In Depth: Controversy in Compton


Drive through Compton and you'll see piles of garbage, lots of potholes and broken street lights. The state of disrepair has some in Compton describing their city council as dysfunctional. Why? As FOX 11 Reporter Gina Silva reports the council has what seems to be a permanent 3-2 split. And, the group or gang of 3 appears to vote the opposite of anything Mayor Aja Brown wants. To Brown, what's happening is a violation of the law. Councilmembers, she says, are not supposed to predetermine how their supposed to vote, but do so issue by issue. It's a Brown Act issue. In this first segment Gina explains the dilemma and offers some explanation as to what she has uncovered. We also see Councilwoman Jenna Zurita - leader of the gang of 3 - flipping the middle finger at a constituent during a meeting. When confronted by Gina she tries to deny it. We also hear her telling a constituent in unflattering terms that his project didn't get approved because he associated with Mayor Brown. That was captured on tape and we see that in this segment. The mayor is not part of that voting block of three.


In this segment we have an interview with Mayor Aja Brown. She says there are 1000 streets in Compton so, although lots of people aren't seeing the work on their streets, there is pothole repair going on. But, potholes are a apparently a symptom of a larger ill. And, at least to some, its the governmental divide on the council. When asked if she should bear some responsibility for the problem Mayor Brown said her job is to come up with ideas and lead the city, but she can't speak for councilmembers who don't want to follow her lead.


One of the projects given the thumbs-down by the three member voting block was one brought to them by a group of ex-gangmembers who raised a half-a-million dollars through celebrity fundraisers to fix some things in their hometown. In this segment, we talk with Chico Brown, David Cox, Donal Holloway and contractor Derrick Amos. They explain their disappointment, but say they're not going to let the council's problems stop them from doing good things for the town they grew up in.