Uplift Inglewood Applauds the Defeat of SB 789 During this Legislative Session
Legislation that would have put the Clippers Arena in Inglewood on a fast track stalls in committee on Natural Resources
Inglewood, CA – The Uplift Inglewood Coalition applauds the defeat of SB 789 that would have bypassed California’s landmark environmental law to build an arena for the Los Angeles Clippers in Inglewood.
“Our coalition stands in solidarity with the residents, businesses, faith groups, and local organizations as well as our state’s leading environmental organizations, to ensure the vision of Inglewood's future includes and benefits all of our residents. We welcome equitable and sustainable community development that addresses the need for more secure housing. This defeat is the first step in asking our city to put Homes Before Arenas,” said Woodrow Curry of the Uplift Inglewood Coalition.
According to a negotiating agreement between the Clippers and the Inglewood City Council, a many acres of Inglewood land currently occupied by a variety of businesses and residences is proposed to turn into a large-scale arena seating 18,000-20,000 people. This project was on track to displace thousands of residents but because the Uplift Inglewood Coalition fought back, eminent domain was taken off the table for residences and churches. Businesses are still under threat. The impacts of an arena located next door to homes would have been devastating including increased traffic and poor air quality.
SB 789 would have put this arena project plus any project Mayor James Butts wanted in a one-mile square area on a fast-track and bypass the California Environmental Quality Act and environmental review, leaving Inglewood’s residents without a voice in the development process. It would have exempted from any environmental review a new rail system or other transportation system through Inglewood without ANY environmental review. It would have also let Mayor Butts and the City Council ignore community voices at hearings on these projects.
The Uplift Inglewood Coalition is not anti-development. Many of the organizations spearheaded efforts to push for the football stadium currently being built. However, the coalition believes Inglewood needs change its priorities and focus on building more workforce housing and stabilizing rents in the city.
With 22.4% of residents residing in poverty and rent prices on the rise, a new Clippers arena will only worsen ongoing problems concerning traffic and other issues impacting Inglewood. At a time when the state is in a housing crisis, more workforce housing and protections for renters are urgently needed.
The coalition is also concerned with the environmental impacts of this development. Inglewood is located near the 405 and 105 freeways and in the LAX flight path. The exposure to pollution is high, asthma rates are staggering, and access to parks is slim. By bypassing CEQA, residents will not know the full environmental impacts of this project and the community will lose its opportunity to defend itself.
Additionally, Inglewood already has an arena, the Forum, and construction has started on the football stadium – the decision to develop a third overlooks the community’s real needs. The 20+ acres of parcels of Inglewood land should be used for community development projects that provide more infrastructural support and bolster Inglewood, rather than an arena that only serves to provide entertainment to visitors and profits to a billionaire.
The Uplift Inglewood Coalition was created in 2016 as a response to the rising cost of living and housing. Made up of parents, teachers, students, faith leaders, residents, elders, youth, business owners, renters, homeowners, & community members, the coalition wants to help shape the future of Inglewood so that working families can continue to live and benefit from the city’s resurgence. Organizations included in the coalition are the Social Justice Learning Institute, Youth Justice Coalition, Holy Faith Episcopal Church, 9 to 5 California, Rodeway Inn & Suites, LA Voice, and Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice.
For more information, visit UpliftInglewood.org