Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. has given conflicting accounts to the “benefits” Inglewood residents will receive with the incoming NFL stadium and NBA arena.
In June 2016 Butts spoke to USC Annenberg Media mentioning existing Inglewood businesses, along the corridor, would benefit from “opportunity sales”.
They won’t be direct competition to the type of retail and dining that will be in the entertainment core. Those will be more upscale and high-end,” Butts said. “Where the businesses that exist right now will benefit—particularly those along the corridor—they will benefit from what I call opportunity sales.Ramming Success into Inglewood
In the same Annenberg article he belittled the student interviewers when they asked him about the city gentrifying.
When the word “gentrification,” was uttered, Butts assumed we didn’t know what the word meant.
Did you say a gentrification threat? And you’re a college student right?” Butts asked.Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr.
Last month Butts told the Daily Breeze the opposite.
Butts doesn’t shy away from the fact that some local businesses will not survive the transition.
Restaurants and shops that have a “product that people want” will do better from the influx of people, he argues. “Not everyone wants to spend top dollar for high-end dining,” he said.
Visitors to the stadium won’t need to cross the street to get food, drinks or to even shop once the retail components come online.NFL stadium a catalyst for Inglewood rebirth, but some fear the community is losing its soul
Mayor Butts took a city that for all intents and purposes was nearly bankrupt. In 2009, before Butts’ arrival, the city council, which included Ralph Franklin and Eloy Morales, declared a “fiscal emergency”.
City Hall staff suffered furloughs and a bi-weekly closure on Friday’s. The city closed a library, reduced their hours and closed a fire station.
The NFL stadium was supposed to “save the city” with the projected $25 million a year in new revenue.
Instead, the Morningside Park Library remains closed. Residents receive annual trash increases in December and the city is requesting to raise water rates in the coming months. The biggest slap in the face is the huge increases of rent that the council were forced to take action on in the wake of the millions of dollars in legal fees to defend Mayor Butts and allegations of his deceiving the owners of the Forum.
The legal wrangling also revealed the long standing consensual relationship between Mayor Butts and his former aide Melanie McDade-Dickens.
Many long standing Inglewood businesses have closed due to the increase in commercial rent costs and many residents have lost their homes.
What’s Mayor Butts’ response? “The only thing that’s changed in Inglewood is everything”.