Too Thrive or not Too Thrive

Failure in the 21st Century

The city of Compton has a rich and diverse history. It evolved from an all-white city into an upper middle class community of color. It has survived both natural and man made disasters. Compton elected its first black Mayor, Douglas F. Dollarhide in 1969, and elected its first black female Mayor, Doris A. Davis in 1973. The city’s main attraction was its Main Street; Compton Boulevard. The bustling strip known as ‘Downtown Compton,’ was home to major retail chains, and private businesses tailored to Compton and its residents, with the Compton Chamber of Commerce standing guard over residents and businesses. Compton thrived.

Now fast forward to today, literally today, and take note of how the city is suffering in the 21st century from the unmeasurable misery, and decay inflicted by those who stand on the shoulders of the ‘firsts.’ Our elected council members, those selected to represent and protect the best interest of the city are failing. Instead of ascending, we are rapidly descending. Our current council should have learned from their predecessors instead they are running amok, draining the city of both its natural and monetary resources.

The Compton glamour of the 20th century has faded because of immaturity, unprofessionalism, misuse of public funds, and the inability to work together as a team. Our council is scandal ridden. The city manager is inept. Compton Boulevard is an abomination; abandoned buildings, overgrown vegetation, poor lighting, dislodged sidewalks, and potholes. Residents and stakeholders alike are seeking much needed improvements throughout the city all the while some council members remain unmoved, uninspired, disrespectful, and disengaged.

Yet, with an upcoming election and people resisting voter suppression, they are registering to vote, and seeking intellectual information on the candidates running for 2 council seats, in 2 council districts, there is some optimism interwoven with anger and disgust. Compton is still anticipating the path of destruction and constant infighting to finally be put on a path of resolution on Tuesday, April 16th, but even with the election 15 days away it has not silenced the outcries for recalls, and city hall protests, and the insults and complaints hurled from the podium fueled by frustration are intensifying.

A common sense way to address the frustration of Compton politics is to engage in the process itself. Meet each candidate and weigh the pros and cons, then ensure you are registered to vote, and then encourage others to do the same. Granted there are some things that are woven into the fabric of running a city, however, the expenditures (waste, and over spending), public health and safety, the economic growth and the morale of the city are absolutely the responsibility of the people, “we the people,” elect to those seats.

If you are tired of the infighting, stealing, and neglect offered by this council…if you are tired of living in a city failing to thrive on the most fundamental level…if you are tired of talking without anyone listening…Tuesday, April 16th, is the day the council will be made to bend to the will of the people!

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