Economic renaissance within the Black community has been a focal point for many advisors in the LA area. Christopher Jackson is another person on the list lending his help. Jackson is the director of the city of Inglewood’s economic and community development.
“I am one of six directors in the City of Inglewood, my job is to develop economic growth, create jobs, and enhance the quality of life for residents, business owners, and patrons alike,” Jackson said in a recent zoom conference.
His background started in planning as he helped build and renovate Sofi Stadium, Cedars Sinai Hospital, and the coming Intuit Dome for the LA Clippers. Jackson moved to the Inglewood area in 2002 from the Santa Clara area, but before that, he worked 15 years in LA.
“Having the opportunities to work in a community of color, after thinking that this was something I would be unable to do, motivated me,” Jackson said. “I understand this community, I know how people in this community think, as I spend a lot of time at local parks and theaters. I know this city is a place of prominence, and it is only a matter of time before everybody sees it.”
Jackson spoke on how the business industry comes and takes from the community but does not put revenue back in or even provide things beneficial to the community.
“We need a say in what is happening in our communities,” he said. “We have been a hurt and disadvantaged community for a long time.”
Opportunities Jackson is providing include a business certification program that will help businesses legalize themselves. He also has projects with bid and work opportunities for construction workers, food service workers, and supply chain handlers.
“We want to support local businesses, we look to buy local because we know it’s hard for some businesses to compete with a company like Amazon,” Jackson said. “We will even spend a little more on your business [rather] than going to Amazon. I challenge people to spend money in Inglewood because people complain about how Inglewood looks but won’t spend money to fix it, and if we don’t, who will?”
Jackson acknowledges that gentrification is a problem for many Black communities as people get evicted out of their homes for “upper echelon people.” but Jackson says the only way to stop that is to own and not rent.
“The key factor is ownership. There is no equity in rent and, until we start owning, we have no control over our homes.”
For information on bids and job opportunities, visit https://tinyurl.com/2p97nppp.