Serena & Venus Williams want to give back to the city of Compton
Serena and Venus Williams are proposing a self funded resource center at the Compton Metro station. Named in honor of their sister, Yetunde Price, who was killed in Compton back in 2003. Although the 1st floor was reserved for a juicery, that was city subsidized and still yet to open, the mayor and council are moving forward with plans to consider renting the vacant space on the 2nd floor. The center also aims to help elected officials connect with families affected by violence. Residents believe this is a campaign gimmick, akin to the alleged Dr. Dre donation.
Geoffrey Walker, President/CEO of Kick Start, presented a PowerPoint presentation on a proposal to establish a Williams Resource Center within the Martin Luther King Jr. Transit Center to provide resources for families affected by violence and the issues associated with community violence and trauma during the October 18 city council meeting.
The Williams’ sisters have pledged to raise the million dollars needed annually, to fund the center for a minimum of five years. The presentation did not include how much the Williams’ would pay to lease the facility.
Excerpt from the council discussion:
Councilperson Sharif suggested that the City work collectively with the Compton Unified School District (CUSD) Board of Trustees to establish a program on behalf of youth affected by trauma.
Mayor Brown stated that it would be a huge missed opportunity to not at least consider their proposal. Mayor Brown also stated that anyone on this Council who has any questions or reservations as to whether or not they want to move forward with welcoming millions of dollars of resources back to the City of Compton should be ashamed.
Councilperson Galvan asked Mayor Brown to explain where the millions of dollars will come from. Mayor Brown stated that they have committed to raising a minimum of one million dollars per year to pay for operational costs.
Councilperson Sharif stated that she is concerned about how these services will matriculate back into the classrooms for the children that are dealing with post-traumatic stress syndrome.
Councilperson Galvan asked the City Manager if this is the same property that was leased to Pressed Juicery. City Manager Groomes made note that the City is proposing to lease the first floor to Pressed Juicery and the second floor is currently unoccupied.
Councilperson Zurita asked the City Manager to give her a report on whether or not Pressed Juicery received $100,000 from the City of Compton.
From the discussion it appears the council members are just as skeptical as the public.