2014 is in the can, and big congratulations to the 8% of people, who according to studies, have achieved the goals they set for themselves at the beginning of the year. The other 92% of folks may have gotten close but on the bright side, have 2015 to make amends and begin again. If the City of Inglewood were a person, I’d most definitely say it’s part of the accomplished 8%.
This year, I’ve witnessed first hand some of the characteristics that make people legends, and cities legendary.
To start off the year, I sat in the front row at the City of Inglewood’s Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and was absolutely floored by the lyrical talents of our community’s young people. From Zharia McRoberson, Chasidy Hyman, Taiyn Paige, to Morningside High School’s Jalyn Bell, each speech was delivered with poise, with conviction, and spoke to the spirit of empathy as we walked in the shoes of Dr. King, as well as the individuals who told the story.
We moved through Black History Month celebrating the achievements and contributions of African American men and women throughout American history.
I sat down and spoke with various individuals throughout the community who, by the sweat of their brow and grit of their teeth, are taking their destinies into their own hands. They are creating lives for themselves in our ever-expanding and rising city. Folks like Brandy Randolph, owner of Branded Body Fitness, community activist and soul singer Sunset Brown, Yoga instructor Saleena Collins of Clear Gardens Yoga Studio, law student Ryan Thompson, poet Jonathan Apparitio, and countless others, on a grassroots level, are preserving the rich culture and diversity of interests in our community.
From the opening of the Forum, to celebrating Food Truck Friday, the Afro Latin Music Festival, our Earth Day Celebration, Hispanic Heritage Month, Art Action Project at Darby Park, the Dalai Lama, landing in the Los Angeles Business Journal, breaking ground on the new Community Center in District 2, and Mayor James T. Butts’ ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, to the spirited food drives and toy giveaways that culminated the year, all represented the integrity and collective capabilities of our city’s leadership.
To witness these efforts first hand (not slanted through the perspective of an angry few), to talk to the movers and shakers and hear their perspectives, and see their efforts, is something that I’m proud to have accomplished this year, and look forward to seeing more of in the coming years. Happy New Year, everybody.