is not only disappointing, but a slap in the face to Inglewood voters. Lest we forget, residents here are a very intelligent and passionate group. They are the same people who voted to prevent a Wal-Mart Superstore from being built here. They were not happy about some of the company’s reported abusive practices, and were not convinced all workers would be given livable wages. Now that the Wal-Mart in Baldwin Hills has shut down permanently with just a 2 day’s notice, residents were probably on to something. That Wal-Mart, the company says, was among several “under performing” stores, which one could interpret as a store within a community of color. I digress…
The point is, they voted Mayor Butts and new Councilmembers Alex Padilla and George Dotson into office because they believed they would bring positive change to the city. And, with the help of Councilmembers Eloy Morales and Ralph Franklin, they did.
It’s so sad that just one or two people are too stubborn to admit anything good about Inglewood—even when the overwhelming evidence of progress stares them right in the face. They seem stuck on stealing the mayor’s thunder and trying to revise history, but let’s look at the facts.
The facts are, when the mayor took over in 2011, the City was on the verge of bankruptcy. Now we have an A-1 credit rating from Moody’s. We just finished sound-insulating 2000 homes, securing federal funding and completing work on homes for every eligible person in the city—after losing grant money under previous administrations. Real estate values are up and crime is down. Market Street is in the process of being revitalized. Much needed street repair work on Century Blvd. has finally begun.
This is on top of the billion dollar-plus entertainment, residential and commercial retail center projects under construction at Hollywood Park. The pro football stadium, recently approved by NFL owners, will bring the Rams back to L.A.—to play in Inglewood—after a 21-year absence.
Again, nothing this big happens without involvement from the leadership. Nothing is improving in Inglewood? Really? Nothing here but dollar stores? Are you kidding me?
Anyone who has not been living under a rock for the past four years can see it. People all over the country can see it, investors can see it. That’s why they are flooding the Mayor’s Office with inquiries about setting up shop here.
To even suggest that Inglewood has just been sliding by on auto pilot for the last four years is—I can’t even find words strong enough. It’s just plain ignorant.
There are all kinds of immigrants who see America as a place to die for. Many have and are willing to risk their lives just to be here. They would love to be part of a thriving community with the lowest rates of violent crime since they started keeping records. They would be proud to live in a community that is so highly regarded by the rest of the world.
While it is our right and duty to register legitimate complaints and hold our leaders accountable, that should not be confused with denying the progress that has been made. Maybe, that complainer should trade places with an immigrant from a war-torn, impoverished country. Then he would have something valid to criticize.