Local Infrastructure Projects Need Statewide Support – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

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Tina McKinnor (courtesy image)

You can tell a lot about a community by the state of its infrastructure. Shared by residents and visitors, infrastructure touches every aspect of our lives. Unfortunately, quality infrastructure has not been shared equitably in our communities, often with destructive and even calamitous results.

Many communities, like mine, have always struggled to get their fair share of funding for much-needed infrastructure projects. The wind begins to turn. With federal and state initiatives underway to create funding mechanisms for infrastructure projects, now is the time to modernize and improve our infrastructure. But it must be done fairly.

The town of Inglewood is a perfect example. It is the fastest growing city in the United States. Despite a history of underinvestment, over the past decade Inglewood has become an economic powerhouse: Inglewood is now a prime destination for new businesses, housing development and entertainment.

In the years to come, Inglewood and the entire Southern California region will welcome visitors from around the world for several major events. Inglewood hosted Super Bowl LVI this year and will host WrestleMania 39 and the NCAA College Championship Bowling Game in years to come. In 2028, Inglewood will welcome tens of thousands of visitors for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics, in the resurrected City of Champions. The newly built SoFi Stadium was also recently named host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

These mega-events will generate revenue throughout the Southern California region and put an international spotlight on California as a whole. Yet Inglewood lacks the robust transportation infrastructure it needs and deserves. Inglewood residents are more likely to use public transportation, but historically have not had access to it.

Inglewood has spent years developing a forward-thinking sustainable transportation plan. An integral part of the plan is the Inglewood Transit Connector (ITC), which would benefit immensely from state funding. The ITC project will provide a direct transit connection to major employment, housing and entertainment centers in the City of Inglewood. Once completed, the ITC will connect visitors and residents directly to Inglewood’its main destinations.

The ITC project has overwhelming community support and received full project approval from City Council last month. But the ITC project still lacks full funding. We need Sacramento’s support to cross the finish line.

ITC has a strong commitment to priority populations, low-income populations who are predominantly people of color; ITC will reduce their travel times and create more economic opportunities. This project deserves our support and it deserves the funding to get it built.

I applaud Governor Gavin Newsom’s efforts to energize the statewide shift to climate-responsive infrastructure and for championing historic investment in local transit projects. For towns like Inglewood, that commitment couldn’t come soon enough. With our record surplus, we have a unique opportunity to fully fund Governor Newsom’s local infrastructure vision, improving the quality of life for millions of residents, especially in communities of color like Inglewood.

We simply cannot afford to put off improving infrastructure any longer. Investments in infrastructure allow for faster commutes, cleaner air, improved safety and thousands of well-paying jobs. Investing in infrastructure is investing in people and in our future.

The time has come to take the leap. Cities like Inglewood are ready to help revive the economy, but we can’t do it alone. Sacramento must take action to fund local infrastructure projects so that we can build an equitable future that we will be proud of.

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