On September 16, 2003, Ralph L. Franklin was first elected to the Inglewood City Council to represent the 4th Councilmanic District. His charismatic character and outstanding leadership resulted in him being elected to a second term of office on April 3, 2007 and on April 5, 2011, he was elected to his third and current term of office.
Immediately prior to his election as Council Member, he served as the City of Inglewood’s Chairman of the Parks and Recreation Commission for twelve years.
For over three decades, Councilman Franklin has demonstrated his civic commitment as Past Board Member of the State Employment Panel Commission; Chair for the Census 2010 Inglewood Complete Count Committee; Immediate Past President of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) Southern California Chapter; Immediate Past President of the NAACP Inglewood/South Bay Branch and Past Chair of the South Bay Cities Council of Governments. He continues to demonstrate civic commitment through his service as Chair of the Metro South Bay Service Council; Chair of the South Bay Cities Council of Governments Measure R Oversight Committee; Treasurer and Board Member with the Joint Powers Authority (JPA); Member of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), AFL-CIO for more than a decade and Representative and Board Member of the Independent Cities Association (ICA). He is a Lifetime member of the New Frontier Democratic Club, a Diamond Life Member of the NAACP and has displayed his spiritual commitment as a faithful member of Crenshaw Christian Center for more than 40 years.
Councilman Franklin was instrumental in bringing new business development projects to District 4 including the very successful Village at Century Shopping Center located on Century Boulevard. The Village at Century celebrated its grand opening in May 2006, and is a wonderful example of community revitalization boasting national name brand retailers and restaurants including Ross, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Children’s Place, Michael’s Crafts, Office Depot, Chili’s Restaurant, Red Lobster Restaurant, and many other exciting stores.
The Imperial/Crenshaw Shopping Center is home to the Burlington Coat Factory which celebrated its grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony in September 2008. It has been a tremendous addition to the city along with other name brand retailers including CVS Drug, which opened during the summer of 2009, along with Louisiana Fried Chicken and T-Mobile.
Both of these developments have reinvigorated our community by removing blight, providing local jobs, and a very satisfying shopping experience for residents who now have a choice to patronize a wide array of name brand and specialty stores and food establishments.
In December 2013, the Hollywood Park Race Track hosted its final race in preparation for the most anticipated multi-year development in the City. In February 2014, the groundbreaking for the 238-acre parcel of the Hollywood Park Life (formerly Hollywood Park Tomorrow) project took place. This enormous project will contain over 620,000 square feet of retail, nearly 3,000 market rate homes, town homes and condominiums along with 4-acres of civic use development. An array of upscale stores, housing and prevailing wage jobs will be provided within the 4th District of the Inglewood community.
Councilman Franklin hosts quarterly Town Hall Meetings to keep District 4 residents up-to-date on a variety of city issues, programs, events, and activities taking place within the City of Inglewood while also focusing on topics of interest to the District 4 constituency.
During the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, Councilman Franklin spends several months preparing to assist needy families in the City of Inglewood. For Thanksgiving, Councilman Franklin hosts the City of Inglewood’s Annual Miracle on Manchester Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway. Each year, this event, held in partnership with the Salvation Army and several Inglewood community non-profit, for profit and civic organizations, provides generously supplied Thanksgiving food baskets to needy Inglewood residents and their families. For Christmas season, Councilman Franklin hosts the Annual District 4 Christmas Toy & Food Drive Celebration in partnership with local businesses, non-profit and for-profit organizations, and residents, to provide toys, staple food items and gift cards to needy families with a child that attends one of the four public elementary schools located in the 4th District.
Councilman Franklin continues to be active with the Boy Scouts of America where he has served in many leadership positions including Cub Master, Scout Master, District Commissioner, Wood Badge Staff, and District Silver Beaver Chairman. He has been awarded Cub Master of the Year, Scout Master of the Year, and the Silver Beaver Award for his outstanding leadership and volunteer efforts in preparing boys to become quality young men.
In 2014, Councilman Franklin became a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, an organization with a 141-year history of charitable works and service through benevolent programs to aid persons in need in the communities in which they live and work.
Councilman Franklin is an avid reader and visits the District 4 elementary schools with the Read-a-Loud Program and he also participates in Annual Career Day programs made available through the Inglewood Unified School.
In 2014, through a generous donation from Republic Services and in partnership with Home Depot, Councilman Franklin assisted the five (5) Inglewood public schools in the 4th District with Campus Beautification Projects. Each project consisted of the selection of plants, garden accessories and supplies by each school’s principal along with Councilman Franklin and Home Depot staff, the purchase and delivery of the selected items by Republic Services to the school campus and the transformation of the campus landscape through the hard work and labor of love by school staff members, students, parents and volunteers. Five campuses were transformed over the course of several weekends and after school in the months of March, April and May and are great examples of what can be accomplished when people work together.
Councilman Franklin earned his Associate of Arts Degree in Business Management from Los Angeles City College, his Bachelor of Science in Business Management, with a Minor in Public Relations, from Woodbury University, and he has received a Special Certificate for the 2-year Food Marketing Management Program from the University of Southern California. Councilman Franklin and his wife, Juanita, have been residents of the 4th District for more than 40 years and have three adult children -- Felicia, Gabriella, and Ralph II -- and two grandchildren, Mariah and Ethan.