By Kenneth Miller, Publisher
Across town to the north, Los Angeles officially welcomed its first woman Mayor in Karen Bass, but in the City of Inglewood James T. Butts, Jr. glorious legacy of establishing the once troubled sliver of the South Bay will endure as the Inglewood General Election certification was completed on Dec. 13th.
Since 2011 when Butts defeated Daniel Tabor to become mayor, Inglewood has evolved into that shinny little city on a hill, transforming a community besieged with gangs, drugs and crime into a model for economic boom, business development, entertainment and oh did I mention three professional sports teams in the Rams, Chargers and soon to be Clippers.
While all of those teams carry the name Los Angeles for marketing reasons, they call Inglewood home and dare I mention that the Forum which housed Sunday church services is the most glorified concert venue in America.
In 2021, the LA Philharmonic relocated its Youth Orchestra Program (YOLA) to Inglewood; YouTube opened a 6,000 seat theater in Inglewood. and the NFL Network relocated from Culver City to Inglewood; in 2022 Showtime opened 115,000 Square Feet Production Studio in the north end industrial area of the City. In February of 2022, Super Bowl LVI was held in Inglewood and the Rams were victorious; in 2023, the NCAA Championship Bowl game will take place in Inglewood and WrestleMania will be held here as well. By 2024, the Clippers will open a state of the art NBA arena – The Intuit Dome – in Inglewood. Finally, in 2028, the Olympic Games will open in Inglewood, California and Olympic Basketball and Swimming competitions will occur in the resurrected City of Champions.
All of this achieved under the leadership of Butts, and if you listen to him Inglewood hasn’t even got started yet.
So, with all due respect to madam Bass and her historical election victory, James T. Butts, Jr. certification win with 53.66 % of the vote was not just a stamp of approval, but a rousing endorsement of a small city mayor who has elevated his stature to a national level.
Meanwhile, the only drama in the City of Inglewood elections took place in District 1 where incumbent George Dotson was forced into a runoff against Gloria Gray. Dotson won 30% with 2,230 votes.
Dotson managed to achieve a chance for survival with the dubious distinction of roughly 70 percent of the voters choosing someone other than him. Gray eked out runner up status with 1661 votes to 1641 for local community activist Yolanda Davidson.
A final tabulation so close that not even Gray was sure what the outcome would be until it was certified.
Gray was elected to the West Basin Municipal Water District (West Basin) Board of Directors in 2006 and is the first African-American woman elected to the Board. She represents the Division ll city of Inglewood, and the unincorporated Los Angeles County areas of Lennox, South Ladera Heights, West Athens and Westmont.
The runoff will be conducted on March 3, 2023.