Omar Bradley sits in a booth at the Compton IHOP and slides through photos on his iPhone of cracked streets, dead dogs and homeless people.
This is the vision of Compton that Bradley, 59, is trying to sell to voters in his longshot bid to regain the mayor’s job after a career tarnished by scandal: a city where the hype of revitalization doesn’t match the reality on the ground.
Compton has generated national attention for what many consider a remarkable turnabout in recent years. The crime and gang killings that for decades plagued the city had plummeted. Businesses are beginning to move back into the city, and property values are on the rise.
The upswing has elevated Compton Mayor Aja Brown’s image, with glowing profiles in national magazines. She has vowed to turn the south L.A. city into the next Brooklyn and has helped lure some of the city’s many famous sons and daughters, including Dr. Dre, Serena Williams and Kendrick Lamar, to help with this turnaround.
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