March 04, 2021

By Political Editorial Committee


Many political insiders and community residents in the City of Compton were surprised when Mayor Aja Brown made the decision not to seek re-election. 

While the mayor has had her critics, no one could ignore that the people who make up the Compton community, overwhelmingly voted for her in the past two elections, and most believed she was a shoe-in to win a third term.

However, Mayor Brown’s decision not to seek a third term, opened the flood-gates of interested candidates to lead the city.  There are 10 candidates currently running in the city primary election, which is scheduled for Tuesday, April 20.

The Los Angeles Sentinel and the Los Angeles Watts Times has researched and considered each candidate very closely, and while all the candidates have a varied array of qualifications, in our opinion, there is only one candidate with the experience and understanding of various issues facing Compton, and that candidate is current Councilmember Emma Sharif.

The councilwoman has been a resident of Compton for decades, proudly raising her children and working in the community for over 20 years. No stranger to hard work, Shaif has always had a passion for education and public service.

Emma demonstrated her passion for students through her time as a public-school teacher, and a Youth Development Director in Compton.

Observing the need for more qualified and dedicated teachers, she became a staunch advocate for student success and their overall well-being.

Sharif is no newcomer to Compton or Compton politics.  She is currently the councilmember representing Compton’s 4th District and the only candidate running for mayor with any political office experience.  She has served on the Compton School Board for over 14 years and has served on the Compton City Council for six. 

She has been involved in the implementation of a number of major Compton projects and programs and has a full grasp of the actions the city has done right and the things that the city has done wrong over the years, and believes she has the focus and vision to address these issues.

When asked about her vision for Compton and why she is running for mayor, the two-term councilmember said, “Right now, there are a lot of challenges facing our city.  Homelessness is a very serious problem that must be addressed and cannot be ignored.  We also are in the middle of a street renovation program, which has come under much scrutiny. 


So far, we have completed over $5.9 million dollars in street repairs with another $45 million to go.  I understand this program; I have seen what is working and I have witnessed what is wrong, and as mayor, I believe I have a complete understanding of this program to pick up the pace of the work and get us to the finish line.”  


Compton is also in the midst of complying with many of the issues that were addressed in the State Controller’s audit, which needs to be completed.  Sharif says she has the experience and understanding in these matters and can hit the ground running from day one to keep the city going and get the projects are completed. 


She believes that there is no-time for bringing the other candidates up to speed and there is certainly no time or room for moving backwards. 

The ideal of accomplishing goals, completing projects and programs and bringing it all into fruition, is why Emma Sharif wants to be mayor and believes she can get the job done.

Sharif has real concerns about how the city navigates through and from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  She says like almost every city in California, revenue is way down, but the residents’ need for services are way up.  How we address these issues is at the forefront of Sharif’s concern. 

She says the city needs a leader who knows there way not only around Compton City Hall, but around the County Hall of Administration, around Sacramento and even around Washington, DC.   “I am the only candidate with the experience and relationships with the other elected officials in the County, the State, and in Washington, who can deliver resources to our city.”

Sharif also acknowledges that the constant infighting within city hall, amongst her, Mayor Brown and the other council members, does not serve the city nor its residence well.  She says she wants and will be a bridge-builder. “I want to change the way we conduct our business, the way we work together; that is the only way we can get things done.  I want us all to come together for the betterment of the city,” stated Councilwoman Sharif.


Sharif encourages the voters to look at her accomplishments and the things she has been able to get done in her district and in the city during her time as a councilmember. 

In looking on the city’s website, it lists her accomplishments. As a freshman councilmember, Emma was given the task of continuing and enhancing the existing scholarship program, awarding over $10,000 to the city’s scholars with the most need. She has championed and supported the Collaborative Court, which was implemented at the Compton Courthouse.

She also coordinated efforts with partnering cities to address the growing concerns of human trafficking in Compton, Long Beach, Lynwood, and surrounding areas.

She has been leading the charge to address the growing concerns of homelessness in Compton, with partnering cities and agencies.


Emma coordinated the redevelopment and renovation of South Park to include: (Phase I completed 2016) renovated outdoor basketball courts, renovated youth baseball field, a new playground sponsored by a grant from the KaBoom Foundation, and new site furnishings. (Phase II completed in 2018) new outdoor restroom, walking trail, exercise equipment stations, and security lighting.


Emma’s strong community ties and independent thinking led to a strategic and systematic effort in cleaning up the city.



As councilperson for the 4th District, Emma serves on the following committees: Southern California Associations of Government (SCAG) District 26 Regional Council Representative, SCAG Energy and Environment Committee, League of California Cities on the Governance Transparency and Labor Relations Policy committee, Gateway Cities Council of Governments (COG) Committee on Homelessness and Board of Directors on the Independent Cities Finance Authority (ICFA).

Emma Sharif holds a Bachelor’s Degree in political science / sociology and a Master’s degree in public administration.



Emma also holds membership with the following organizations: National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC), Martin Luther King Democratic Club (MLKCLUB), New Frontier Democratic Club (NFDC), and Progressive Democratic Club. Councilwoman Emma Sharif is dedicated to addressing quality of life issues, government transparency, and equality for all residents in Compton and its neighboring cities.

The councilwoman can always be found in and around the community, visiting seniors, attending school events, speaking at graduations, to attending neighborhood block parties and club meetings. Councilwoman Sharif proudly represents Compton, and is eager to build relationships with other city and council as well as State and Federal Legislative Leaders.

Category: News