Readers React

Celebrating Inglewood's ascendance

To the editor: I do not doubt that Erin Aubrey Kaplan cares deeply for Inglewood, which is why I am so puzzled by her op-ed article. It's as if she's making a wedding toast that questions whether the loving couple can survive the challenges of married life. ("Can Inglewood survive the NFL and gentrification?," Op-Ed, Jan. 12)

Inglewood's ascension to the ranks of most desirable neighborhood in the region is predicated on more than just the renovated Forum's early success. It is a reflection of a larger urban infill movement, bold new government leadership, vigorous investor interest and broad lifestyle appeal.

Gentrification is a legitimate issue, but since the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978, minority and other property owners are not under threat of becoming unable to afford their properties. They become the first and primary beneficiaries of soaring property values.

Growth and development that elevates minority communities need not result in gentrification or displacement. The answer is to incorporate educational and job creation and local hiring programs and to fund initiatives that preserve the city's culture and heritage.

Mark F. Weinberg, Agoura Hills

The writer is a former Inglewood city manager.

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To the editor: What specifically does Kaplan want Inglewood and its residents to do to improve its status and image if it is assumed that they need improvement? She does Inglewood a disservice by labeling its economy as struggling while offering no specific plan to improve the economy.

Neither a Wal-Mart Supercenter nor gentrification of Inglewood nor a professional football stadium may have been or would be successful in achieving what Kaplan wants. But for her to long for the past when things may have been better for Inglewood residents does nothing to improve the status quo.

By the way, since the 1960s I have lived and worked adjacent to Inglewood. Until reading Kaplan's article, I had never heard of Inglewood being called Inglewatts by anyone, anywhere.

Marc Jacobson, Los Angeles

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