Aja L. Brown (born April 17, 1982) currently serves as Mayor of Compton, California. On June 4, 2013, Aja Brown made history as Compton's youngest mayor ever to be elected. She won the election by a landslide, defeating 2 incumbent mayors; Eric J. Perrodin and former mayor, Omar Bradley.
3 2013 Mayoral Election,
4 12-Point Strategy Plan,
5 Personal Life,
Aja Brown grew up in Altadena, California. Her mother, Brenda Jackson, raised her and her twin brother as a single parent.
While attending University of Southern California, she began working for the City of Gardena, California in 2004 as an Economic Development Analyst. She soon graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy, Urban Planning and Development. Just a year later in 2005, she earned a Master's Degree in Urban Planning with a concentration in Economic Development.
In 2006, Brown began working for the City of Inglewood, California as an Urban Planner. In 2009, she began working for the city of Compton's Redevelopment Agency as a Redevelopment Project Manager. She was responsible for creating community benefits legislation, initiating community-led downtown revitalization action committees, overseeing the Agency's urban planning and economic development initiatives, forging strategic alliances, and leading the re-branding and marketing efforts of the community redevelopment agency. Brown also created and implemented Compton's Apprentice Program designed to create jobs for local residents on city-funded or assisted capital improvement projects.
Brown is experienced in community marketing and rebranding and has facilitated campaigns that have achieved great success enjoyed regionally and nationally. She has re-branded several programs for various cities, which have received critical acclaim. Most recently, her efforts garnered the "Best 2012 Communicator Design Award" for the "Yes!" campaign for the City of Compton. She also oversaw the rebranding and marketing of the "Agency@Compton," "SmartCompton" smart growth initiative and "Clean Compton" brownfield programs and developed various programs (Apprentice Program) and community liaison groups (Downtown Compton Advisory Committee) to enhance the Agency's revitalization goals. Also, she spearheaded the marketing of the City's First-Time Home Buyer's Program, Residential Rehabilitation Program through various bi-lingual media formats.
Brown has facilitated resource attraction to the City of Compton, spearheading the City's Urban Land Institute Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) award for Compton's North Downtown Transit Area. Technical Assistance Panels are convened to provide pro-bono expert planning and development assistance to public officials and local stakeholders of communities and nonprofit organizations requesting assistance in addressing their land use challenges. To view the report, click here.
Brown also founded the City's "Clean Compton Brownfield Program" and garnered support of the U.S. EPA, which resulted in the identification of all brownfield sites within the City of Compton and the excavation of three 10,000 Gallon Underground Tanks at an abandoned gas station in Compton. The $1.3 million project will be used to assess contamination; paving the way for revitalization and job creation in community. Aja Brown holds approximately 10 years of experience in managing environmental site remediation projects for cities, which have led to the procurement and leveraging of millions in grant funding toward the reclamation vital land to local communities.
During her tenure with the City of Compton Redevelopment Agency, she also played an integral role in the core team that led the effort to improve the City's Standard & Poor's credit rating, which resulted in the procuring a $100 Million Tax Allocation Bond indenture, consisting of outside investment into the City of Compton for the implementation of approximately 35 redevelopment projects. The $100 Million Tax Allocation Bond had no impact on the City of Compton's taxpayers and will be repaid through pre-pledged tax increment.
Brown has also served a term as a Planning Commissioner for the City of Pasadena. She resigned in 2009 to join Compton's Redevelopment Agency, focusing her efforts on the exciting challenge of revitalizing the emergent City of Compton.
In 2011, Brown co-founded Compton-based Urban Vision Community Development Corporation (CDC), a non-profit organization dedicated to community economic development and youth development in the City of Compton. Urban Vision offers programs that aid in the revitalization of Compton. Urban Vision facilitates alliances and programs that generate wealth, eradicate generational poverty and empower businesses to expand through collaboration, access to capital, education and intellectual property.
2013 Mayoral Election:
As a former employee who passionately worked for change behind the scenes, Aja Brown recognized the need for a new vision. In late October 2012, Brown introduced her "New Vision for Compton". As a newcomer to politics, Aja Brown defeated a crowded, 13 mayoral-candidate filled election; two of which were incumbent mayors. The incumbent mayor, Eric J. Perrodin, ran for re-election, but was defeated in the primary, with Aja Brown coming in 1st place and Compton's former mayor, Omar Bradley, in 2nd place. On Election Day, Brown defeated Bradley, overwhelmingly, with 63.5% of the citizens' vote.
12-Point Strategy Plan:
Mayor Brown has launched a "12-Point Plan" to strategically advance the city of Compton. During Brown's tenure as a city employee, she recognized that the essential components needed to foster a healthy, thriving city were either outdated or non-existent. She has made her "12-Point Plan" accessible for the residents to follow along with the progress of the city. To view the details of the "12-Point Plan", click here.
Aja Brown is married to Van Brown, a Petrochemical Safety Manager. Brown has a passion for serving and developing young people. She has mentored youth throughout her life. Brown and her husband are youth directors at Faith Inspirational MBC, located in Compton, CA. They actively mentor, counsel and train Compton's youth to become confident leaders with integrity, passion, and vision. Brown believes the youth are the key to true community revival.