“I take my job very seriously,” Inglewood Councilman George Dotson told the Sentinel in a recent interview.
“I believe Inglewood improves if I do my job. And, my job is to ensure that Inglewood is on the move and is always going upward…”
Dotson joined Inglewood City Council four years ago, taking on issues that plagued the city including pending bankruptcy, faulty infrastructure and crime.
He is up for reelection for the city’s District 1 council seat on April 4.
“Inglewood has transitioned (under my tenure) from pending bankruptcy to financial stability and national prominence as the potential home of two NFL franchises,” Dotson said.
“More roads have been paved and sidewalks repaired during my term in District 1 than the prior 15 years combined. The Forum, once vacant, is now the number one concert venue in the state of California, number two in the country and number four in the world. Over thirty percent of its employees are Inglewood residents.”
Dotson also started a comprehensive senior center during his time, that has been on the books for ten years. He wants to continue with projects that improve Inglewood, he said. A reelection on April 4 would guarantee that.
“We have a lot of projects on board that have not come to fruition yet,” Dotson explained.
“My job will be to make sure they do come to fruition and become a vital part of the city of Inglewood and that they are producing revenue that will help continue our infrastructure and make Inglewood a place to be and visit and come and live and raise a family…”
Dotson has been a resident of Inglewood for over 44 years and he said, he brings to the Council a passion for safer neighborhoods and communities, local economic development and job growth through revitalization efforts, and an improved quality of life for residents impacted by LAX, by championing residential modernization and sound installation programs.
He grew up in Monroe, Louisiana, working for his father, who was one of only two Black contractors in the county at the time. He came to Southern California to expand his own business and raise a family.
“I am a stable stakeholder in Inglewood and have been for about 48 years now,” Dotson said.
“I believe in Inglewood. I’ve worked for Inglewood from the very first day I came here. I was here only a year when I started the [4th Ave Block Club] that’s going right now. I was elected because I live in the neighborhood. I’ve lived there for over 44 years. My kids were raised there. I believe in this city…”
He had been a planning commissioner for 20 years in the city and was instrumental in several retail development projects and the ongoing revitalization of Inglewood evidenced by his efforts to improve traffic and aesthetically enhance the Century Corridor.
The block club, he said, was a way to improve communications between neighbors, create a shared responsibility for keeping an eye open for suspicious activities, share helpful information about city events and provide scholarships to local students residing within the boundaries of the block club. It’s this commitment to local students and schools that motivated George to work tirelessly on behalf of Measure K which is providing over $50 million to Inglewood Unified for capital improvements across all campuses in the District. He was also a founding member of the Martin Luther King Day committee in Inglewood which organizes events annually so that Inglewood students and residents learn from the accomplishments of Dr. King and honor his legacy.
“One thing I’ve learned from being chairman of the planning commission and the block club, every group works better when they work as a team,” Dotson said.
“Because, if you’re all pulling in the same direction, you can get things done. But, if you’ve got one or two going one way and one or two going another way, nothing gets done.
Those things include joining the council in fixing the city’s water pipes and starting a new project on the blighted Florence and LaBrea site.
“We’ll be starting that the first part of 2018,” Dotson said.
“It will be a mixed use development that will bring vitalization to Market Street. One of things I want to do is revitalize Market Street, which is in my district.”
And, he said, he hopes with all of the improvements and with Inglewood moving forward that residents decide to stay.
“I don’t believe in gentrification,” Dotson told the Sentinel.
“Inglewood was a historically African American city. It is now a Black and Brown city and now Whites have started to move in. Most of the people in my district are homeowners and the only way anyone can get your home is if you sell it. I have told all my constituents to keep their homes.
“Where are you going to go where you are going to get the quality of property in a city like Inglewood, where you’re ten minutes from the airport. You’re maybe five minutes from three freeways, walking distance from the Fabulous Forum or the new stadium with two football teams.
“We have great senior living buildings. Everything is right here in Inglewood.
“Sure, there are going to be people who come in and buy because they want to live in a great place too. I hope people who already live in Inglewood love Inglewood like I do and want to stay.”
Dotson and his wife Ida, are faithful members of St. Eugene’s parish, and have been married for fifty years. They are the proud parents of two children and five grandchildren. When not enjoying his cherished family, George can often be found enjoying a round of golf with longtime friends and clients.