November 10, 2022

By Assemblymember Tina McKinnor


You can tell a lot about a community by the state of its infrastructure. Shared by residents and visi-tors alike, infrastructure touches every part 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 historically struggled to get our fair share of funding for much-needed infrastructure projects. The tide is beginning to turn. With both federal and state initiatives underway to create funding mechanisms for infrastructure projects, the time to modernize and improve our infrastructure is now. But it must be done equitably.

The City of Inglewood is a perfect example. It is the fastest evolving city in the United States. De-spite a history of underinvestment, in the past decade, Inglewood has emerged into an economic powerhouse: Inglewood is now a top destination for new business, housing development, and entertainment.

In the coming years, 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 bowl game in the years to come. In 2028, Inglewood will host tens of thousands of visitors for the Opening and Closing Ceremo-nies of the Summer Olympic Games, in the resurrected City of Champions.

The newly constructed SoFi Stadium has also recently been named a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

These mega events will drive revenue to the entire southern California region and put an interna-tional spotlight on California as a whole. Yet, Inglewood lacks the robust transportation infrastruc-ture it needs and deserves. Inglewood residents are more likely to take public transit 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 the City of Inglewood’s major employment, housing, and entertainment centers. Once completed, the ITC will connect visitors and residents directly to Inglewood’s top destinations.

The ITC project enjoys overwhelming community support and received full project approval from the City Council last month. But the ITC project still lacks full funding. We need support from Sacramento to bring this across the finish line.

The ITC firmly commits to priority populations, low-income populations who are primarily people of color; the ITC will reduce their commute 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 invigorate the statewide shift to climate-adapted infrastructure, and for championing a historic investment in local transit projects. For cities like Inglewood, this commitment could not come soon enough. With our record-breaking surplus, we have a once-in-a-lifetime 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 can’t afford to put off infrastructure improvements any longer. Infrastructure invest-ments lead to faster commutes, cleaner air, improved safety, and thousands of good-paying jobs. Investing in infrastructure is about investing in people and in our future.

The time to take the leap is now. Cities like Inglewood are poised to help reinvigorate 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.

Category: Opinion