LOS ANGELES, OCT. 20 -- D.C. Democratic mayoral nominee Sharon Pratt Dixon left the District's campaign battles behind today for the relative warmth of a Southern California political fund-raising event.

Over brunch at the Beverly Hills Country Club, she told about 30 members of the Los Angeles Women's Campaign Forum that government and individual priorities must shift away from materialistic concerns and toward providing disaffected youths with greater job opportunities.

"I want a new definition of American success," Dixon said. "Not what you wear and what you drive, but a massive shift in priorities and a turning of energies into the support of young people."

Dixon spoke to the bipartisan group for about 15 minutes, then fielded questions for 20 minutes. Her visit attracted relatively little attention locally, and country club members were focused more on tennis matches and aerobics classes.

Dixon was asked about the District's political system, the statehood issue, her drawing power among different types of voters and the District's high homicide rate. The latter, she said, was one of the images of the District she hoped to change as mayor.

Dixon also endorsed a controversial proposal by California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Diane Feinstein to base administration appointments on the representation of women and minorities in the general population.

Dixon said that if elected, she would "absolutely" take a similar approach.

"Unless you have people there who reflect your concerns, it {change} isn't going to happen," Dixon said, adding that African American, gay and other communities would be strongly represented in her administration.

Dixon said the trip to Los Angeles was designed, in part, to attract new jobs to Washington. Her schedule was to include meetings with Mayor Tom Bradley and entertainer Quincy Jones and a Bel Air fund-raising event sponsored by entertainment executive Larkin Arnold.

"I want to recruit new industry to Washington," she said. "We have great creative talent. There are opportunities opening up for women and minorities on the business side." She said it was uncertain how much money the trip would raise.

Although her Republican opponent, Maurice T. Turner Jr., has criticized Dixon for traveling out of town with the election so near, Dixon said "the public is not suffering from any disquiet about it."

"I'm interested in talking to other communities who have an interest in Washington," she added.

Turner spent today campaigning in the District. He met with advisory neighborhood commissioners, attended the Shaw Community Festival and joined in an anti-drug walk. Sunday, he said, he plans to greet football fans at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium.

Dixon said today that outside fund-raising activities help her finance her campaign independent of the real estate development interests that she said dominate fund-raising in District elections.