District 1 residents are “excited and elated”, they said, that their councilwoman Janna Zurita will remain in her seat despite the recall efforts against her. Had the efforts been successful, voters would have had to decide on the matter in November. However, not enough signatures were gathered in its favor and Zurita is now congratulating her constituents for making the right decision.


“You were the winner in this recall effort,” she told residents via a recently released statement.


“You saw through the unfair, unwise and unwarranted recall effort because the citizens of Compton know a con job when they see one. The voters, volunteers and residents of the First District know I have worked hard to protect their interests, improve their neighborhoods, create jobs and grow the City's economy. The thousands of voters who refused to sign the Recall Petition chose real leadership over chicanery and real dedication or phony promises and someone they know really loves our city, over the forces who just want to take advantage of them…”


Zurita was elected to the Compton City Council in 2011. She was born and raised in Compton as part of a family long entrenched in the city’s political landscape.  She is the daughter of retired Public Administrator Clarence Zurita and former two term Compton City Councilmember Delores Zurita and the sister of current Compton Unified School District Governing Board Vice President Satra Zurita. Janna Zurita was a student   of the Compton Unified School District, graduating from Compton High School in 1982. She furthered her education at Compton Community College, and Long Beach City College where she was trained and certified as a surgical nurse.


Prior to being elected to the Compton City Council, Zurita worked at various hospitals in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, and she also managed her own business. She took on the position of the city’s mayor pro tem in 2011.


As councilwoman, Zurita has worked to provide her constituents with reduced water rates, public safety, clean and safe parks and neighborhoods, enhanced street and sidewalk services, new business development, and senior services. She has also made philanthropic efforts.


In 2012, she co-founded the Compton Walk For A Cure to bring breast cancer awareness and free mammograms to the city in an effort to reduce the number of women who succumb to breast cancer in annually. Zurita also founded the Autism Swim Adventure Club, the Autism Awareness Fair and a support group to provide opportunities and resources for children with special needs. She partnered with the Michelle Obama “Let’s Move” initiate and started the Let’s Move Compton Annual Fitness Day, among many other social and educational programs that “truly enhance the quality of life for all residents of Compton”, according to  a spokesperson for comptoncity.org.


“She has always been an accountable and accessible councilwoman,” said long time Compton district 1 resident Jerry Randle.


“I’m elated and excited that she was able to prevail. [The recall effort was made by] outside forces that don’t really have a vested interested in the wellbeing of the city…”


Fellow resident and president of the Compton Coalition for integrity and governance, Cynthia Macon, agrees.


“I think it’s extremely important to the city’s future that Janna Zurita remain on the City Council at this time,” she said.


“She has been the most outspoken person against the marijuana industry in our city. If you’ve heard some of the stories about what our city went through in the 80s and 90s, you would know that we don’t want to revisit that…”


The recall effort was spearheaded by a group of unnamed Compton residents from district 1, according to their website recalljannazurita.com. They accused Zurita of “deceiving residents in Compton, not living in District 1 and of bullying not only residents and City staff but her colleagues as well.”


“She has publicly berated and disrespected the City Treasurer, City Attorney, City Manager and others during public council meetings,” they said.


Zurita warned her constituents against the effort, calling it “frivolous” and a “distraction”


“[This is] because I have demanded accountability for those responsible for theft of $3,700,000 and mismanagement of our tax dollars,” she said in an open letter published in the Sentinel earlier this month.


“These corrupting forces are fighting back.  To shut-me-up, the same people who mismanaged our city’s finances want to recall me for protecting your interests. “I have: fought legalization of marijuana, demanded the investigation of officials who stole millions of tax dollars, requested an investigation into cash and an unknown account in the City Clerk’s office and been a fiscal watchdog.


“Now, a handful of rabid political opponents have resorted to vicious lies. The facts: I was born, raised and educated in Compton; graduated from Compton High; and I live and work in Compton. FACTS ARE EASILY VERIFIED.  Moreover, 4 years ago I was elected to the Los Angeles County Democratic Party Central Committee, representing Compton.


“I won’t be silenced by political opponents and their threats.  I have faith in God and the voters of Compton to not silence my demand for accountability and transparency…”


The recall vote would have cost the city $200,000, that it didn’t have, she said.


“[Their failure],” said Zurita, “should tell outside special interests and those who want to help them take over our community's destiny, and halt its progress; that you cannot be fooled or misled. It should tell everyone that Compton is not for sale, rent or takeover. It should tell them that Compton is for the people of Compton and the progress on which we are working every day is to make our City a great place to live, learn and develop.”


Zurita also said in the statement, that she hopes the recall failure will stop outsiders from “trying to install their own hand-picked leaders, to impose their self-interested views on people who have their own and, instead to work with those of us elected to represent them. It is time to put Compton First!"


She is ready to roll up her sleeves and move forward, she said, with continuing the work of addressing quality of life issues for her constituents.


"The voters in my district and throughout the City know I am here for them and their future,” Zurita’s statement said.


“Congratulations, Compton, I may have beaten the recall, but you won your city back.”

Category: Cover Stories