Aja Brown

In 2013 Aja Brown made history when she became the youngest woman elected as Mayor of Compton, California. Just last week she was re-elected for a second term.

Aja was born in Altadena, California but she has strong roots to Compton. Her mother was born there and, tragically, in the 1970s her grandmother was raped and murdered in her Compton home. To this day no one has been arrested for this crime.

Aja received a full scholarship to the University of Southern California. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Policy, Planning and Development in 2004 and she went on to earn a master’s degree in urban planning.

After graduation she worked as an urban planner in different cities around California. In 2009 she joined the Redevelopment Agency in Compton. Here she worked with the local community to create ways to revitalise the area as well as acting as their urban planner. In 2012 she ran for the office of Mayor of Compton. She was the newcomer in a field of 12 others, including the sitting Mayor. She was successful in her first election and took her seat in office in 2013. At 31 years of age she was the city’s youngest Mayor.

After the election she introduced her 12 point plan, which included improvements to infrastructure and education and economic development. In 2014 she reached out to members of the Bloods and the Crips in an attempt to reduce the crime figures in the city. Throughout the election campaign she focused on the work that she had done and the work that she still wanted to do in Compton. This strategy worked for her as she was re-elected with 60% of the vote.

-Michelle O’Brien
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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