Since his election in 2011, Inglewood mayor James T. Butts, Jr. has changed the city year after year for the better, allowing residents to take pride in the place where they live and creating a positive community experience.
The city is definitely living up to its name as Inglewood, the city on the move.
The remodeling and remaking of the Forum, has made the building the number one concert venue in the greater Los Angeles area. Since the opening of the venue, there have been performances by top tier artist such as Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson. The MTV Music Video Awards was also hosted here.
As a result, numerous employment opportunities have been created. Butts Jr., has done more than give Inglewood a new glitz and glamour, he has also played an active role in revamping the city to ensure economic growth.
Since he took office as the 12th mayor of Inglewood, unemployment rates have dropped significantly from 15.9 percent in 2011 to this year’s current percentage 9.6.
“When I took office Feb 1 of 2011, we were down to our last 11 million dollars in reserve we were burning on average 50 thousand dollars a day more than we were taking in at revenue. So, we shed 140 positions from the payroll, we explored public and private partnerships in our tree trimming and street sweeping operations,” said Butts, Jr.
Butts Jr. has also increased the number of street sweepers and tree trimming operations exceeding his own goals and expectations.
“We went from having the capacity to trim 1,200 trees a year to now, we can trim 6,000 trees a year. We went from having two city street sweepers to five and at the same time saving half a million dollars a year.”
On April 23, 2011 Butts, Jr. gave his State of the City Address speech touching on three main topics fiscal solvency, which included the reconstruction and resurfacing of streets, public safety, and unified city leadership.
“We have resurfaced and reconstructed more streets in the last three years than the prior 20 years. We have saved and put away all of our money and we are using it on infrastructure on both our water system and our streets,” said Butts Jr.
One resurfacing street project in particular that was discussed was Century Boulevard. According to the mayor, the project is anticipated to begin in mid to late September.
When it comes to protecting and serving the community, Mayor Butts is no rookie. He served as the Chief of Police in the city of Santa Monica for 15 years. As mayor, Butts, Jr. has teamed up with the Inglewood Police Department to work on a multilayer of approaches for crime prevention and intervention. Since he has been in office, the city of Inglewood has experienced its lowest levels of crime in the history of the city.
But his biggest accomplishment by far is the Hollywood Park project.
“We broke ground on what will likely be a close to five billion dollar development at the old Hollywood Race Track site. It will be our version of LA Live and the Grove mixed together,” said mayor Butts Jr.
This project will include the Sports Entertainment District, football stadium, a performing arts theatre, 1 million square feet of retail, 1 million square feet of office space, 2,500 residential units and hotels, a movie theatre and four parks.
The project has also lead to an increase in employment for Inglewood residents.
“There will be about 12,000 permanent and part time jobs when construction is finished and all of the venues open. We have a goal of 30 percent wealth or higher and these jobs will range to entry level to professional and there will never in the history of the city been such an opportunity for Inglewood residents to be employed locally,” said Butts Jr.
Aside for the Hollywood Park project which has already broken ground, the city is also working on building a new community center for residents at the corner of La Cienega Boulevard and Fairview which is being reconstructed at no expense to taxpayers. The site was formerly a gas station by the name of Thrifty Oil.
The city is also working on a housing development which will be built on the Daniel Freeman site.
The mayor believes, “If we all work together, Inglewood will achieve the stability, safety, productivity and prosperity that our citizens expect and deserve.”