Elsewhere online
August 31, 2015

California Mayor Uses Speech to Raise Funds for Her Charity

The mayor of Compton, Calif., raised eyebrows among local officials by using her "State of the City" address last month to raise money for a charity she and her husband founded, the Los Angeles Times reports. Guests at gala, for which tickets cost $100 and up to $5,000 for corporate sponsorships, were served dinner at a city-owned community center before watching Mayor Aja Brown's speech.

The event benefited Urban Vision Community Development Corporation, which Ms. Brown and her spouse launched in 2011 to promote economic development in the working-class city south of Los Angeles. The mayor told the Times the gala raised $57,665, of which about $30,000 went to reimburse the city for costs associated with the event.

"Compton, like many cities, has limited funding to support youth enrichment programs," Ms. Brown said in a statement, calling the speech "an opportunity to raise money for Compton youth" and connect businesses with other local stakeholders. Charles Davis, a member of the Compton school board and a former city clerk, said the mayor was "using [her] public position for self-benefit, indirectly," and some City Council members complained that they were kept in the dark about the gala.