Aja Brown, the California native, who made national news in 2013 by becoming the youngest mayor ever elected in the City of Compton at 35, was sworn into her second term on Friday.
“Onward. It’s time to finish the work,” she told the audience at her oath ceremony. “If it isn’t about progress, it’s petty. Put it aside.”
Brown, who is now 35, beat out her opponent former Mayor Omar Bradley who had forced an run-off during the primary this past April. Bradley campaigned against what he called Brown’s failure to live up to her promises, while Brown made sure to remind Compton residents of Bradley’s past run-in with the law (He was convicted in 2004 for misappropriating public funds. That conviction was tossed out on appeal eight years later allowing him to run again).
It’s been a learning curve for Brown, a USC alum who won her first term on a “New Vision for Compton” 12-step plan that aimed to slash the city’s $41 million deficit, reduce unemployment, invest in youth development and education among other things. With the new plan, she has brought a new appeal and national attention to Compton’s shifting narrative, even attracting the city’s many famous sons and daughters like Kendrick Lamar and Serena Williams to help.
Her slogan for her most recent campaign was “Let’s Finish The Work,” indicating her desire to continue what she has already started. She is planning a large street reconstruction project, and major city government and tax reforms in her second term.
“Progress is a process,” she said in the statement, “and I’m humbled and honored that Compton voters chose to keep up the momentum and finish the work that we’ve started together!”
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