Since the City of Champions Revitalization Project got underway, sports fans have been talking incessantly about bringing the city back as a sports center. But there are other aspects to being a championship city that are just as important as building a state-of-the-art stadium.
Lakers coach, former player and hometown hero Byron Scott said something that really hit home with me: “For those of us from Inglewood, we know that this city is filled with champions. Among them are top-rate businesses which are an integral part of this vibrant community.”
While sports fans anticipate an NFL team coming to Inglewood (though no agreements have yet been signed), we must remember that it takes more than sports to make this city great.
Vibrant businesses, quality schools, public safety, and the arts are all needed to make Inglewood a winning city. Fortunately, Inglewood is becoming a champion in all of these areas.
Scott will be on hand along with the mayor and council members on Saturday, March 7, to help welcome Warehouse Shoe Sale to its new Inglewood location. WSS is the latest franchise business to see the light and open a location here. But there are other businesses that have come or expanded locations within Inglewood as well. Together, these companies are laying the foundation for what will soon become a destination city.
While our schools are still under state receivership, there are some bright spots. For one, Inglewood students are determined to succeed regardless of troubles that have plagued the district in the last 3 years. Watching young people present their speeches at the King Day program or speak at City Hall gives me confidence in this city’s future. A group of students from Monroe Middle School with grade point averages of 3.5 or above, recently honored by the city council, tells me young people in this city have winning attitudes.
Without strong public safety policies in place, no investor would feel safe enough to build a major venue here. This tells me that the police department and other local authorities have a handle on crime and are making progress. Champions fight to maintain peace and prosperity.
Inglewood is growing as a community of artists, and is finally getting the recognition it deserves. The arts will play a vital role in shaping Inglewood as more people discover this South Bay jewel. Everything from murals at the future train stations to art galleries and musical concerts will inevitably serve to draw in visitors from all over. Art will present this beautiful city as a city of winners.
Inglewood is the City of Champions not only for positioning itself to bring back sports teams, but also for stepping up in other areas as well. Every stakeholder in this city, regardless of their profession or status, should bring their A-game.