Is a city sanctioned “Block Party” and city sponsorship a low-key campaign kick-off for Inglewood Mayor James Butts? Popular Facebook group Eye on Inglewood (EOI) is having a Block Party on the taxpayer’s dime under the auspices of promoting the District 1 councilman. What’s most troubling about this city sponsored event is the Block Party organizers are charging $40 to participate. How can taxpayer money be used on an event where the organizer is charging? The official city flyer makes no mention of the $40 donation fee to “sip and paint” yet the fee is promoted on EOI social media accounts. It is also unknown whether EOI will be required to obtain a one-day ABC (alcohol permit) to serve liquor in city streets.
Some Inglewood residents and commenters, on the group’s page, have been either insulted, ridiculed or outright blocked for challenging the Mayor in the comment section of some posts. Many exiled former members complain that once they questioned the Mayor, group moderator Halimah Ginyard blocked them from commenting.
Current and former EOI members regularly send screenshots of Mayor Butts’ comments and wonder if he sponsors the page in order for the moderator to be dismissive of community input that the group was created to encourage. When the Mayor comments to a naysayer, he tags Ginyard and the naysayer is removed.
**For disclosure, this author was removed from EOI for using the word “nigga” to describe hoodlums who desecrate church property with gang graffiti.**
A review of Mayor Butts’ campaign forms (460s) details that District 1 Councilman George Dotson has outstanding loans to the Mayor’s coffers that exceed $100,000. Is Dotson being made to sponsor a Facebook group that has too close of ties to the Mayor and his upcoming re-election bid? Councilman Dotson has yet to create and/or make any posts on the EOI Facebook page that 2UrbanGirls is aware of.
EOI Twitter posts shows Mayor Butts has top billing at this alleged Dotson sponsored event.
Councilman Dotson typically hosts “Family Day”. For the last two years the attendance was so low, the city took Family Day away from him. The last straw was the low turnout at last years Taste of Inglewood held at Centinela Park. The city made the decision to move both Family Day and Taste of Inglewood to District 3 for Councilman Eloy Morales.
This year’s Family Day/Taste of Inglewood resulted in a stabbing a block from the event. The city blocked off Grevillea between Manchester and Nutwood and based on the staff report, only (1) Sergeant and (6) officers were supplied to the event. Event organizer and Planning Commissioner David Rice paid zero towards police staffing despite charging vendors to participate. Attendees shared with 2UrbanGirls that there were no visible officers patrolling in their city issued uniforms.
The city will now block of Locust Ave. between Manchester and Hillcrest and have decided on police staffing of (1) Sergeant and (2) officers, despite a murder occurring a block away in June. EOI organizers are also contributing zero towards police staffing and they are also charging attendees who want to “sip and paint”. Will EOI be responsible for securing an alcohol permit?
While Mayor Butts’ likes to tout his nearly two decades of serving as an Inglewood police officer and the Chief of Police Mark Fronterrotta earning in excess of $500,000 for securing the city, why is the police staffing so low when data shows the immediate areas surrounding these events aren’t safe?
According to the LA Times Coroners Report, there have been 10 murders in the city of Inglewood with the bulk of them being centered around the District 1 and 3 borders. Will Councilman Dotson’s August 25th Block Party record the city’s 11th? Stay tuned.