The city of Inglewood is one of the fastest evolving cities in the United States. Despite a history of underinvestment, in the past decade we have turned Inglewood into an economic powerhouse: Inglewood is now a top destination for new business, housing development, and entertainment.
While this brings an unprecedented boost to our local economy, it will put our region’s infrastructure to the test. After years of planning, we stand ready, once again, to rise to the occasion. But we can’t do it alone.
We have multiple infrastructure projects that are ready to go, but we need federal support to make these necessary investments for our future. That’s why I’m calling on Congress to support President Biden’s infrastructure plans. The benefits to L.A. County can’t be overstated.
For years, we have successfully worked to drive investment into this previously overlooked city in L.A. County. As a result, our future is bright: in coming years Inglewood will host Super Bowl LVI, WrestleMania 3, and the NCAA College Championship bowl game. The newly constructed SoFi Stadium is on the short list to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. And in 2028, we will welcome visitors from around the world for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2028 Summer Olympic Games, in the resurrected City of Champions.
These major events and developments will continue to attract revenue not just to Inglewood, but to all of LA County. Soon, people from around the world will be coming here. We must meet this growth with an investment in infrastructure.
We’ve seen what happens when cities develop quickly and infrastructure doesn’t keep up. The result is predictable: gridlock, smog and crumbling roads. Residents shoulder these burdens. We have to plan ahead and make these investments now.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, a critical step in President Biden’s Build Back Better effort, could not come at a better time for L.A. County. The framework will make historic investments that will repair and transform our nation’s infrastructure and expand our transportation systems. The framework invests in communities, kick-starting a shift towards a greener economy while creating thousands of new jobs.
As an LA Metro board member, I have long been a firm supporter of sustainable transportation systems. Under the framework, we can finally make the kinds of investments needed to realize our sustainability goals. And I am proud to say that Inglewood is well positioned to benefit from these investments.
The Inglewood Transit Connector (ITC) is an integral part of our city’s infrastructure plan, and could benefit immensely from federal investment. The ITC project will provide a direct transit connection to the city of Inglewood’s major employment, housing and entertainment centers. The ITC will connect the Metro Crenshaw/LAX line directly to Inglewood’s top destinations.
The ITC project will reduce traffic, improve air quality, and increase quality of life for residents throughout the region. This project is ambitious and it’s exactly what we need. The ITC is a perfect example of the type of investment opportunity that can benefit from federal dollars. Not only will it expand transportation options, it will bring good paying jobs.
Investing in infrastructure is about investing in our future. This is about giving concrete opportunities to people who historically haven’t had them. Our city is poised to help reinvigorate the economy, and with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, we can fully realize our potential. Congress must heed President Biden’s call to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill immediately so we can build for the future and build back better.
James T. Butts is mayor of Inglewood and a member of the LA Metro Board of Directors.