Grocery stores have a longstanding presence in the community providing food, Girl Scout cookies and community engagement. Residents can count on being stopped, upon entering and leaving the store, to be solicited for fundraisers and to sign petitions for various ballot measures, that will directly impact them.
Credit Suisse AG & The Vons Companies Inc. seeks to put an end to the longtime practice. They have filed a lawsuit, seeking to ban petition solicitors from their property, after signature gatherers began appearing in front of the Inglewood location with signs saying “Stop Gentrification, All Life Matter.”
According to the lawsuit, Safeway stores “are not open to the general public to solicit signatures to engage in conduct unrelated to Safeway’s business”.
“It’s interesting that Vons is coming out against petition gatherers, when they welcomed them for the NFL initiative with open arms,” said a political consultant familiar with the process. “Grocery stores, especially Vons and Ralph’s, are the top places to engage voters in the city of Inglewood.”
Property records show that a company based out of the Cayman Islands owns the Inglewood Vons location.
On July 23, 1992, the company gathered with Inglewood elected officials, and the media, in front of the former Sears and Roebuck building at 500 E. Manchester to announce their commitment to invest $100 million to “Rebuild L.A.”.
“The Inglewood Redevelopment Agency (IRA) gave Vons the land, a grant to build the building and a rebate on sales tax,” said Diane Sambrano a long time resident of District 4. “Vons used to be on Crenshaw and Imperial and the deal with IRA allowed them to move to Manchester and Hillcrest.”
Sambrano attributed the move to a large union strike, which turned Ralph’s on Manchester and Crenshaw into Pic N Save, and Alpha Beta, on Crenshaw and 85th became a private school called the Academy.
Related: Foot Locker to turn its stores into voter registration hubs
Uplift Inglewood members discussed how difficult Vons made it for them to gather signatures, for a proposed ballot measure, for rent control in Inglewood. Vons, and Ralph’s on LaBrea and Centinela, are two of the largest grocery stores where petition gathers congregate to engage voters.
Many wonder if Mayor James T. Butts has a hand in this as he and the council were forced to take action on rent control and refuse to admit gentrification is taking place in Inglewood. In an interview with journalism students with Annenberg Media, at the University of Southern California, Butts attempted to insult their intelligence when they too brought up the gentrification occurring in Inglewood.
The more we tried to get Butts to address some of the concerns we’d heard in our interviews with home and business owners just steps away from the soon-to-be stadium, the more defensive the mayor became.
When the word “gentrification,” was uttered, Butts assumed we didn’t know what the word meant.
“Did you say a gentrification threat? And you’re a college student right?” Butts asked.
The specifics, he said, don’t line up. Middle and upper-middle class are not moving into depressed properties and improving them so that the housing is no longer affordable for those formerly living in the area.
“What’s happening here is we have a turnover of properties, but they’re not depressed properties—they’re upper-middle class properties. And there has been some mix in the demographic that lives here but it’s been done along socioeconomic lines,” Butts said.
It’s discriminatory to solicit signatures from some but not others. They asked all of the black and brown people to sign but skipped white people. I don’t think they should be on anyone’s private property, let alone discriminating themselves as to signatories
Actually, at least in California, it appears that free speech laws have been interpreted with more weight for the demonstrator or signature collector (please see Myer v. Grant, Marsh v. Alabama and Bock v. Westminster mall co). Where there is public access to private business, say a gas station or a grocery store, it is apparently considered a public space and people may ask for money…or signatures.
And so demonstrations and things like collecting signatures are not against the law in public spaces on private property, and even policies of the Sheriffs dept. recommend that individuals engaged in such actions should not be detered or arrested, even if requests are made by owners, because of probable civil liability for violation of civil rights… unless those activities ( Panhandling or gathering signatures for instance) hinder the ability of the customers or delivery persons or anyone else to access the business or otherwise hinder their ability of free movement… or is aggressive/threatening.
It’s the right of private business to not allow petitioners outside their establishment and I support that right.
With that said, I have never been harassed or made to feel unsafe by a petitioner or girl scout outside a local LA or Inglewood supermarket. We as grown folks should act as such and exercise our right to just say no if you don’t want to sign a petition. If you do consider signing a petition, how about reading all the information first
and doing some research rather than just blindly signing and trusting the person with the clipboard? They have an agenda (otherwise, why would they be petitioning?), so it’s obvious they’re biased, so act like a grown person, and make an educated decision rather than blindly follow someone else that you perceive has authority.
