Sat, Oct

Inglewood Councilman’s Event Was More Of A Campaign Stunt Than Community Event

SOUTH OF THE 10 - Letter to the Editor: Dear 2UrbanGirls,

Saturday at Darby park, residents were encouraged to attend the event hosted by city councilman George Dotson the incumbent for district 1, however, the public parking lot was not open to the public, but was restricted to special individuals on Dotson’s list. The lack of consideration for traffic and parking for the residents of Inglewood at a public event that was supposed to be for them, is yet another glaring example of how out of touch the leadership of the city is with the needs of this city, how the rules for common citizens are not applied to them, and how they do not respect or appreciate the people elected to serve. 

However, it does align with the elitism, privileged, exclusionary practices that has been the policy of the mayor and city council for years. Despite being advertised as a family event which was supposed to be fun and enjoyable for the residents of Inglewood, the spirit of hospitality was quickly transformed to hostility for select attendees who Dotson or his staff perceived as having ideologically or politically different views, or were not registered supporters of Dotson.

I was informed by Mr. Taj Powell a candidate for the district 1 city council seat that he was asked to leave the park by an Inglewood Police officer because Mr. Dotson did not want him there. This view was verbally expressed by a Inglewood Police officer when asked if there was a problem speaking to Mr. Dotson stated that “he asked for him specifically, I heard him say he was dealing with a constituent and he couldn’t talk to him” referring to Mr. Powell. I asked if it was open to the public and was told yes. I proceeded to Mr. Dotson’s canopy where he was clearly engaging with members of the public. As I stood by, Mr. Dotson asked me “Did you want something?” I responded that I just wanted to talk to him for a second. He replied “ Today is not a good day to talk.” I asked “Today’s not good?” 

Before I could ask when would be a good time, I was berated by an assistant, another associate stood close to me taking an aggressive posture. As I began explaining to the assistant that I was just trying to see when would be a good time to speak to him, she continued to be disrespectful, condescending, unprofessional, and irate. At the point, the same officer that I spoke to earlier came over to me and asked me to walk away. I explained to her that I did not appreciate the mischaracterization displayed by the assistant as if I were causing a disturbance. I walked away.

I thought that would be the end, however, I was sadly mistaken. I was appalled to see this vitriol extended to his wife and children when they attempted to get the free food items. I saw a volunteer scream at Mr. Powell’s wife regarding how many items she was getting. After explaining the items were for her children ages three and four years who were unable to get them themselves, the worker never apologized to, and later continued again yelling when encountering her again.

I realized that Mr. Powell was being watched by Inglewood Police at the behest of Mr. Doston’s camp. Earlier in the day, Mr. Powell was confronted for parking in the public parking lot at Darby Park by a park staff member.  He was allowed to park near a police vehicle as an officer attempted to resolve the dispute. Mr. Powell and a few Mayoral candidates were speaking to the attendees and handing out materials. Mr. Dotson’s associates did not want him to continue I guess because he was directly running for Mr. Dotson’s seat which apparently prompted the request by the police officer for him to leave the park. Maybe this hostile disposition by the Dotson team is the reason the event was so sparsely attended. There were more vendors than participants. One thing for sure, it’s time for a positive change. We must move beyond bitterness and counter cantankerousness and elect leadership that will restore the ABC’s Accountability, Benevolence, and Competence to our city government.  Dotson clearly do not represent these values, and should no longer occupy a position in government. Maturity must not manifest malevolence. The opportunity to restore democracy this November is at hand.

John Hughes
District 1 resident

(2UrbanGirls has been cited in Daily Breeze, Daily News, Inglewood Today, Intersections South LA, KCRW, KPCC, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Wave, LA Weekly, LA Watts Times, Mercury News, New York Times, Orange County Register, Sports Illustrated, The Atlantic, and Washington Post. 2UrbanGirls has a recurring column, South of the 10, on CityWatchLA.)