By: Marvin McCoy
Dear Inglewood community,
I was compelled to write this open heartfelt pledge on behalf of the voiceless and underrepresented members of our community to turn out in droves to the next City of Inglewood Public Hearing regarding the Inglewood Transit Connector and demand more concessions and community input on this project.
Based upon my unbiased view, and someone who accepts change is inevitable, this project amongst many projects in this City in the past decade is an outright, legally sanctioned assault by elected officials on people of color with limited financial means in a covert campaign of “progress” while forcing residents and businesses out of our City that doesn’t fit their “reimagined” sense of community and/or residents by replacing them with limited financial means and limited education with those of greater financial means, better education in essence subscribing and or perversely participating in a scripted game of classism or socialism which is commonly referred to as gentrification.
As thoughtfully highlighted by 2UrbanGirls coverage over the years of the progress of the Inglewood Transit Connector (people mover) there are three mitigating factors that the Inglewood community and stakeholders should consider in consideration of forging a fair and equitable partnership where residents can immediately reap the benefits of developments like the ITC project and if these basic standards can’t be met then we should consider the feasibility of this project and one like these in the future.
With that being said, I was at the open house regarding the Inglewood Transit Connector at Miracle Theatre and although I was horrified and pleasantly pleased at the cornbread, sweet potato pie and peach cobbler, I left the open house with more answers than I had come in with and it was clearly obvious that the “consultants” who are paid a King’s ransom to answer questions were clearly ill-prepared or coyly avoided answering questions they didn’t want to be asked.
Inglewood, I beg of you in like manner when then-Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden painted a stark choice between him and Donald Trump’s potential re-election to the White House stating that the ” Soul of our Nation” was at stake.
In the same passion-like manner, the soul of our City is at stake in a sense that on paper and past documented recent failures of these so-called “people movers” and/or “transit connectors” as 2UrbanGirls masterfully highlighted the failure of the Las Vegas monorail project, and with Inglewood residents recent resounding defeat of tax Measure I, in which proceeds would have been used largely to finance this project, it’s time the adults in the room ask are the risks of the costs of the project, with the rise in inflation and lack of committed private capital for the ITC, worth the reward? Quite honestly every rational argument points to the only logical answer being no.
There are too many unknowns about the long-term and short-term impact of actually building the ITC because, although it will upon completion be new and shiny and “tempting” to try but studies for the last half-decade support ridership across all forms of public transportation have steadily fallen over years as cost to maintain these operations usually offset the so-called profits and or benefits these consultants who are paid a hefty fee to make us feel so.
If the city is having this much trouble financing the construction, where will the money come for maintenance and operation? Traffic impact fees won’t sufficiently cover the costs considering the recently enacted ordinance bypassed collection of those fees from SoFi Stadium and the Intuit Dome.
A fare box is illogical when you have coalitions crying for free transit, advertising on the sides will be mute considering you don’t have as many eyes on it as you do the actual Metro bus system, and currently, a good amount of current riders are the unhoused.
Why should small businesses and property owners be forced to relocate because this project wasn’t well thought out and more importantly financially able to self-sustain without the taxpayer’s assistance?