The Inglewood city council welcomed the first African-American woman to be elected to the city council during the December 15 council meeting. Cindy Giardini was the first Black woman on the city council but was appointed. Dionne Faulk makes the first Black woman elected to serve Inglewood residents. The city’s COVID-19 mandates didn’t apply to Faulk’s swearing in ceremony.
Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. has closed council chambers, community room a, and city hall to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Treasurer Wanda Brown has had her access to council chambers restricted and subsequently locked out of her office allegedly for breaking COVID-19 protocols.
COVID-19 rules didn’t apply to newly elected City Clerk Aisha Thompson who was allowed to hold her swearing in ceremony from the 2nd floor of city hall.
Thompson’s supporters contributed over $60,000 to her campaign and she is now the city’s highest paid elected official.
Faulk was sworn in inside of council chambers where her family and children were present.
Both Mayor Butts and Asm. Autumn Burke displayed their lack of knowledge of the city’s history by declaring Faulk the first Black woman to sit on the council in the city’s history.
Burke was a supporter of Faulk and D’artagnan Scorza when they were elected to the Advisory Board of the Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD).
Faulk’s move to city council, and Scorza’s abrupt resignation creates two vacancies on the advisory board. Residents are concerned that the optics of Faulk and Scorza’s departure signal they were used to push another school bond on homeowners before bailing the sinking ship. Burke campaigned on returning IUSD to local control which doesn’t appear to be happening.
Employees hope that with a Black woman on the council, she will stand up and ensure that the women employed in city hall are free of harassment from Mayor Butts. It has been well documented that his treatment of female subordinates is subpar with the city expecting the arrival of Melanie McDade’s wrongful termination to arrive at City Hall next month.
Faulk failed to support the Black employees at IUSD when they were called “monkeys” and “nigga” by their superior who was Latino.
Faulk joins the council at a time where employee unions have yet to finalize contract negotiations, a nearly $10 million revenue shortfall, an exodus of top level police officers, long time businesses shuttering due to the pandemic and the Hollywood Park project just recorded its third death of a construction worker.
Not a single member of this council congratulated the city’s longest serving Black elected official, Wanda Brown, on her historic ninth term of office.