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City of Compton prepares for their first State of the City

compton-seal-2Typically, the State of the City (SOTC), is put on by the city’s Chamber of Commerce.  The purpose of the STOC is to present the positives of doing business in said city, promote successful businesses  and encourage new and/or existing business owners, to do business with the city.  This year, the City of Compton will host their first SOTC and the Compton Chamber of Commerce is not hosting it.  Like the public, their members have to either pay to attend or sit across town at the college, to watch for free.   Thanks to Compton residents, 2 Urban Girls has discovered a nonprofit is hosting the SOTC, one that is attached to Mayor Aja Brown and her husband, Van.

The SOTC also serves as  a fundraising activity, for the chamber, to conduct marketing and outreach to existing and prospective businesses.

Those lucky enough to get an invite to the SOTC have provided 2 Urban Girls with a copy of the invitation, which clearly states “invite only”.  The invitation also says “the mayor will expound on her vision for the city”.  Doesn’t sound like a SOTC but more like a personal fundraiser for the mayor.

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When reached for comment, Mayor Brown told 2 Urban Girls, the funds raised would go to programs for the city’s children.

Residents want to hear about the safety, crime rate, business climate and what has been implemented from her initial vision, that she campaigned on.  Expounding on her vision, as stated in the invitation, gives the impression nothing significant has occured under her leadership, since being elected in 2013.

Sponsors, chamber members and the general public, have been asked to make checks payable to “Urban Vision CDC” aka “Urban Vision Community Development Corporation”.  It appears to be a joint state of the city, as the official city seal and a manipulated seal are both on the invitations.

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The mayor’s Linkedin page lists her as the principal of Urban Vision CDC and records, verified through the CA Secretary of State, show Van Brown, is the person of record for Urban Vision CDC.

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Although this could be perfectly legal, for the mayor to do, the residents of the City of Compton are already paying her salary, now they have to donate to her and her husband to hear her expounded vision for the city?

Visit http://visionforcompton.org/ for more details.


10 Responses so far.

  1. Michael Hill says:

    Or not…Can’t tell the good from the bad anymore here. So my previous comment was full of hope. It’s all I’ve got to go with now. If it turns bad, then I’ll concede the points of other comments. Can’t help but try to seem optimistic as I drive the city. Selling out redevelopment properties isn’t the way out. It’s the way of people who came to do us extreme harm. So waiting for the shoe to drop. Shouldn’t be like this. I’m willing to be wrong, since no new communication seems to be coming to the residents, many of whom just wanted to see the city improve. Transparency seems difficult in this town anyway. Smiles all around, but when you think about it, the lack of communication is a bit depressing. I hesitate to use the term carpetbagging, but the title of the 60’s book seems possible. I’d think they’d be more careful anyway with a non-profit where the husband and wife are involved. They maybe should have considered being a bit separated from such a venture and at such prices, exclusional to most residents. Interesting…so who’s on first, what’s on second and I don’t know who’s on third. Abbot & Costello classic bit from the old days. But what can we do anyway, but watch and pray. Seems religion is always the way to fool all of the people some of the time. IDK what’s really going on now. Call me stupid, I guess. Naive perhaps, trying to look on the upside, should there be one. Wow!!

    • Admin says:

      Has her administration made any headways with shutting down the illegal dispensaries? What do you see positive happening in the city?

