Mid-City CAN Calls on SANDAG to hire visionary new CEO

Lupe speaks at Press Conference

Coalition of San Diego organizations call on SANDAG to hire visionary new CEO during Sept. 8 press conference

On Friday, September 8th, coalition members representing over 15 diverse organizations including Mid-City CAN, held a joint press conference calling on SANDAG to employ an open, transparent, and community-involved hiring process to replace CEO Hasan Ikhrata and to pursue an equitable, sustainable vision for San Diego transportation.

Mid-City CAN Organizing Director Ariana and Base Builder Lupe were part of the press conference. Lupe was one of the speakers and talked about the importance and impact of the Youth Opportunity Pass program. Excerpts from her speech:

"Many of our youth advocates are dependent on public transit, including our newest member Mia. Mia depends on public transportation to get to school out in Mission Bay, because her local high school doesn’t offer college prep courses. Almost daily, her commute is about 2-hours when she travels from Sherman Heights to Mission Bay to then City Heights. Despite the long commutes – she is determined to have a better education and is pursuing a career as a school counselor.

I am amazed by our youth’s work, of how much they care about their community and are eager to be part of the changes that will improve their surroundings. Like Mia, YOP gives youth the opportunity to participate. Personally, what saddens me the most is when someone has potential and the capacity to do great things in life but are unable to reach their maximum potential due to the lack of opportunities and resources. YOP helps give youth a fair chance regardless of their socioeconomic background. 

Like many others, I would like to see a permanent program that will benefit youth for years to come. The next SANDAG CEO needs to demonstrate commitment to the needs of youth and our working families. In addition, SANDAG’s next CEO must support and implement the 10 Transit Lifelines, to meet the needs of our transit dependent community."

The press conference took place in conjunction with the first SANDAG Board meeting since Ikrata announced his resignation (effective Dec 29). The organizations also gave public testimony during the meeting.

The environmental, health, mobility, social justice and community-based organizations, who co-authored this press statement will advocate for hiring another preeminent transportation planning expert. We want to ensure the new hire will expand on Ikhrata’s accomplishments and surpass state mandates to achieve an equitable, sustainable future for all residents of San Diego County, with clean air, healthy communities, and green jobs.

View photos from the press conference by clicking here.

Coalition Statement on SANDAG search for CEO

Coalition logos

SAN DIEGO, September 8, 2023 - The following is a statement from a coalition of San Diego organizations regarding SANDAG's search for new CEO:

The environmental, health, mobility, and community organizations we represent are calling on the leadership of SANDAG and our region to conduct an open and community-involved hiring process as they replace Hasan Ikhrata as CEO of SANDAG. We need a preeminent transportation planning expert, someone who will not only reach - but surpass - state mandates to achieve an equitable, sustainable future for all residents of San Diego County, with clean air, healthy communities, and green jobs. 

As a planning body for a region representing over 3 million residents, SANDAG leadership has a responsibility to conduct a hiring process that, at all stages, is informed by public involvement. The new hire’s qualifications and contractual obligations must reflect San Diego’s need for a candid and diplomatic candidate with experience planning the transportation infrastructure of a major metropolitan area. We firmly believe that the CEO of SANDAG must have a forward-looking vision and actively advocate for all members of San Diego’s community.

This vision for San Diego County is one that embraces multi-modal transportation with options for drivers, transit riders, bikers, and walkers alike. It aligns with state laws requiring massive cuts in GHG emissions and air pollution, most of which will need to come from the transportation sector. 

We must center real solutions like the 10 transit lifelines - community-led priorities to advance affordable and frequent transit solutions, access to jobs, and benefit all San Diegans. In recent years, projects like youth opportunity passes, the Blue Line extension, and more have shown what we can accomplish when we work together to chart bold new directions. Now, SANDAG’s leadership must continue to acknowledge and address the current deficiencies and inequities, while working to achieve a sustainable long-term future.

San Diego has the tools to make our transportation system– including bikeways, buslines, and highways– the best in the world, and the CEO of SANDAG holds a pivotal role in shaping our future.  For this reason, we are calling on SANDAG to look for candidates with expertise and vision, and to root their hiring process in transparency. 

AG Rob Bonta Meets City Heights Youth

AG Bonta visit

Mid-City CAN, Reality Changers, and Youth Will youth had a round table discussion with Attorney General Rob Bonta on Thursday, August 17 at the Price Building in City Heights!

“Seeing so many young people with a passion for their community fills me with hope for the future. This generation is impressive. I say that both as a dad of a college freshman and high school freshman, but also as AG,” said Bonta.

The California Department of Justice is meeting with young people in cities across the state to hear directly from them and get their input on issues that youth are concerned about.

The youth representing Mid-City CAN were Mia, Salma, Janelle, Ezra, George, and Ashley.

"It was a lot of fun, it's very insightful to see all the things that he had to say. And it's very cool to see that him and his office were taking into account youth voices and opinions such as mine," said Ezra.

Great job by all youth that participated in the round table!

View photos from the event by clicking here.

