April 18, 2013
By Jennifer Bihm
Preliminary election results from the Compton City Clerk’s office this week alluded to a run off between community development professional Aja Brown and former Compton Mayor Omar Bradley, who had a ‘misuse of funds’ conviction overturned last summer. Brown, who is new to the political scene says she has an entirely new vision for the city, while Bradley who led Compton for eight years prior to his conviction is promising get things back on track, the way they were when he was in charge.
“When I was mayor, were the streets filled with potholes,” he asked voters on his ballot statement.
“Back then, did your street sweeper run on time? Were your trees trimmed and your sidewalks repaired? Were there new trashcans, trash trucks, buses and fire trucks? More importantly, was there ever a layoff or a deficit? Now ask yourself, is the same true today?”
Meanwhile Brown, 31, said her vision involves a five-point plan focused on youth development, economic improvement, crime reduction, reforming city government and re-branding the city of Compton.
“I have over 10 years of community development and economic development experience working with the municipalities of Gardena, Inglewood, Pasadena (former Planning Commissioner) and the city of Compton’s Redevelopment Agency,” said Brown during an interview for 2urbangirls.com.
“I am the only candidate who has worked in community development and who fully understands how cities operate cross departmentally. I can identify key components necessary for reform and revitalization. Any person can identify the problem; few can identify viable solutions…”
Compton resident Donald Patton said he voted for Brown because he feels she is someone who can move the city, which narrowly missed bankruptcy, forward.
“It’s good to have somebody young with fresh ideas,” Patton recently told the L.A. Times. “I just want to see change in my community.”
Apparently a hefty percentage of the city’s voters agree with Patton. The unofficial election results on Tuesday showed Brown very slightly in the lead. However, Bradley has his own significant chunk of supporters, mainly residents like Patsy Rice, wishing for Compton’s “good old days.”
Rice said she put in her vote for Bradley amidst the city’s financial crisis that
resulted in service cut backs with rising costs and layoffs.
“Maybe we could have been in better shape if Bradley remained as mayor,” she told the Times.
Wrote election participant Vonn Bowman on Bradley’s Facebook campaign page, “Omar Bradley has the love and the hustle in him for our great city and the people who make it their home. [He will] put Compton back on top against all seeming challenges and odds! Re-elect Mayor Omar Bradley…”
Bradley has not listed any endorsements on his website. Brown’s endorsements include Los Angeles County Democratic Party, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, L.A. County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley Thomas and the National Women’s Political Caucus. Voters will make their final decision in June.
Other winning candidates are Lillie Dobson and Isaac Galvan, who will run off for City Council District 2; Yvonne Arceneaux, District 3; Craig J Cornwell for city attorney, Alita Godwin for city clerk and Douglas Sanders for treasurer.