COMPTON, Calif. — If Long Beach Boulevard could talk, it would tell a story Andre Spicer knows all too well, being raised in the city of Compton.
"Walking down Long Beach Boulevard, you’re going to see dirt, trash, abandoned buildings left and right, all over the place," he said.
What You Need To Know
- Compton’s District 2 City Council seat heads into a runoff election between Incumbent Isaac Galvan and first time candidate Andre Spicer
- Spicer is a community activist and entrepreneur with a vision of bringing economic development to Compton
- Over 39% of voters went for Spicer, and 25% went for incumbent, Isaac Galvan
- The final runoff election will be held June 1
But Spicer is ready for this corridor to tell a new story, one that he is rewriting one business at a time. On the same strip of that boulevard where Spicer walked to school every day as a kid, he now owns two businesses.
Spicer first opened a store supplying his community with fresh alkalinized water, and this year he and his wife debuted a natural hair beauty bar — Naturalli Me — just across the street.
"We opened this space so that we can teach people about their curl pattern, their heritage, their natural hair, and feel confident and beautiful about it," he said.
As an entrepreneur, Spicer made the conscious decision to open businesses in his community that not only improve his neighbors' lifestyles and self-awareness, but also inspire financial growth in Hub City. It’s all part of a bigger vision of economic development. He dreams of transforming Long Beach Boulevard into a locally owned and operated business district in the heart of Compton.
"I know way too many entrepreneurs from Compton who are looking for places to start businesses," he said.
That’s what propelled Spicer to run for Compton’s District 2 City Council seat. The election heads into a runoff election, and Spicer will face incumbent Isaac Galvan.
Spicer plans to help entrepreneurs like himself negotiate with current property owners, turning abandoned buildings into thriving businesses to benefit generations to come.
"Just imagine what [bringing more businesses] does to the mind state of people," he said. "By all definition, we are a suburb, but the mentality is ghetto and [the condition of this boulevard] is why."
Spicer hopes a newfound community identity of self-wealth will change that mentality.