Pete Carroll champions hope

Where gang violence once reigned, hope is being backed by results, and results are being backed by hope.

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That was Coach Pete Carroll’s prevailing message during A Better LA’s “Changing the Game” luncheon event on Wednesday at USC, where 300 guests filled a banquet hall to hear from a panel of notables about the inspiring progress being made on the once-gang-ridden streets of Los Angeles — thanks in large part to the work being done by A Better LA, the inner-city foundation Carroll started in 2003.

“One person at a time, we’re finding hope where we couldn’t find hope before,” Carroll said during the panel discussion. “We’re instilling hope in the minds and hearts of these kids.”

A banner of hope and progress ruled the day as the fundraising event brought light to encouraging stats, such as the 92 percent decrease in annual homicides in the West Adams neighborhood of Los Angeles since 2007.

“We’re getting ready to really change this city for the better for a lot of people,” LAPD sergeant Curtis Woodle said during Wednesday’s event. “We’re getting ready to do some really good stuff here.”

Carroll, one of the key cogs in this movement even still following his move to Seattle a year ago, grinned when talking about the positive results so far and hopeful future yet to come.

“It is happening,” Carroll said. “We all can do amazing things, but we’ve got to dig in.”