On March 8, 2018, Compton Mayor Aja Brown announced her candidacy for California’s 44th Congressional District. Here is the text of Mayor Brown’s announcement:

“For the past five years, I have had the honor and privilege of a lifetime to serve as the mayor of my community, the great city of Compton.

“When I assumed office, our city was on the brink of bankruptcy and insolvency, city services had ceased, investment had halted, crime had peaked, our unemployment reached a record high and most importantly many of our families had lost hope in what our community could be.

“I embarked on a journey to restore our city and lift the standard of leadership that would prove to bring some of the toughest battles of my life—yet I persisted day in and day out for the betterment of the lives of the 100,000 women, men and children that I serve.

“I believe being a mayor is one of the toughest jobs in America. Arguably, being mayor of Compton is one of the toughest assignments any public servant can have. Yet, we prevailed, led by a decisive vision for our shared future and the determination to succeed that I believe is manufactured in our soil, fertilized through hardships and runs through our veins pushing us to overcome insurmountable odds.

“Today, our city is thriving. Businesses have invested in Compton’s future. We’ve attracted over 1,000 new jobs,—including three Fortune 500 companies which has helped to reduce our unemployment rate over 60%.

“Violent crime is at record lows. We’ve welcomed several new grocery stores, eateries, affordable and market rate housing developments, and secured $9 million in new annual revenue to restore city services and repave every street in Compton over the next decade.

“We’ve welcomed Compton greats back to our city and they’ve invested in our future in major and sustainable ways. Our city is making a strong comeback and I’m proud to have served as a catalyst for real change that my community can see and feel.

“Compton—I salute you!

“Today I shared a decision that I didn’t arrive at lightly.

“I have given my all to serve my community and now I’ve answered the call to serve the 44th District as our next congressional representative.

“I am of firm belief that political positions do not belong to the officeholder. They belong to the people that put us in office to serve them.

“To be clear, my decision to enter this race was not predicated on one person, but on the 700,000 residents of the 44th congressional district.

“I believe public service is a calling. Growing up, I never aspired to be in politics. I aspired to effect change in the lives of people.

“There is no doubt that our nation is in perilous times. Now, more than ever, we need strong leaders that can weather the storm, stay the course and stand fiercely on the front lines to effect change.

“I believe our nation is headed for a brighter future. But in order to realize these visions of a greater nation, it requires the next generation of leaders to come forward with new mindsets, new tenacity and new expectations for progress that reaches across party lines and rises above petty politics for a greater nation and brighter future. Only out of times of despair and oppression are great movements born.

“I am committed to representing the cities and communities of South Gate, Lynwood, Carson, Compton, Watts, Willowbrook, Long Beach, and San Pedro with dignity, unwavering commitment and the tenacity necessary to stand on the front lines for the future of our families.

“My vision for a greater 44th is anchored in delivering real results, through building coalitions that unify, partnering with our cities to bring forth new investment, new opportunities and focusing on collective progress that we can see and touch.

“Being a congressional representative is more than voting in Washington D.C. on issues that matter to us all, it’s also about the responsibility to work with every city in the district on moving it forward to bring forth real results that improve the lives of the families that we serve.

“Lastly, the election of 2016 was marred with dirty politics and divisive rhetoric—similar to what we see coming out of Washington today. This congressional race is special, as we are all women candidates.

“As we celebrate International Women’s Day, I challenge each and every candidate in this race to run a clean campaign. Reject dirty divisive politics “that only seek to confuse and manipulate voters. I will not participate in dirty politics. I urge every leader to choose progress over politics and let the best woman serve the great 44th.

“Onward.”

Aja Brown made history in 2013 at the age of 31 when she was elected the youngest mayor ever in the city of Compton.

The 44th district is composed of the following cities and communities: Carson, Compton, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, San Pedro, South Gate, Watts, Willowbrook, Walnut Park, and Wilmington.

Find out more about Brown’s candidacy at JoinAjaBrown.com.