The Southern Truth
By Gloria Zuurveen, Editor-in-Chief
For as long as I’ve known Dr. Wanda M. Brown, I have never witnessed anything other than her pure confidence and assurance. She, in more than 30 years of knowing her and even having her as a professor where she taught the class about GAAP. That stands for “General Accepted Accounting Principle” the foundation for understanding accounting basics. She taught that class too with the same assurance. She challenged all of us to understand the importance of knowing accounting, especially when operating a church. She would give assignments showing how churches operate with sound financial principles and those that did not. She broke it down, and today I am proud to say that I passed her class with a hint of her confidence in handling the business of finance; it was infectious.
Today, just looking around inside Inglewood, one can see her mark. Look at the SoFi Stadium, look at the street improvements, look at the business development, and if you haven’t been down Prairie, you are missing a treat showing how sound fiscal responsibility ought to be. It is so plain that even inside Inglewood KJLH radio station owner, Stevie Wonder, can see because the growth in Inglewood is phenomenally. Dr. Wanda M. Brown’s mark is inside Inglewood, and it has been for a very long time. Residents inside Inglewood have lived to see her great financial wisdom put on display, so much so, they are having payday when it comes property value increases. Ask any resident inside Inglewood how their property value have grown, and they will go on and on. Praise God for Inglewood and the leader they have consistently elected since 1987, and they can attest to the blessing.
Dr. Wanda M. Brown: A Record of Excellence
According to my research, this is what I found, and it is absolutely profound when I was reading about Dr. Wanda M. Brown. First of all, she is the longest-serving elected official in the history of Inglewood. She was elected City Treasurer in June 1987. She has served as City Treasurer for over 36 years, elected to nine four-year terms by the Inglewood voters for her outstanding service to the City. She has earned over $90,000,000 in gross investment interest income for the City of Inglewood, its Agency, and Authorities during her tenure as Treasurer. She managed portfolios in excess of $200,000,000 and successfully invested and reinvested more than $400,000,000 of municipal funds. She prepared the first comprehensive Investment Policy for the City, its Agency, and Authorities. She developed the first Web page for the Treasurer’s Office. Wow! What a record? Dr. Brown, or should I say Treasurer Brown, says her primary duty is to receive and safely invest all monies and securities belonging to the city, pay the obligations of the city previously allowed or approved by the city council, and deposit in any bank by law in accordance with the provisions and laws of the state of California. Inglewood, under the leadership of Treasurer Brown and Mayor James T. Butts and their team at City Hall, has the residents and small businesses confident in knowing that their city government is taking care of business and helping out with youth too. Treasurer Brown strongly believes in giving back to her community. One of her signature marks she is particularly proud of is the City Treasurer Student Intern Program she developed 16 years ago.
The program invites students who are enrolled in the 8th to 12th grades from Inglewood and surrounding schools to participate in a four-week program. Afterward, the students are taught principles of Civics. They learn the basics about their local municipal government, tour several departments, and are taught important financial concepts and strategies that will be useful throughout their lives. Also, during the program, students are given hot lunches, and upon completion of the program, a plaque is given to each student. While she has created a forum for youth to learn and absorb some of her confidence when learning about finance, she never leaves anyone behind. For adults, she has taught financial lessons on “Getting Your House In Financial Order” workshop for the community, as well as provided Free Income Tax Preparation for seniors whose income does not exceed $50,000 annually. With a record like Treasurer Wanda Brown, it comes as no surprise that she has been honored with awards of excellence. One of these awards was presented by the City Council, honoring her with a celebration for 31 years of excellent service to the City in April 2018 at a City Council Meeting. Mayor Butts, each council member, and a host of city employees thanked the Treasurer for her service and excellent investments made on behalf of the city. Congresswoman Maxine Waters attended the meeting to extend her personal congratulations to the Treasurer and she was also in attendance recently for her birthday celebration.