AJA BROWN is an American politician who made history in 2013 by becoming the youngest Mayor of Compton, in California, aged just 31.
Despite being a newcomer to politics, Aja defeated 12 candidates, including former mayor Omar Bradley and the incumbent mayor Eric J. Perrodin, in 2012.
Within two years, Aja began reaching out to Compton Bloods and Crips gang leaders through former members to negotiate peace, using conflict mitigation instead of heavy policing.
Since the gangs started regular meetings, violent activity was reduced by about 65 percent compared to the all time high some 25 years ago.
Her greatest lesson comes from her own mother, who taught her to “be committed and to make sacrifices and … put something in front of you, do something bigger than yourself,” she told ABC News.
She added: “I’m proud of the work that we’ve been able to accomplish here, and I’m excited because I know that the best is yet to come.”