  2. Hubbard says:

    I personally would not pay $100 to hear about the state of the city because I can easily SEE the state of the city as my sport tuned suspension absorbs the dilapidated roads with their enormous potholes. I can see the blighted properties (thank you CRA) where candidates hang their posters during election season. I can see the obvious lack of support for the myriad of local businesses, be it from the city or the chamber.
    I can also see that the Vision is flawed, albeit highly ambitious. Compton like Brooklyn? Sorry but it’s the other way around whereas DJ Quik told yall that it’s Jus Lyke Compton. And that my fellow readers is the flaw – not seeing the city for what it is and beginning any and all development based on. It’s a small city with Mom and Pop shops, with working class folks. It’s not big box retail and consumerism just for the sake of commercial tax base.
    What good is a vision of it cannot accurately value that which is visible? Bout as good as “Birthing A New” when you’ve only misused and abused the old.
    Ahh but who am I fooling? NWA made the city famous and all the mayors thereafter seem to become self absorbed, egomaniacs based on the prestige and limelight that comes with the seat and the ideal that it represents being King or Queen of the Hub City.
    I say carry on and keep your eyes open so you too can see that ain’t a damn thang changed.
    Best of luck to the Compton City Council in unifying their collective responsibilities as public servants so that they may, in cohesion, move the city forward in a way which honors, supports and empowers the people in it.

    • Admin says:

      Can you articulate anything from her campaign vision, coming to fruition, as she reaches the half way mark since being elected?

    • Omar Bradley says:

      It’s funny, every time I read something here it always goes back to the same thing. That guy with the ego that crowned himself king. Get over yourself. Everywhere I turn there is someone with some form of hate. My father never called himself the king of Compton. That was the title of an l.a. weekly article! One in which the author talked about Compton disconnect from Los Angeles and spoke of our residents as if they were dirt road hillbillies! But ok, one more person that hated the title my father has been out of office for 14 years. Talk about the good things that he did. Because honestly Walter Tucker 3 jumped straight to Congress. Left Compton in my dad’s lap. Compton flourished under my father and fell apart under Eric. Now we have a black trash bag as mayor. And I call her a trash bag because she just keeps filling it with money. Dollarhide was the first black mayor he transitioned us after white flight. Doris Davis gave away half of Compton to Carson and killed us on that development off the 91. Walter Tucker2 was mayor when our homicide rate was the highest. Again Walter 3 mayor for 18 months. Omar Bradley made Compton #25 in the country for new business growth. Brought in our own transit system. Brought updated recycling cans to compton. Brought the sheriff’s. Balanced the budget to 45milion in the black. Raised African American awareness. World unity festival. Operation redirect. Taking exconvicts and teaching them the trade of rejuvenating houses which lowered unemployment. No mayor has done more than Omar Bradley, but people like you don’t like him. Because he got rid of your dirty cops. Which he wanted to keep. And baca didn’t want them and my father convinced him to make them sheriffs because they were good officers. People think they are king. My father never thought he was king and never called himself king. But continue to hate him all you want its cool. The bottom line is. COMPTON HAS LOOKED LIKE GARBAGE SINCE HE LEFT. and you can’t argue with the truth.

      • Hubbard says:

        It is unfortunate that you misconstrued my comment as hate for an individual – your father – because that was not my intent nor my point. Fortunately, I can see how you did so, being that I used the term “King” and that title was previously used to describe the honorable Mayor Bradley, via L.A. Weekly and his book. All due respect to his myriad of accomplishments during his tenure but I will not retract nor soften the gist of my comment, which is as follows: Those who are elected to the seat of Mayor, in the city of Compton, sooner or later seem to think they “run” the city and any and all progress, visions, image improvement, etc., stems solely from them. Your commentary, going back to Davis, even alludes to as much, seeing as how the entire city council is never mentioned.

        To me, this is the problem and exactly why I ended my comment with the following: “Best of luck to the Compton City Council in unifying their collective responsibilities as public servants so that they may, in cohesion, move the city forward in a way which honors, supports and empowers the people in it.”
        With that said, I greatly appreciate your outlining and highlighting all Mayor Bradley did for Compton and agree that one cannot argue with the truth. Hence, I am not.

        P.S. I actually wanted him to win his last bid for mayor and hopes he decides to run again in the future.

  3. Lynn Boone says:

    Aja and Van Brown are good they fooled many people.This event is nothing but a Fund Raiser for Aja and Van’s pockets at the expense of the city of Compton. The Sponsors will be people who will feel sorry for Aja after viewing the distressed condition of Compton.They will be glad to donate $5000,or $2500 not realizing that Compton will never see a dime.
    Thank you Melissa, for all of your hard work, the people of Compton along with myself appreciate you. Keep up the good work!

