By Kenneth Miller, Publisher
Songstress Hope Diamond serenaded “Let the good times” under a white canopy on the South Lawn at Inglewood City Hall for the public swearing-in for District 1 Councilmember Gloria Gray on April 29 as an intimate gathering of family and friends celebrated the arrival of the newest official at city hall.
The scent of Tasty Tacos permeated the breezy atmosphere that brought out public servants from every level of government to salute and witness the historical ceremony as Los Angeles first female Mayor Karen Bass served as the Administrative Officer for the Oath to the beloved public servant Gray, who became the first woman to be elected to represent District 1.
Inglewood Today Executive Publisher Willie Brown served as the master of ceremonies for the event attended by Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, Jr., City Councilmembers Dionne Faulk, Alex Padilla and Eloy Morales, City Clerk Aisha L. Thompson, District 61 Assemblymember Tina McKinnor, District 35 State Senator Steven Bradford, DNC Chair, California Democratic Party Women’s Caucus Carolyn Flower, Gardena Mayor Pro-Tem Paulette C. Francis, former Congresswoman Laura Richardson and Dale R. Hunter, founder of Hunter Communications Group.
Mayor Butts had the distinct double honor of introducing Bass as the Administrator of the Oath and his distinguished new colleague on the council.
“When I ran for mayor in 2010 it was only one elected official that endorsed me in this whole county and that was Gloria Gray. We are really-really honored to have Gloria on the council, it’s a great council,” Butts stated.
Bass called it an honor to do be the official of the oath, but also an honor to be in Inglewood.
“I told Mayor Butts, the transformation of Inglewood has been nothing short of spectacular. When I was in Congress and I flew in every single week I watched the development change in Inglewood and with the leadership of this mayor and the city council and all you have done here is really amazing,” said Bass.
Now, Bass added; “I am so glad that Gloria is going to joining the City Council. I have known Gloria for a long time like so many people here and I’ve seen Gloria in so many different roles whether is as a community activist on a number of different issues or on her signature issues which is water, the foundation of life, she has been a leader. In 2010 I had the honor of serving as Speaker of the Assembly and one of my jobs was to come up with a new water policy for the state of California and at the heart of that was to create a new water council to deal with the delta area and when it came time to appoint commissioner’s I appointed Gloria Gray.”
Sen. Bradford hailed the occasion to celebrate a public servant.
“A public servant is what Gloria Gray is and that’s what she’s always been. I’m honored to call her not only a colleague, a friend and a mentor. I met Gloria in the late 80s when I had a head full of hair and though I knew what’s going on and she took me under her wing and gave advice about being involved in the community,” added Bradford.
Assemblymember McKinnor, the 21h Black woman to serve in the State legislator encouraged Gray to find her number in the City of Inglewood.
“Help inspire the next generation of women to find their number here in City Hall, the State Capitol in Sacramento and the halls of Congress in DC. Councilmember Gray, we are part of special sisterhood who change not just the face of public policy, but the mission of public service. We bring to the table a unique life experience. Our professional accomplishments, the patience and wisdom of sisterhood, the unique compassion and perseverance that we inherit from our mothers and our grandmothers to become the people we are today,” McKinnor expanded.
It was a royal occasion, splashed with the elegant music of Paul McDonald Big Band, the original poetry District 1 Art Commissioner Altha Metcalf, liturgical dance of Tasha Jones, warm embraces and handshakes from all of her friends from the West Basin Municipal Water.
At the heart of it was Gray’s family, namely her daughters Monica Ector and Denise Mitchell, who have sacrificed in allowing for the humble public servant to spread her gift of giving to so many others.
“I send my sincere thanks to my family, friends and loyal supporters who see capabilities in me that feel confident in being able to discharge my duties and responsibly as your city council member. I am committed to working with all of you and from today forward I take up these responsibilities that I stand on the sturdy shoulders of dedicated citizens. I believe that I can represent my city when in need and take charge when necessary. I also feel that I can strengthen the relationships with others and community leaders,” Gray told the audience in closing.