Planner Turned Mayor Hopes to Turn Around Struggling SoCal City

Many planners might dream of how they'd change their communities if they were able to run things. In Compton, just south of Los Angeles, new mayor Aja Brown is hoping utilize her planning experience to help turn around the struggling city.

"An urban planner by trade, [Brown] ran for mayor this spring on the premise that The Hub City could be great, the sort of city that her family remembers from a generation ago," writes Nona Willis Aronowitz. "When Brown talks about Compton, she downplays its reputation as the birthplace of gangster rap or a cesspool of political corruption, and instead focuses on its access to five freeways, its airport, its golf course, its school district, its college."

"A July L.A. Weekly profile characterized some of Brown’s policy plans, like downtown revitalization or reuse of public space, as 'hipster ideas.' But Brown rejects that she favors a bird’s-eye wonderland over the basics. In fact, she says, “I would say it’s actually converse… having smooth streets, a low crime rate, making certain that we trim our trees” are her top priorities."

Full Story: How a Churchgoing Urban Planner Became Compton’s Millennial Mayor

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