By Thomas Bunn
On the grounds of True Vine Baptist Church in the revitalized District 2, the sparkle of the afternoon sun reflected off the painted bodies of some of Southern California’s most beautiful classic automobiles and low-riders, as Councilman Alex Padilla invited residents to Discover District 2.
The ceremony opened with the presenting of colors from the Inglewood High School JROTC and an opening prayer from True Vine’s pastor Rev. Austin Williams.
Councilman Padilla took the opportunity to acknowledge some distinguished guests: District 1 Councilman George Dotson, District 4 Councilman Ralph Franklin, 62nd District Assemblyman Steve Bradford, IUSD State Trustee Dr. Don Brann, Congresswoman Diane Watson, City of Hawthorne Councilwoman Olivia Valentine, and candidate from the 67th District, Autumn Burke.
The highlight of the welcoming ceremony was the presentation of a $1000 check to the Inglewood High School JROTC. The $1000 check was donated to the IHS JROTC directly from Mayor James T. Butts Jr.’s personal finances. Councilman Padilla said, “A few months ago while I was putting this together, I went in and we were talking, and he said, ‘What you got going on?’ And I said, I’ve got the Discover District 2 event and I’m looking for some folks to donate and he said, ‘How much do you need?” I said, If I could get $1000 that would be a big relief. He didn’t bat an eye when he said, ‘You got it, here’s a thousand dollars, now go raise some more.’ He was the first one to step up and make us proud about what we’re doing here in the City of Inglewood.”
Councilman Padilla also added, “This whole concept of having a car show, of recognizing our relationship with our school district, and holding a community event to highlight the vendors, and all the good things going on in Inglewood, was something I talked about during my campaign. I told folks we need to do more things to bring the community together. So, by having the Discover District 2 event, it’s an opportunity for the people to see that Inglewood is not the place to drive through, but the place to drive to.”
Besides the immaculate display of classic Chevy Fleet Lines, Bel-Airs, and Impalas, there were probably the most delicious root beer floats known to man being pumped out by the Republic Waste vendor booth.
The atmosphere was family-friendly and festive as young people shot hoops, caroms, jumped Double Dutch, and got their faces painted, while poets wowed the crowd, a Karate school demonstrated its discipline and skillful technique, a Mariachi singer serenaded the audience, and performers entertained us with cultural dance routines.
Amongst the observers of the beautiful cars was our Mayor James T. Butts Jr. who admitted jokingly that his favorite car of the show was the 68’ Impala. “I used to have one, just not with the hydraulics.” In regards to the event, he added, “When you look at what we’re doing in Inglewood, we have multiple fronts we’re moving on, economic development , prosperity, jobs, and community involvement, and this is the community involvement leg. This is something you haven’t seen in a long time in the City of Inglewood. We’re celebrating our youth, we had some excellent violinists from our middle school students, and then you have entertainment, food, cars, and community businesses, so everybody can discover what’s available in District 2. This is the total integration of our community.”
District 2 has had its share of poor leadership, but today, under the leadership of Councilman Alex Padilla, it’s refreshing to know that you have a man of his word on your team, who’s following through on his promise to bring the community together. Salute.