Another thing to keep in mind is if you don’t like what Vons (or any other business) is doing, it’s simple enough to just not go there. Again, as an adult, you can spend your money elsewhere. How about instead of supporting Vons or Ralphs just because it’s convenient, support a non-large-white food business, such as Simply Wholesome, Grocery Outlet, Suprmarkt, Sola food co-op, or 1 of the vendors at 1 of the many farmer’s markets around LA? I live pretty close to the Vons & Ralphs mentioned in the article and have not felt a need to go to either. I only go to a Ralphs on rare occasion when my employer gives me a gift card that specifically is for Ralphs. It’s really not that difficult to spend your money more wisely and support business with melanin.
Well said???? and respectful ????????♀️
Just to let you know Grocery Outlets are franchised and the one in Inglewood on Imperial/Crenshaw is owned by a young black woman. Who owns several Grocery Outlets in our ethnic communities.
Thank you for the info
How intolerant we have become of others. If you don’t want to sign a petition just say no and keep walking! We expect everybody to do the work for us, but we don’t want to become involved until the demon is at the door! Some of us have such a elitist attitude that we can never understand there is a daily vigilance that we must maintain in order to examine our freedom
Keep that same energy when folks are getting assaulted and harassed in the parking lot and safety is an issue!
Safety to our elders instead of distraction and risk to fall
i don’t trust anyone with my signature, here in out town tbis kind of tactics are not simple, if you dont agreed they will follow to your work places making all treats at front doors of business, they don’t respect a No! so sick of harrasment and people taking all kinds of intimidation! We need to Stand Up Peoples!!
Mayor Butts been stalking you too?
you know that you are a proactive person and that you will stand up for freedoms and human rights. Please know that no one gets be harassed assaulted or intimidated. These thing are legal. Don’t blame signature speakers for the ills of Society.
What do you think about the Nielsen report, the different types of Pollster.
how do you think the warning got on the cigarette pack. Why do you think we have the CDC, FDA, etc. Grassroots organizations, and movemens all are foundation of our democracy!!!
A couple of things. I have the Vons app on my phone the @2urbangirls spelled it correctly. Please check your facts b4 coming for people. (And why you coming for black folks?) Secondly, you aren’t being harassed when asking if you will sign a petition. Say No, if you don’t want to and keep it pushing. They’re not going to chase you to your car for a signature. Stop with the unnecessary drama. Lastly, Butts is a crook, has been shady for many years. Most if not all of the residents of Inglewood knows this. Has his hands in almost everything that’s wrong with Inglewood. He should’ve been fired years ago, but too many pockets are being lined, that’s why he’s still the Mayor. Inglewood residents she stand together and declare Inglewood Lives Matter. Oh and before I forget, Hell yes! Inglewood is being gentrified… Butts knows this, it’s all about the benjamin’s. I see white grandmother’s and grandfather’s walking there grandchildren or teaching them to drive little cars or ride bikes, on Hillcrest and on Manchester and Locust, these people or there family lives here.
So!? At least you ain’t picking Cotton no more you stupid fuck!
you are a useless person stop taking up space!!!
If you knew your history, it could be you or your family in those fields for being poor, white (or from a different country such as Irish, Germany, Italian), or uneducated as decided by someone that feels they can judge you.
Thank you Tina, I agree completely. I live inside the Renaissance and we honestly never thought that we could hop over our fence and a massive stadium would be in our backyard(and please don’t say your property value has gone up). I have lived in Inglewood for only 7 years but I have observed the Renaissance and the surrounding area change. Butts is a criminal and we are baffled on how he is still in office.
I agree with many of your points. This so called Mayor has been observed in local businesses without a “Mask”. He has a history of misrepresenting the facts of his on going residency in Inglewood. First, He didn’t know where he lived. Supposedly in a back house of an in-law , Later ,it is alleged that his daughter hired or otherwise influenced “gang bangers ” to harness a homeowner whom she was renting from, Now ,on going Law suite from an alleged girlfriend ,whom started at approximately working within Inglewood City Hall Adminstration as a clerk, unconfirmed, Maybe ,$35,000.00 And Fired , Terminated at over $330,000.00. Please tell it is not so.. Time to vote him out. Not a time to give him the Brother Nod… Trust!
If you have the issues with Vons in your neighborhood try Vons in Yucaipa Ca. Its sad we have so much power with our dollars and we continue to give them to sources that do not give us respect or even common decency.
