South LA’s $1 house, Metro fare hikes + Compton mayor Aja Brown a “political rising star”

The $1-a-month house | KCET (video screenshot)

The $1-a-month house | KCET (video screenshot)

KCET: The house for rent at $1-a-month — yes, you read that right, $1 — in South L.A. Read more and watch a video.

LA Weekly: As Metro considers bus fare hikes, low-income riders are speaking out. At one protest, student and South L.A. native Tekoah Flory said mayor Eric Garcetti “stabbed us in the back.”

Washington Post: Compton mayor Aja Brown is named one of “top 40 political rising stars who are under 40 years old.”

KPCC: AirTalk’s Larry Mantle checks in with councilman Jose Huizar about plans for legalizing street vending in L.A.

Streetsblog LA: Streetsblog writer Sahra Sulaiman is a finalist for “Best Online Journalist of the Year.”

Business Wire [Press Release]: Kaiser Permanente gives South L.A.’s MLK Jr. Community Hospital $2 million to expand its maternity services.

El Camino College Compton Center opens library after seven year delay

The first floor of the new library at El Camino College Compton Center | Mona Khalifeh

The first floor of the new library at El Camino College Compton Center | Mona Khalifeh

Cutting a crimson ribbon often heralds a new building. For El Camino College Compton Center, it also represents a new beginning.

Visible from Artesia Boulevard, the two-story Library-Student Success Center that opened in March towers over the comparatively flat classroom buildings. A grand opening on Tuesday featured building tours and speeches by officials and community members to celebrate the addition. The glass building has already become the college’s focal point.

The building is spacious and high-tech with chrome embellishments and a clean white interior that matches the futuristic gleaming glass. Some parts of the building even boast floor-to-ceiling windows. The first floor serves as an art gallery and library, while the Student Success Center with four drop-in tutoring centers occupies the second floor along with a writing lab with 100 computers and conference rooms for supplemental programs open to students and faculty.

The opening is especially significant because the Library-Student Success Center has sat lifeless for years.

The building was slated to open in 2007, but building code violations kept it closed. The $25 million needed for upgrades finally came from 2002’s Measure CC general obligation bond and State Capital Outlay funding – but only after Compton’s four councilmembers lobbied full throttle for funds for the 44th Congressional District, which includes Compton.

Read more about the building code violations in the Los Angeles Times: Compton Community College library opens seven years later than planned

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Compton’s new mayor Aja Brown shakes it up

Compton Mayor Aja Brown. Photo by Ralf Cheung, Daily Trojan.

Compton Mayor Aja Brown. Photo by Ralf Cheung, Daily Trojan.

Aja Brown is a hot commodity in the media these days. Fresh from appearing on the pages of The Guardian in a profile article, the new, young mayor of Compton met recently with students in the Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. Brown, an alumna of the school, is the first woman mayor of Compton. She has high hopes for the troubled city.

Listen to Mayor Brown’s comments to the class at USC in a story from Annenberg Radio News:

OPINION: Meet Compton’s mayoral candidate Aja Brown

By Melissa Hebert

Aja Brown is a second-generation resident of Compton who has entered the municipal elections for Mayor of the City of Compton. Brown has an extensive background in planning and has experience working for Compton’s redevelopment agency.

imageAja Brown

Please state your name and time as a resident in the City of Compton, and which district you reside in?
Aja Brown, second-generation Compton resident. I reside in District 2.

What makes you qualified to run for the seat you wish to fill?
I have over 10 years of community development and economic development experience working with the municipalities of Gardena, Inglewood, Pasadena (former Planning Commissioner) and the City of Compton’s redevelopment agency. I am an urban planner by educational training. I graduated from the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy, Planning and Development, and hold a B.S. in Policy, Planning and Development and a Master’s in Planning – emphasis Economic Development. [Read more…]