Lawmakers charge bias at Clippers arena project

"Why put more roadblocks in front of them than any other community?”

Oct.October 16, 2019 10:05 AM
State Senator Steven Bradford, Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove and a rendering of the stadium
State Senator Steven Bradford, Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove and a rendering of the stadium

The battle over the Los Angeles’ Clippers stadium project in Inglewood is getting uglier.

Two state lawmakers claimed the California Air Resources Board is unfairly scrutinizing and delaying necessary approvals of the project because Inglewood’s population is overwhelmingly people of color, according to the Pasadena Star-News.

The proposed $1 billion arena is already a major point of contention in Inglewood. Affordable housing advocates have accused the city of failing to do everything it could to build affordable housing on the 15-acre site. Separately, the Madison Square Garden Company, which owns the competing Forum nearby, claims Inglewood duped it into giving up an option to use that site.

The stadium, together with the under-construction $5 billion L.A. Stadium at Hollywood Park, have become symbols of gentrification in the historically working-class city. There is also evidence that the projects have attracted speculative real estate investors who are pricing out longtime residents.

State Sen. Steven Bradford and Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove said in a letter to the California Air Resources Board earlier this month that the agency has expedited projects in more affluent, white neighborhoods.

“Why put more roadblocks in front of them [Inglewood] than any other community?” Bradford told the publication in an interview. “I think its an implicit bias related to race. This is a minority-majority city and, again, they’re being treated differently.”

A spokesman for the agency said other projects “were less complicated and less controversial.” The agency said earlier this month it would try to wrap up the review within 120 days. [Pasadena Star-News]Dennis Lynch

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