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While schools, banks and government offices observe the holiday honoring our nation’s commanders-in-chief, President’s Day is, for most, lackluster.  All that changed on Monday when thousands took to the streets in observance of “Not My President’s Day.”  


The national protest against Donald Trump’s policies and the man himself was a cry for help. They want elected leaders to stop the president from enacting new laws which they say are unconstitutional, such as repealing Obamacare, travel bans against Muslims and mass deportation of illegal immigrants. 


While the Trump Administration has promised to end the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and replace health care with something better, so far no specifics have been announced. Within days of Trump signing an executive order to ban entry into the U.S. by people in 7 Muslim countries, a federal judge in Seattle stopped it and issued a temporary restraining order.  


The loudest protest has come from those opposing arrests and deportation of undocumented individuals, and California is one of the most affected states.   


Last week, the Dept. of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released details about raids of individuals in the U.S. illegally, which resulted in detainment of 161 people in Southern California.  According to ICE, 95 people were arrested in Los Angeles County, 35 in Orange County, 13 in San Bernardino County, seven in Riverside County, six in Ventura County and five in Santa Barbara County.


Similar operations were conducted across the country, with more than 680 people arrested, according to federal authorities. The Department of Homeland Security followed Trump’s directive to remove immigrants who are here illegally and who pose a threat to public safety. 


Mass deportation efforts have sparked fears among illegal immigrants.  Although the raids by federal authorities are said to be aimed at criminals and those who violated immigration laws, not everyone detained fits those categories, some say.


“I am working with my constituents and the immigrant community to ensure they know their rights,” Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Commerce, said.  “As this process moves forward, I will also ensure my constituents know what the next steps are, where applicable.”


American employers and landlords are feeling the effects of the raids.  A local contractor who used to hire day laborers looking for work in front of Home Depot said men, fearing deportation, no longer congregate there.  An apartment manager said two of his tenants moved suddenly, and their cell phones have been disconnected. 


The bulk of those arrested were from Mexico. Others come from countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, China, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Honduras, Belize, Philippines, Australia, Brazil, Israel and South Korea. 


Affected immigrants are encouraged to call the toll-free hotline of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles at (888) 624-4752 for assistance and access to attorneys. 




On Tuesday a group of family members, activists and clergy stood outside Inglewood City Hall to draw attention to an officer-involved shooting that so far has not been explained.  On Feb. 21, 2016, Kisha Michael and her boyfriend Marquintan Sandlin were shot to death by Inglewood police around 3 a.m., in a car on Manchester Blvd. and Inglewood Ave.  


Two investigations are currently being conducted.  According to sources, 20 shots were fired and police say the couple was initially believed to be unconscious. When police approached, they saw a gun on Michael’s lap.  She was sitting in the passenger’s seat.  An “exchange” occurred between the officers, Michael and Sandlin, but it is unclear what happened.  Five officers were involved.  It is not known whether Michael or Sandlin threatened the officers. 


The group had planned to address the shooting at Tuesday’s council meeting, but it was cancelled due to President’s Day.  Since the shooting one year ago, several residents have inquired about the case during council meetings. 


In a statement on Tuesday, Mayor James Butts said:


“There are currently two parallel investigations into the Inglewood Police Department officer-involved-shootings of one-year ago today that killed Kisha Michael, 31, and Marquintan Sandlin, 32.  One is a confidential internal investigation conducted by the Inglewood Police Department and a second is by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.  The Inglewood Police Department's investigation and process should be concluded within 30 days.  Any personnel action taken as a result of an internal investigation would be a personnel record, which by California law AB 301 must remain held confidential by the City.”


Butts added that he has “confidence in the Chief of Police to take whatever actions are warranted by the department's investigation in accordance with due process. I continue to send my prayers and heartfelt condolences to the family members of Ms. Michael and Mr. Sandlin.” 


Butts was at an off-site meeting at the time.  However, Kema Decatur, deputy to the city manager, said she would forward a letter to the mayor which called for a status report and firing of the officers, among other demands.  


Priest Francisco Garcia of Holy Faith Episcopal Church in Inglewood told Decatur, “They really just need closure. They need healing and they need justice, and they need answers.”



By Angel Johnson, Contributing Writer


Gwen Ifill was a decorated African American journalist. Her influence paved the way for other African Americans to work in the field. She was the host of “Washington Week” for almost 20 years and the co-host of “PBS Newshour.”  In 2009 she released her first book, The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama. In the last years of her life she battled with cancer and died in Nov. 2016. But her legacy continues.


As an up and coming journalist in the late 1970’s she faced a lot of racism and sexism. It was rare for an African American woman to be in this field.


Kevin Merida, a journalist for ESPN and longtime friend of Ifill, said he met her while she was in college. He told USA Today he was impressed that she was able to keep a level head throughout her career. She was also able to adapt with ease. It didn’t matter if she was doing print journalism for a Boston paper or co-hosting” PBS Newshour.”


