About Us

We are the people of City Heights. We collaborate, advocate, and organize to create the community we deserve!


Mid-City CAN is comprised of residents of the Mid-City neighborhood who care about making a lasting impact in this community. We gather around the top issues residents care about, forming teams of volunteers. Mid-City CAN helps organize these teams to accomplish their goals. Our mission is to create a safe, productive, and healthy community through collaboration, advocacy, and organizing. 

Mid-City CAN takes a unique approach to accomplish our missionwe work with residents and partners to drive positive change across many systems and issues. Rather than coming in as an outside force, Mid-City CAN extensively collaborates with the people of City Heights to see what they need the most in their neighborhood. The most pressing issues raised by the people themselves are then addressed through Momentum Teams, which are councils made up of residents from City Heights.

Learn about some of our work such as establishing a skate park in City Heights, educating youth with our free, 3-week Artivism summer program, and organizing a vaccine tour.

Mid-City CAN is invested in developing leaders in City Heights. We hold events open to the public, training to foster growth, and have a Youth Council to inspire and prepare youth to take a more active role in their communities.

To join a Momentum Team or get involved with one of our leadership development opportunities, call us at (619) 272-7582 or email us at [email protected]

Fact Sheet

Click here to download our fact sheet


Mid-City CAN has been a part of the City Heights for over 30 years!

Since 2010, we have teamed up with 13 other sites across the state to be part of The California Endowment's Building Healthy Communities initiative. Building Healthy Communities has a simple strategy: work on a local scale to create broad, statewide impact. Where we live, our race and our income each play a big part in how well and how long we live. We need to reshape the places that shape us—our neighborhoods.

In 2019, we celebrated 30 years of neighborhood action, regional impact!


Melanie Cohn, Board Co-Chair – Senior Director, Regional Policy & Government Affairs, BioCom California

Sandra Alvarado, Board Co-Chair – City Heights Resident

Samantha Ollinger, Secretary – Business Manager, ACLU

Bonnie Benitez, Treasurer – Executive Director, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego

Jordan Harison, Director – Vice President of Community Impact and Partnerships, Reality Changers

Griselda Ramirez, Director – Director of Community Engagement & Partnerships, Office of Supervisor Nora Vargas

Eric Morrison Smith, Director – Policy Director, PolicyLink

Corrie McCoy, Director – Chief Operating Officer, Community Resource Center


The Coordinating Council is the governing body of the Mid-City Community Advocacy Network, Momentum Teams, and projects. The Coordinating Council is responsible for setting the overall strategic direction of the Collaborative. Once a year, elections are held to determine who will fill any open spots on the Coordinating Council. If you are interested in applying, please contact us.

Coordinating Council Responsibilities:

    1.    Set Collaborative-wide policy.
    2.    Establish and oversee the overall strategic direction of the Collaborative (mission, vision, and strategy).
    3.    Create and disband Coordinating council committees or Momentum Teams as needed.
    4.    Establish annual goals and overall organizational strategy.
    5.    Ensure adequate resources for the agency to fulfill its mission.
    6.    Ensure policies and programs are in alignment with mission and goals.
    7.    When appropriate oversee fiscal policy, financial controls and annual allocation of discretionary funds.
    8.    Identify and recruit volunteer leadership -Coordinating Council members.
    9.    Under the grievance process serve as an ad-hoc grievance committee in the event that mediation fails.
   10.  Select and evaluate the Collaborative Director.