Good, those people are annoying. That’s why I keep my headphones on
It is Clear(crystal) that we must find an African-American solution to OUR Unique Problems and this Ladies and Gentlemen Boys and Girls can only be Achieved through African-American Unity.
Please understand we are a Diverse community and We can best tackle the issues we all face by working together rather attempting to separate or divide. Many different people working toward a common goal of respect and appreciation for each of our neighbors Will make our community stronger.
I never received my online pick up order and I got charge for it.
It’s a fact, gentrification has and is occurring in Inglewood. Along with an influx of non melinen families.
Butts has made some greatimprovements to Inglewood moreover than past mayors. However, he is shady and dismissive along with the same characteristics of most political republicans.
True, oh so true
I also don’t agree with the caption “Vons turns its back” this insinuates that Vons had an obligation, or contract that required them to adhere to specific guidelines, and that assumption is inaccurate.
I agree wholeheartedly.
I have never experienced any pressure from these signature takers, and I also understand that these people are just trying to make an honest living. For me, that makes them much more tolerable than a panhandler in front of the store.
Sadly, fraud has become a part of many of these signature gathering efforts. You are being told the petition is for one thing, and it is for something totally different. As long as this is an across the board decision, I see no reason that a private company should be obligated to support civic activities, or partner with the city on any endeavor. These businesses must also act on the concerns/complaints of their customers. This is a two sided coin, (business vs civic obligation) and both sides must be considered before rendering a judgement.
There is that old saying READ the fine print BEFORE you sign anything,
Shouldn’t all businesses respect the law re the right to speak to one another,
as well as the right to place things on the ballot by gathering signatures.
BTW did you miss the part about INGLEWOOD TAXPAYERS GAVE THE LAND TO VONS AND A GRANT TO BUILD THE BUILDING….that alone should for this company create a “gosh we should treat residents well” attitude.
Your story is great,but you need to add an ‘s to the headline
Why? That’s how VONS spells their name.
I think she meant “back’s. Vons already has an s included in the caption.
I think Kim was referring to the “it” rather than the “Vons” in the headline…at least I hope so.
It’s shows ownership. Not the Vons
She’s not talking about that word.
neither “turns” nor “its” need one ????????♀️
It should just be an “s” after “it” in the headline. It should be “Vons turns its back on the Inglewood community” rather than “Vons turns it back on the Inglewood community” or “Vons turns it’s back on the Inglewood community”
It should be just the letter “s” after “it” in the headline. It should be “Vons turns its back on the Inglewood community” rather than “Vons turns it back on the Inglewood community” or “Vons turns it’s back on the Inglewood community” as the headline.
Y’all don’t know that “it’s” means “it is”? jeezus ????????♀️
The same ones who don’t know “you’re” means you are and use “your” as in “your in trouble” incorrectly. Smh. Btw thank you for “your” article.
REALLY YOU FOCUS on attempting to correct a possessive!!??
How is it you did not understand that the entity VONS appears to allow some but not all signature gathering ! Therefore appearing to show favoritism or unfairness
By the way not all signature gatherers are paid sometimes it is your neighbors trying to get something on a ballot to correct/reverse a misleading ballot issue as in reversing the 400% salary increase granted to the Inglewood City Council by misleading ballot language
This is a place of business
Vons has the right to set its own rules. Gentrification brings money into the community. Enough said
Again when the NFL needed them, sky’s the limit, while the community who helped maintain their existence in the city is now a nuisance? Really?
That’s not true. Dont recall any requests for signatures for the stadium and I shop there multiple times weekly.
Maybe you didn’t because they were moving around the city sometimes at Target sometimes at Crenshaw Imperial that you didn’t see them does not mean they were not ever there
Need to fire butts
I’m happy that they aren’t allowing this in front of the stores. I want to shop without being harassed for a signature.
I definitely agree.
I’m tired of these black degenerates complaining about everything they can think of. Are all blacks gay or lesbian? Sure seems that way . Wake up Up Nigger Is This black lives that matter or Nigger Lives That Matter? Damn animals trying to Destroy this Mighty Country Wake Up White People Do Not Dwell on 100 years ago and get off Work at and ABORTIONS And raise your future QUEERS . These athletes and so called musicians do not care about your animal Asses. And this is coming from a Black American Man Ya Cry Babies
You lost me at I’m. Pathetic excuse for a person.
Your dad should’ve shot you in a Kleenex instead of in your mother. Fuck you, you Candace Owen’s Trump humper.
You’re trying too hard. Go take your frustrations out on your sex pillow… we’re not your therapist.