Inglewood Mayor James Butts has finally had an epiphany that gentrification is indeed taking place in the city of Inglewood. A notion he has historically denied. He has penned an op-ed that was printed in today’s LA Times to share how the city is preparing to assist the nearly 2/3 of city residents who are renters.
In a June 2016 interview with journalism students at USC Annenberg Media titled Ramming Success into Inglewood he tried to insulate they didn’t know what the word gentrification meant.
When the word “gentrification,” was uttered, Butts assumed we didn’t know what the word meant.Mayor James Butts
“Did you say a gentrification threat? And you’re a college student right?” Butts asked.
Glad to know Mayor Butts has finally excepted the reality Inglewood residents have been facing since the Forum re-opened in 2014. This author once wrote an article titled “Will Inglewood residents regret the Forum re-opening” two weeks prior to the first concert played in the newly refurbished arena that was met with an angry response from Mayor Butts. The re-opening of the Forum set the stage for all things that have transpired since. It’s a beautiful thing to see the city flourish but not at the cost of the city’s most vulnerable residents being forced to chose between paying rent or buying food, putting gas in their car, or uprooting their children from their neighborhood schools.
One of Mayor Butts flunkies contacted this author to share they don’t know how we have the energy to continue to write about the city and we should busy ourselves with something more productive.
What can be more productive than advocating on behalf of the very residents who don’t have a voice and make weekly treks to city council meetings, in the middle of the day, to face constant ridicule by the mayors supporters and homeowners, to implore our city leaders to do right by the majority of the city’s residents?
Mayor Butts op-ed centers around the development in the city, his intervening in a landlords egregious rent hike, and how the city has implemented a temporary rent stabilization ordinance to assist the city’s renters but is it enough considering many have already been displaced and received rent hikes not covered by the current ordinance?
Will these moves be enough to ease the sting of gentrification in Inglewood? Time will tell, but we are heading in the right direction.Mayor James Butts
Read Mayor Butts op-ed on LATimes.com.