  4. Michael Hill says:

    San Diego’s Mayor has something similar, so if they meet certain state guidelines, it’s probably the only realistic way to try to gain corporate interest in investing in the city, considering it’s current budget situation. Seeking private investment in an urban environment like Compton sometimes requires out-of-the-box innovation, and even if residents don’t perceive it as such, may be the only way to effective start constructive dialogue of a long term sort, for future key investment in developing this city and many of it’s blighted properties in light of dissolving of redevelopment agencies by the Brown Administration. Most of them weren’t doing much redevelopment, they only served as revenue transfer points between them and city’s general funds for year.

    I don’t think our Mayor or her staff overlooked the fact that this city needs new investment of a higher order in order to start developing some of the vacant lots and parcels in the hands, currently, of the successor agency. If the right parties attend, we may see more new development dollars coming into Compton as well as a commercial tax base that will allow the city to move forward as far as paying off old debts, and fixing our long-neglected infrastructure over time.

    I think it’s a capital idea brought forward by someone who has experience in urban development and she well presents our case before those who might have overlooked Compton as a potential city in which to build, construct and thrive over the next 10 to 20 years, if not beyond. We have the potential, we just needed someone with the expertise to act as a facilitator for urban investment and I feel, Mayor Brown has all of the requisite qualities and experience despite having never served in public office before. Sometimes you just have to go with it, and see how it comes out. The first move was updating our tired looking web presence and that’s been a good thing. Many naysayers are of the opinion that change is something they’re not used to seeing here, but for the sake of long term residents and our future demographics, I think it’s a move in the right direction, finally. Not that we haven’t had successes in the past, considering the Gateway and soon, Walmart at the former indoor swap meet location. Fear is the thing that effects most, when upper echelon starts making changes they’re not accustomed to. So I’ll place my bets with the Mayor and her staff’s unique move to generate interest in the city. When the movie hits theaters in August, we need to be prepared for more attention on Compton, which will be global in the coming years, due to the film about NWA and I already hear much buzz about the film, despite some reservations in the community about the rap reputation. But as they say in Hollywood, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. You just have to have enough PR sense to ride the wave to shore when it rises. Opportunity for the city to show what it has to offer, being named the “Hub City” in it’s glorious history, surrounded by 4 major freeways and with the Alameda Corridor running through the middle as well as located near two major transit hubs, the Blue Line and the Green Line, just up the road. So think about the potential and let’s see where this will lead. I don’t think they did or will do anything to bring shame to our city, only opportunity and investment to a city that needs a boost. I don’t think our current Chamber would be capable to do something this innovative since their inception. It’s IMHO a bit beyond their current ability to do and suitably impress the right corporate heads who will make the ultimate decision as to whether or not Compton is the place to be. Imagine if we also had high speed, super fast internet as well. I could easily see a few tech companies giving us the once over then. If you build it, they will come. (“Field of Dreams” Kevin Costner–BTW also a native of Compton once upon a time, as was George HW Bush, Sr. among others. Now’s the time. Carpe Diem. Education of the masses comes next, a workforce needs to be prepared in our schools, not sure if they’re about the task, laying off quality teachers the way they’re proposing. Time to move up or let more capable minds into the school board who also have vision. Not of the past, but of the potential future with educated young people who can supply the work force for new businesses of the present and future. Community College as well, need to prepare the future heirs to this city, asap, and stop playing around with low hanging fruit concepts of the past. We can do this. And must.

  5. Robert Ray says:

    According to my sources, it is not legal for any monies raised from this event to go to any not for profit organization. The Dollarhide Community Center was built with “Lease Revenue Bonds”. And as I understand the rules associated with these bonds, any “Revenue” generated in this building MUST be used to pay back those “Lease Revenue Bonds”. Any other use of the money she is going to collect would be a misappropriation of public funds which is a felony. (FYI – the Feds have been put on notice about this issue)


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