Inglewood’s History of Groundbreaking Leadership


Inglewood is well known for being a diverse, progressive, politically involved city. In fact, Inglewood has the most registered Democrats in any city in California, at a whopping 76% of registered voters. The young, majority-minority populace has a reputation for being left-leaning, with a 2005 study by the Bay Area Center for Voting Research ranking Inglewood the 6th-most progressive city in the United States.

This long tradition of pushing political boundaries has led to some truly progressive choices for elective office, including many milestones for BIPOC candidates. Here, a few important politicians who have broken color barriers, glass ceilings, and underscored Inglewood’s dedication to next-generation governance.

Curtis R. Tucker, Sr.
Curtis R. Tucker, Sr., was the first Black person elected to the Inglewood City Council, almost half a century ago in 1972. A WWII veteran and a pioneer in fighting for minority populations and their equal representation, Tucker continued his activism in the California State Assembly, where he supported defunding companies that upheld apartheid South African policies. He died while in state office and was succeeded by his sun, Curtis Tucker, Jr.

Edward Vincent, Jr.
In 1983, Edward Vincent was elected the first Black mayor of Inglewood, taking the reins of a city that had been largely challenged by racist governing decisions and high crime rates. The former football star, who played for the L.A. Rams during their first tenure in Los Angeles, held a strong anti-crime stance and helped shape the city’s future as a safer city for its minority population in his three terms as mayor. Vincent also served in the California State Senate in the 2000s. Inglewood’s Edward Vincent, Jr. Park is named in his honor.

Mayor James T. Butts, Jr.
James T. Butts, Jr., was elected mayor of Inglewood in 2011 and continues to serve in that capacity. But his tenure as a Black leader in the city goes beyond the top position. As a police officer, Butts was among those breaking the color barrier in Inglewood law enforcement, was selected as the first Black lieutenant, captain and only Black Deputy Chief of Police. He was the first Black motorcycle officer, SWAT team member, supervisor and ultimately SWAT commander. As the commander of the Narcotics Division, he ran a highly successful Narcotics Task Force (NTF) in the summer of 1986 that resulted in 869 arrests for cocaine possession and sales. In the following quarter, crime fell by 35% in the city. As mayor, Butts has demonstrated strong leadership by improving the city’s economy, infrastructure, livability and entertainment options while maintaining mindfulness of the city’s indigenous Black and Brown population, offering them good jobs, affordable housing and resisting rent hikes with a 3% cap.

Eloy Morales, Jr.
Currently the longest serving member of the City Council and second elected Latino to the Inglewood leadership team, Councilman Morales serves as the Mayor Pro Tem. At the end of his current term, he will be the longest serving councilmember in the history of Inglewood. As a demonstration of his commitment to the Inglewood community, Eloy Morales, Jr., along with his father and founder Eloy Morales, Sr., worked for many years to establish a first-class sports program for the underprivileged children in the Inglewood community. This program has been in existence for over 20 years, and it has enriched the lives of many children.

Dionne Faulk
Elected to the Inglewood City Council just last year in February 2021, Dionne Faulk is the first elected Black woman – and second elected woman – to serve in the role. Her election follows 15 years of civil service in the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer Affairs and the Inglewood School Board. Faulk is a longtime Inglewood resident, where she resides with her husband and two children.