It’s still only March, but we believe it’s already clear that 2015 will go down as one of the greatest years in the history of Inglewood. This community has truly united to seize an opportunity that other cities can only dream of—hosting the most incredible professional sports stadium in the United States.
As the Mayor of Inglewood, I salute you, the people of Inglewood, for the passion and commitment to our city that you have demonstrated since the City of Champions Revitalization Project was first unveiled. The pride you have expressed in Inglewood, and your hope for its future, has been nothing short of inspiring.
From one end of the city to another, including at last weekend’s joyful celebration event at Hollywood Park, residents have energetically voiced support for what this enormous investment will mean for them and their families. We have heard so much enthusiasm for the thousands of new customers for local businesses; millions of additional dollars each year to fund schools, public safety, and other city services; beautiful new public parks and local art installations. But equally important is the tens of thousands of badly-needed construction and permanent jobs that will be created, with many going to local residents. Remember, unlike any similar project of this magnitude, the development will be built entirely with private funds, for both public and private construction; with no taxpayer money ever going to the construction of the new stadium.
From the start, the response to this proposal has been tremendous. In less than three weeks, more than 22,000 people signed petitions supporting this project, and supporters packed City Hall and several overflow rooms on February 24th to personally show their enthusiasm for the new stadium and entertainment district. At that memorable hearing, more than 50 people spoke publicly about the project and almost all were strongly in favor. The will of the people has been clear. After reviewing the proposal carefully at the February 24th meeting, the City Council agreed that the City of Champions Revitalization Project is the right plan for Inglewood, and unanimously voted to adopt the proposal. If all goes well, construction will be underway before this incredible year is over.
Apparently, the people of Inglewood are not the only ones who believe our stadium proposal is the best one for Southern California. This week, AEG abandoned its competing proposal for a stadium in downtown Los Angeles – making the path more clear for Inglewood.
However, despite all the progress we have made, we are not at the finish line yet. Forces outside of the Inglewood community are trying to block our progress and sink our hopes. In recent days, an opposing referendum petition has been circulating in town, sponsored by narrow special interests opposed to our plans for revitalization in favor of another proposal in another community. The petition would reverse our unanimous vote and jeopardize the project’s future. They have gone as far as to claim tax dollars will be used to construct the project, or to solicit your signature to delay the project by subjecting it to a public vote costing the City hundreds of thousands of dollars.
We ask you to look behind the veil and understand truly what is going on here. We ask our fellow citizens not to sign this competing petition, it would threaten everything we’ve worked for as a community. Alert your family, friends and neighbors as well, and remain vigilant for other attacks that may come in the future. We’ve come too far to allow outside interests to deceive us into forgoing our destiny!
We all know that our city has an amazing past—but we believe Inglewood’s best days still lie ahead. We can tell that you believe that as well. Thank you for all you are doing tocelebrate Inglewood, protect our plans for a new world-class stadium, and move us toward a brighter future. If we are successful, our children and grandchildren will thank us as well!