City of Inglewood 2022 Year in Review

Inglewood has had a year of ups and downs that will continue to shape the town as it continues its quest to become a ‘destination’ town.

The year began with Super Bowl 56 and ended with the City scrambling to raise money to build the Inglewood Transit Connector.

To start the year, Inglewood Assemblyman Autumn Burke abruptly announced her decision to step down from her seat despite her initial campaign on a platform to return the Inglewood Unified School District to local control.

Residents protest against the closure of Warren Lane Primary School on May 8. (Credit: 2UrbanGirls)

Warren Lane Primary School has become the battleground for locals against their local government to stop the closure of the last remaining school in postcode 90305.

The school closure then became the focus of a special election held in March to elect Burke’s predecessor. Residents chose his former employee, Tina McKinnor, to complete her term.

Tina McKinnor takes the oath.

Then the fun started with the city hosting the grandfather of all sports, Super Bowl 56 at SoFi Stadium in February.

With pandemic restrictions lifted, SoFi Stadium hosted more than 70,000 fans at Super Bowl 56 held in February.

The city kicked off the week-long celebration with a three-day concert series featuring musical guests and the city council awarding its first-ever “key to the city” to actress Issa Rae.

File photo: An Airbnb rental in Inglewood was the scene of a mass shooting on January 23 that left 4 dead and 1 in critical condition. (Photo: 2UrbanGirls)

The event went off without a hitch after a devastating mass shooting claimed the lives of four young adults celebrating their birthdays the previous month at an unregulated Airbnb.

The city was forced to implement strict short-term rental guidelines later in the year to keep guests and residents safe.

Security became a hot topic after the Inglewood Airbnb tragedy brought the Inglewood Police Department into the spotlight.

In January, a judge ruled the city could not move forward with the destruction of police use-of-force records and other documents related to officers’ conduct after the ACLU sued to stop them.

Lawmakers created Senate Bill 1421 which took effect on January 1, 2019, which would have required disclosure of the records. It was alleged that the city’s last-minute action at the last city council meeting of 2020 was to avoid disclosure.

“This premise that there was an intent to beat the clock is ridiculous,” Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. said at the time.

The case continues to go through the process, while the department agents hemorrhage.

The city has recorded fewer than a dozen homicides despite a massive exodus of officers to outside agencies and retirements. The council responded by ratifying a new contract with the police unions which gave them a 22% pay rise over 3 years.

As the year progressed, the city continued to approve plans related to the Intuit Dome, the multi-billion dollar NBA Zone for the Los Angeles Clippers, and various housing developments throughout the city.

After a quiet summer, the city has focused on the upcoming November 8 elections.

Mayor Butts and council members George Dotson and Alex Padilla were on the ballot.

According to the mayor, the residents are very satisfied with the direction of the City and encourage them to keep the team united.

“You don’t change quarterbacks in the middle of the game,” Butts said.

Despite a decline in popularity, Butts narrowly avoided a runoff by capturing 53% of all votes cast for mayor, and Padilla captured more than 60% of the votes in District 2 to return to the podium for four additional years.

Voters in District 1 showed their displeasure with Dotson by forcing him to a runoff against Gloria Gray, who is currently a member of the West Basin water board. They will face off on March 7, 2023, where residents will have to decide whether Gray will align with the current council or be a wildcard due to his proximity to a more progressive crowd.

Rendering of the Inglewood Transit Connector.

Finally, the year was consumed by the City’s efforts to raise funding for the Inglewood Transit Connector (ITC) which will chase dozens of small businesses along its path.

A joint powers authority agreement exists between the city and the Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro) of Los Angeles County, which will further expand gentrification efforts in the city of nearly 100,000 people.

Funding was secured through multiple local, state, and federal grants to the tune of nearly $400 million that is being spent on countless consultants to prepare for the shovel to hit the ground.

Final actions this year included the adoption of land acquisition and relocation policies for existing businesses. The city also pledged $19 million to buy the vacant lots across from the Kia Forum that was to become Raising Cane’s. Staff reports say the acquisition was tied to the ITC project, but it’s unclear how the two entities will relate to the space.

The City is looking forward to 2023 to have the remaining funding needed to build ITC, with the council’s future hanging in the balance.

To kick off 2023, Inglewood will celebrate the grand opening of Tha Dogg House, a Snoop Dogg and Funko collaboration located at 913 W. Arbor Vitae in the space formerly occupied by 7-eleven and the 2023 College Football Championship game on January 9 at SoFi Stadium.

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