Ifill inspired women like Candice Smith, a reporter for ABC. Smith is one of the only African American reporters who followed Trump for most his presidential race. Smith compares Ifill to Mae Jemison, the first woman to go to space. In high school, Ifill was the reporter people talked about, Smith said.


Ifill also inspired Sonya Ross, the race and ethnicity editor at the Associated Press. Ross said she felt confident as a House Reporter because she’d seen Ifill do it in the past.


The Associated Press Club honored Ifill with the Fourth Estate Award in Oct. 2015 for upholding the values of journalism.


Merida said Ifill did her job well and her passing left many people looking up to her.



New Inglewood, New You

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Daylight Savings Time comes early this year, on March 12. Before we know it, Earth Day will be here.  Flowers will be in full bloom again, and some of us will be happily working in our gardens. We’ll lose an hour, but we will gain that forward momentum, which is vital to moving ahead in life.


When I think of the spring, I think of Inglewood and the forward momentum the city is continuing to enjoy.  It’s amazing to think how far the city has come in so short a period of time.


As you get ready for spring—in whatever way you do that—consider giving a little extra time and attention to your surroundings.  Inglewood is alive with so much change and newness that you can’t help  but be inspired.  The change in our outer world reflects how we feel inside about ourselves and others.  And of course, that works both ways.


When you do your spring cleaning, painting or whatever else you do to spruce up your home, keep in mind that thousands of people will soon be coming to Inglewood.  You want your home or apartment to looks its best.  The same thing applies to our schools and parks.  


If you are a homeowner and plan to stay here, any type of investment you make to your dwelling will pay off in some way.  Property values continue to rise rapidly, so your home’s value can only go up even higher when you make improvements.


You can start with your lawn. Even before the drought, Inglewood was known to have some of the prettiest, best manicured lawns around.  That can only improve now that we have got some much-needed rain.  


When you, your home and everything around you looks good, you naturally feel good, and this feeling carries over to how you relate to others. 


We don’t tend to notice dirty walls and other defects around the house until we get new lighting.   Then everything shows up. Every time a new building goes up or a street is improved, a glorious spotlight shines on the city, reminding us of the work that still needs to be done.   


Does your home match the vision of the new Inglewood?  If not, see what changes you can make so your home can reflect the pride that you feel in our city.


Spring is coming in Inglewood in more ways than one.


By Veronica Mackey


The Rams, Kings, Dodgers, Clippers, Lakers, Galaxy, and now the Chargers, are all sports teams in the Los Angeles area. Having two pro football teams to play in Inglewood can certainly be beneficial for the economy, and the $2.6 billion stadium currently being built is just the first advancement. 


New jobs and revenue from the stadium will generate additional income and boost premium brand identity for the Rams and Chargers.  Just living in a higher media market will afford the teams higher visibility, which can affect Inglewood residents and businesses in a positive way.


Inglewood Today sat down with Alan Whitman, a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley, to discuss the impact of having 2 NFL teams in 1 city. 


IT: What is your general assessment of having 2 NFL teams play in Inglewood?


AW:  It’s wonderful for the city, with jobs and exposure. The greatest impact is exposure, and that’s hard to put dollars and cents around.  But the City’s repeated use of newspapers [to publicize the benefits of development] creates an awareness that it has not experienced before.   This awareness also makes business owners reexamine themselves and what they bring to the table.  


The dollar-and-cent benefit is that when people come to the stadium, they will stop and eat and stay overnight in hotels.  Businesses will grow and expand, they will hire people.  The City will enjoy additional tax revenues.  There is an actual dollar-and-cents benefit.  


When the Chargers were in San Diego, they generated over $120 million a year in benefits, which encompasses salaries.  The media will come and they’re going to spend money.  For want of a better term, it becomes a real “game changer.”  


IT:  Entrepreneurs are looking for opportunities that haven’t existed.  For instance, opening up sports merchandising stores…


AW:  Yes, some will look for things that weren’t there in the past and it will open up opportunities for small businesses.  But then, a lot of the big chains will go in, so you need to know what you’re doing.  You need the independent advice of a CPA. People need to tread carefully.  I always say check with advisors and attorneys, and make sure you have an understanding.


IT:  What did Inglewood do right?


AW: You can kinda equate Inglewood to a business.  There are companies out there on the cutting edge and they reinvent themselves.  Companies that reinvent themselves to accommodate changes tend to be successful over time.  


Eastman Kodak never reinvented themselves. They didn’t go digital.  Polaroid never did it either.  With the City of Inglewood, in the 30s and 40s, people went to the (Hollywood) racetrack.  Horse racing hasn’t retained that level of popularity.  But now Inglewood is coming back.   It is again becoming a major sports destination.


IT: Some renters are worried they won’t be able to afford Inglewood because rates are rising. 


AW:  Initially, I wouldn’t get overly concerned.  Rental property values will appreciate and that takes time.  The issue will be when leases come up for renewal.  If property values escalate too quickly, the people may choose not to rent again.  


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