Inglewood Unified has been under state receivership since 2012 and shows no signs of returning to local control in our lifetime. With the rapid changes coming to Inglewood, as it relates to the opening of an “international sports and entertainment destination” along Prairie Ave, it could leave some parents scrambling to find a new school for their children.
Kelso Elementary School gets its name from William H. Kelso, who served as the FIRST mayor of Inglewood from February 1908 – April 1914, after the city was incorporated.
Kelso was one of 14 founders of First Presbyterian located which now stands at 100 N. Hillcrest. At the turn of the century, the congregation had its own building at Market and Queen streets, but was forced to move after the streetcar, which passed directly in front of the church, started kicking up sand and fleas.
Ironically, another rail project threatens the school named after him.
Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts is single handedly transforming the once quiet family oriented city, into a mini Las Vegas on steroids.
From the inundation of digital billboards, dropping a behemoth NFL stadium into the middle of the city, the council sits idly by in “awe” of this man, with no perceived brain or thoughts of their own.
The automated people mover will have devastating impacts on the city, its residents, and business owners all in the name of becoming a “destination” city that voters didn’t ask for.
In 2015, residents were asked to “sign a petition” to put the NFL on the ballot for a vote. Somehow Butts managed to forget to tell us the council could use signatures as a “vote” and made the decision unilaterally, that has since wreaked havoc on a city less than 10 square miles in size.
Residents face unprecedented traffic congestion which does NOT compare to traffic from the 80s when the Hollywood Race Track and Forum were in operation.
By the city’s own account, and census data, there are on average 3 persons per household, and apparently with twice as many cars.
There is also a shortage of “affordable housing” due to the increased demand on housing with the incoming venues. The city’s median income is holding at $54,000 with 17% of the residents living in poverty.
According to EdData.org, in school year 2019-2020, IUSD had an enrollment of 11,000 students, with 80% of them receiving either free or reduced lunch.
In short, the city council’s policies, and desires to be a “destination” city, are severely affecting the most vulnerable residents, which leaves the relationship between the city and its schools uncertain.
Residents elected former IUSD board member Dionne Faulk who has established herself as one of the most disappointing council members we have on the dais. Faulk benefitted from high voter turnout last November, but not necessarily because she was the most qualified for the job. The city rigged the election to ensure she was the only name on the ballot.
Buried inside of the environmental impact report for the transit connector, details include many local businesses being demolished in the name of progress.
Parents have begun to take notice of possible friction between the city and IUSD with the removal of parking enforcement officers from some of the schools. Kelso being one of them.
“Why aren’t traffic enforcement at the schools anymore,” asked Shayla Woodward. “Parents were yelling and hunking at kelso on Friday. They will park on Osage in the middle of the street on the opposite side of the school so you are literally stuck.”
“Kelso traffic is pure madness,” said Vee Watts.
Vons grocery store, their gas station and the one directly across the street. The entire shopping center where CVS, Red’s Flavor Table, and countless small businesses are operating, and Kelso Elementary, are all on the chopping block should this project move forward.
Cindy Giardina, who is a former school board member and city council member, appears to be gearing up for a run at council in 2022.
She has emerged to organize District 1 residents to “save their school” from closure, meanwhile Faulk, who represented the school, said nothing.
The council needs independent thinkers, not “yes” men to the mayor. We need people on the council who don’t rely on the mayor to steer campaign donors to them, which includes City Clerk Aisha Thompson.
Without independent voices on the council, outsiders are led to believe that the residents don’t find issue with any of the council’s actions, which is the furthest thing from the truth.
As residents began venturing back into public spaces, and attend important city meetings (Planning/Parking and Traffic/City Council), their voices were being heard, and more importantly were being amplified through this blog and the Los Angeles Wave newspaper.
The city was put on notice, and they responded with Resolution 2201 to keep us from coming together.
Inglewood residents want their city back. We achieve that by taking back our city council November 2022.