2UrbanGirls was looking forward to voting on whether or not the city of Inglewood would implement Rent Control on the upcoming November ballot. Sadly, that won’t happen. After months of building up excitement, as the rents in The Wood keep going higher, it has come to our attention that the coalition failed to turn in enough valid signatures. 2UrbanGirls wonders if Inglewood residents were used by the group’s spokesperson to keep his campaign donor happy.
D’artagnan Scorza has made a name for himself in Inglewood as being about social equity. 2UrbanGirls became aware of his work when he would hand out free fruit trees at Morningside High School a few years ago. He and his nonprofit, the Social Justice Learning Institute have also spearheaded efforts to bring a Farmers Market to the city.
Scorza was selected to the be spokesperson for the NFL revitalization project which kicked off the rent increases in the city. He states he was naive and didn’t realize rents would increase as a direct result. Campaign finance reports show he was paid $25k to be the spokesperson and Socrza was able to then parlay his face/name recognition into being elected to the Inglewood Unified School District Advisory Board. A long time supporter of Scorza’s nonprofit kicked in $20k to assure Scorza was elected.
Scorza works closely with Derek Steele, who has appeared on several media outlets in support of a variety of Inglewood issues. Steele championed the Rent Control measure, securing a Farmers Market and oddly advocated to move Inglewood City Council meetings from evenings to 2pm (see video).
The slogan of the rent control petition was #HomesBeforeArenas. The group wanted to see more affordable housing being built in the city. Coincidentally, Scorza’s largest campaign donor, Gregory Perlman, is the CEO of GHC Housing Partners LLC.
According to GHC Housing Partners website they are the 4th largest affordable housing owner in the nation.
This past Tuesday concluded the verification of signatures that were submitted by the Uplift Inglewood Coalition to get rent control on the ballot. Coincidentally, while a select group of media were convening on the telephone to hear details of a lawsuit the coalition filed, another member of the coalition, Michael Wilson, was at the city council meeting attempting to serve members of the city council with the lawsuit.
Media that were selected to participate in the conference on the lawsuit, attempted to reach Uplift Inglewood to discuss the petition failing to get on the ballot and Uplift Inglewood refused to pick up the phone.
City Clerk Yvonne Horton went on the record to state that over 1/2 the signatures submitted, out of nearly 14,000, were invalid.
Between 2015 and 2018 Scorza was able to purchase two homes in the city of Inglewood which would ensure he wouldn’t be priced out of living here. Those who joined his coalition bought into him and Steele’s excitement that they would be successful. His track record working on the NFL petition was his benchmark.
Related: Rent control measures fall short in Inglewood, Long Beach, and Pasadena
Scorza’s failure to publicly comment on the events surrounding the reason his ballot measure didn’t succeed is troublesome. It makes many in Inglewood feel as though he used the community to meet the needs of his campaign donor and not the individuals who are being priced out. By default, Scorza shows he spent more time on this failed measure than ensuring the school district meets targets to come out of state control.
Is Mayor Butts correct in proclaiming the newly filed lawsuit as nothing but a “sham” and last-ditch effort to get Scorza’s donor the ability to use the land to build affordable housing or will he hang his hat on Assemblywoman Autumn Burke’s newly created legislation AB 3228 which will allow school districts in state receivership, to pay back their loan by either selling or leasing unused school land?
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