Culver City Observer -

Hooray for James Butts, Sandra Davis


By Neil Rubenstein

Observer Columnist

The 54th Assembly District Democratic Club Annual Award Luncheon at the Proud Bird Restaurant was held on June 7. Those in attendance were in a very festive mood as Reverend Bilson Davis II gave a very eloquent invocation.

Mayor James Butts of Inglewood was the first of three to be saluted with the Distinguished Democrat Award. The mayor served for 19 years in the Inglewood Police Department, rising to the rank of Deputy Chief, with 15 years as Chief of Police for the City of Santa Monica and five years as an assistant general manager for the Los Angeles World Airport System in charge of Public Safety and Counter-Terrorism.

On January 11, 2011 he was elected mayor and four years later re-elected with 83% of the vote cast – truly remarkable. His accomplishments prevented impending bankruptcy, renovated the Forum, and negotiated a grant for over $100 million for airport sound insulation.

One should also mention the 80,000 seat NFL Stadium and the 6,000 seat performing arts venue, part of the $2 billion Hollywood Park Tomorrow Project. Inglewood is moving ahead, thanks to James Butts.

Saundra Davis’s biography reads from housewife and mother of eight to community advocate, to teacher, to elected official (was the very first African American elected in Culver City to the Culver City Board of Education). She has received more certificates of appreciation, diplomas and commendations than anyone in town. The NAACP selected Davis for their “Emerging Leader” award and Delta Sigma Theta presented her with its “Woman of Honor” award.

Presently she is the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of Community Centers Inc., which provides services such as computer literacy, adult education and immigration advocacy in South Central Los Angeles – a truly remarkable lady.

For those of us that are interested in what’s going on at the Culver City High School campus you can read The Centaurian on its website ( I know it’s sad but print versions will no longer be available this fall.

Oh, my goodness, I just read that Judge Tari L. Cody tossed out a libel suit filed by a Westlake California High School basketball coach. It seems a student’s father called the coach “a fraud, a cheat, a tax evader, a crook, a tax cheat, and child abuser” in emails sent to the high school administrators and members of the Board of Education. If you said it’s protected speech you would agree with the judge.

On September 9 at Veterans Auditorium the Culver City Democratic Club will host the candidate forum regarding the Culver City Board of Education. It starts at 7 p.m. Call (323) 384-3457 for further information.

My cousins sent Theodorsia and me postcards from their county notifying them of a public hearing to discuss their storm water management assessment. We see five parcels went up $18 to $30 per year while three parcels went up $9 to $15 dollars. Don’t look at your 2015-2016 Los Angeles County property tax bill unless the paramedics have been called and are on the way; as a matter of fact, wait until they get there to open the envelope.

Kansas needs to erase a deficit by raising taxes that began on July 1. To raise the $384 million needed, their sales tax will go all the way to 6.5 % from 6.15% and cigarette tax will be increased a half a buck a pack to $1.29.

If you missed the June 9 Culver City Democratic Club meeting you missed hearing Police Chief Scott Bixbee discuss all sorts of police situations here in town. I suggested once a month he discuss and answer questions for an hour or two from city hall so it could be televised. The chief is super smart so I believe before long this could happen.

It just seems like yesterday when people started asking about the 710 Freeway. You know, the Long Beach Freeway that was supposed to go from the port to Pasadena, but got bushwhacked along the way. The latest is to increase the number of lanes from eight to 14 in a 17-mile stretch between Long Beach and Interstate 60. The project is expected to take 10 years with the revised draft EIR to be released in early 2016.

California’s economy has bounced back to the seventh largest in the world as the state’s gross domestic product reached $2.3 trillion in 2014 according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. We just edged Brazil ($2.2 GDP) and the United Kingdom is just a hop skip away in sixth place.

Do you know where Baldwin Park is? I didn’t either, that is until I drove over to the Auto Club and found it’s where Interstate 605 intersects Interstate 10. Last July, just about a year ago, a resident attending a very popular event staged in a city park was arrested by Baldwin Park police when the citizen booed the city’s director and briefly stepped on the park’s stage. Before anyone could say Jackie Robinson the police department arrested the “boo” caller for disrupting a public meeting, took him to jail and strip-searched him. So now a federal lawsuit has been filed for violating both his First and Fourth Amendment rights. I just wonder if those who run Baldwin Hills are a bunch of thin-skinned country boys.

For those who missed an article, all my commentaries can be found at by placing Rubenstein in hat website’s search box.


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