There is nothing like the possibility of an 80,000-seat sports stadium and entertainment center to get folks excited about their home town. The proposed City of Champions Initiative—which would expand Hollywood Park Tomorrow—has already gathered more than enough signatures to put it on the ballot. And the signature drive has barely started.
In just 3 weeks, Inglewood has secured 22,000 names, and the verification process has already begun. What would normally take 180 days, was completed in about one-tenth of the time!
The excitement at Tuesday night’s council meeting was palpable. You could see it on the faces of people who came to the podium voicing support for the stadium. And you could feel it in the air. There was applause after each person got up to speak. People spoke about civic pride as well as job creation and increased tax revenue. And the fact that no tax payer funds will be used to finance the project makes it that more attractive.
Equally exciting is the direction the city is taking overall. Civic pride in Inglewood has been on the rise for some time now, as evidenced by record-breaking numbers of people showing up at city events. Last month’s tree lighting ceremony at the Fabulous Forum, and last week’s Martin Luther King Day celebration drew more people than Inglewood has seen in previous years.
Residents and outsiders are supporting this city like never before because they know good things are happening here. Small business owners are seeing the opportunities unfolding and thanking their luck stars that they had the good sense to establish enterprises in this city.
Inglewood stock has risen in the eyes and minds of residents, as they should. This is crucial because civic pride is the starting point of successful cities. If you do not believe in the merits of your own community, no one else will either. It is not an accident that world-class corporations are investing here. They are sensing that Inglewood offers an ideal environment for explosive growth—mild weather, close freeway access, diverse neighborhoods, lower crime and housing prices that are still affordable.
Having a strong leadership, with multiple, recent successes, certainly helps build a strong foundation as well. With all of the successes of 2014 alone—Forum reopening, selected as a Special Olympics host city, deficit reduction by more than half, and groundbreakings on billion-dollar projects—what we are experiencing is not a fluke. This success is real and it is now. So take it all in. Relish it and know that good things really do happen and nothing is too good to be true.