July 04, 2013
By Troy Tieuel
The city of Compton has turned another corner in its historic legacy by adding what has been deemed as “the first woman mayor in 40 years” by Master of Ceremony, Honorable Judge Kelvin Filer, as its inauguration of Mayor Aja Brown went under way this past Tuesday in the courtyard behind Compton’s City Hall.
An impatient crowd sat through five different Compton City Post inaugurations, including Isaac Galvan, the first Latino American to hold the office of Councilman for the District 2, and Craig Cornwell as City Attorney. Galvan, who was sworn in by Los Angeles Sheriff Leroy Baca, said “I just want to make one thing clear, just because I am the first Latino, doesn’t mean that I only represent the Latinos. I am here to serve the entire community. It’s a great day to be a resident of Compton.”
Among the other oaths of office taken was Yvonne Arceneaux, councilwoman for District 3 for her sixth term. “This is not about me, it’s about the citizens of Compton,” said Arceneaux, “I’m excited about serving the next four years with our new elect Mayor Aja Brown and Councilman Isaac Galvan. They are young and energetic and can bring new ideas to the city and to the city council. I know we have a wonderful four years ahead of us, and I’m excited about working with you to do what’s best for the community.”
“It’s a history making day in Compton,” said County Supervisor, Mark Ridley-Thomas, who swore Mayor Brown into office. “I’m delighted to be a part of it, with a new mayor, a new city councilman, a leadership team that is poised for success.”
According to Mayor Brown’s campaign website, she is a quality community development professional with over 10 years of experience working in urban communities. Her plan is to address youth development, economic development, crime Reduction, reform, rebranding Compton, and a concept that she calls ‘VISION.’
Swearing in Brown was County Supervisor, Mark Ridley-Thomas, who spoke boldly about the positive future for Compton with her leading it.
“We are here to celebrate a new day for Compton,” added Ridley Thomas, “One that will be marked by hope, integrity and opportunity.
When we can look forward to better jobs, better schools, safer neighborhoods and a stronger civic culture, [it is] a new day. A new day, where Compton will rise to meet the promise as one of this region’s truly great cities. I believe Compton can do that under the leadership and with the guidance Mayor Elect Aja Brown. We will come to know her as a person of great character with a passion for the city that is matched only by her capacity to make that vision a reality.”
Taking the oath, Brown stood with her mother who looked proudly as she raised her right hand, placing her left hand upon the bible and repeated the oath of office for the position as the youngest, at 31, to ever be elected as mayor of Compton. “I was focusing on the words and the meaning of the oath,” recalled Brown regarding how she felt during the oath of office, “that I was taking in front of God and the residents of Compton.”
Brown talked about Compton’s future and her admiration for the people who elected her.
“It is an honor to be before you today,” she said.
“I have my beautiful mother here besides me, who has truly been my example of what integrity, character and what true leadership is, in my life. My mother always said that ‘We have a plan, and we have a vision and that we are a team.’ And that that’s really where I came with the concept of ‘True Vision,’ because without vision, the word of God said in Proverbs 29:18 that ‘Without vision, people parish.’ There’s another translation that says, ‘Without vision, people dwell recklessly and cease to keep the law.’ And here in the city of Compton, we have gone through a lot…I look forward to restoring order to the city of Compton, to insuring that the citizens of Compton receive the services that they so faithfully pay for.
“This is not just my victory. But this is truly your victory. I would not be here without you. I represent thousands of people who decided that I was the best person for the job. And I say this, without any reservation, that being the second woman to serve over the city of Compton is truly an honor. I believe in bestowing honor to whom honor is due. So when I went to the former mayor, the first woman mayor for the city of Compton, Doris Davis, and asked her for her support, she freely gave it.”
Brown thanked the other public officials that serve the city of Compton, her team and the people of Compton for electing her mayor.
“I look forward to providing a true vision for the city of Compton, so that we know exactly where we are going,” said Brown.
“I look forward to making sure that we change the image of the community of Compton, because that of ‘Gangster Rap’ does not represent the honest and hardworking people of this community.”
A mariachi band played post inauguration and the crowd cheered as Compton’s newest mayor strolled towards the City Hall building and into her first City Council meeting.
For more information about Mayor Aja Brown, go to www. visionforcompton.org or www.comptoncity.org.