Press release: Engaging Young Leaders: Attorney General Bonta Holds First in a New Series of Youth Community Conversations

Coalition Grateful to Hasan Ikhrata

Coalition Statement

The following statement is from Mid-City CAN, Environmental Health Coalition, SanDiego350, Center on Policy Initiatives, and City Heights Community Development:

The environmental, health, and community organizations we represent are deeply grateful to Hasan Ikhrata for five years of visionary leadership at SANDAG that transformed our region’s thinking and progress on transportation and equity. 

We are calling on the leadership of SANDAG and our region to hire another preeminent transportation planning expert to succeed Hasan, someone who will expand on his accomplishments and not only reach - but surpass - state mandates to achieve an equitable, sustainable future for all residents of San Diego County, with clean air, healthy communities, and green jobs. We call for an open, transparent, inclusive, and community-involved hiring process in order to identify the best candidates.

To do that, we must renounce the narrow, isolationist thinking that led SANDAG to approve a Regional Transportation Plan that was rejected by the 4th California Appellate Court because it would have  resulted in more congestion, toxic, lung-damaging pollution and climate change-causing emissions. We must move towards real solutions like the 10 transit lifelines - community-led priorities to advance affordable and frequent transit solutions and benefit all San Diegans.

Under Hasan’s leadership, SANDAG showed what we can accomplish when we work together to chart a bold, new direction - such as creating SANDAG’s innovative Five Big Moves, completing the Blue Line extension to UCSD on time and within budget, stabilizing the Del Mar Bluffs and securing funding to improve the LOSSAN rail corridor, successfully lobbying for project funding, securing Youth Opportunity Passes, and reaching agreement with Mexico to expand the Otay Mesa border crossing.

We know we have the technology and tools to address the climate crisis, create good-paying, green jobs, and prioritize environmental justice for communities neglected or harmed by previous plans. What we need to see right now is political will - an immediate commitment from SANDAG leadership. 

Mid-City CAN Attends D4 Candidates Forum

D4 Candidate Forum

Mid-City CAN was a sponsoring organization at the District 4 candidate forum held in Hillcrest on Friday, July 14.

The forum's theme was on climate change & environmental justice and focused on key issues including mobility and transportation, air pollution, renewable energy, land use and sprawl, and San Diego County’s commitment to achieving carbon zero and its Climate Action Plan and Regional Decarbonization Framework.

Three candidates attended the forum: Janessa Goldbeck, Marine Corps veteran and CEO of Vet Voice Foundation; Monica Montgomery Steppe, San Diego City Council President Pro-Tem; and Amy Reichert, small business owner and founder of ReOpen San Diego. (Paul McQuigg was unable to attend).

Mid-City CAN's Base Builder Lupe, members of our Improving Transportation in City Heights (ITCH), and interns Calista and Aida attended the forum. Calista asked the candidates the following question:

What is your vision for the role public transportation will play in San Diego's future? Where should the funds come from to pay for it?

NOTE: Click image and fast forward to 20:30 to view the video and hear our question and response.


Janessa: “Our trolley is very slow… we can build overpasses over trolley lines. Those are proven to be safer, they shave minutes off of a commute.” Janessa also wants a rapid express lane next to the heavily-used Blue Line and to expand the routes that we already have, increasing the frequency of the buses that we already have so they come more often and run later and earlier. Where will the funding come from: Bi-partisan infrastructure law and the inflation reduction act. "Billions and billions of dollars of infrastructure funding...We need to ensure that our county is set up to properly go after those funds and bring that home.”

Monica: “Frequency (of buses) is very important and I do believe that we build it people will come… right now there is a vicious cycle of cutting off certain routes when they are not as popular. They are not popular because they don’t have bus shelters or bus routes run every 30 minutes, they’re very infrequent. Funding: “We have been working on a ballot measure previously through MTS … In order to have a better transit line we need ongoing funding from the federal … and also from our locality. It’s about ongoing funding, not grant funding.”

Amy: “I do not believe that our public transportation is meeting the needs of San Diegans…it is not convenient, it is not working for people’s basic needs. I was a single mom with unreliable transportation. I’ve got a lot of experience using our buses and our trolleys. It was very difficult for a single mom to navigate. There’s a matter of feeling safe with your children.” Amy wants us to reimagine public transportation by using small shuttle buses that are clean energy that would "take people from their doorsteps to major transportation hubs and also to their work places. I think we can do that rather than putting money into a failed system." Funding: "Instead of subsiding a public transportation we would be making it convenient where people would want to use it…Public transportation that is actually profitable."

The candidates were also asked: Youth Opportunity passes provide free access to transit for youth. Do you support making this a permanent program benefiting youth ages 24 and under? (Yes or No). All 3 said YES.

The forum was moderated by environment reporters Erik Anderson (KPBS) and MacKenzie Elmer (Voice of San Diego).

Sponsoring organizations: Change Begins with Me, Climate Action Campaign, Climate Justice Team at First Unitarian Universalist Church, Environmental Health Coalition, Hammond Climate Solutions Foundation, Hillcrest Indivisible, Mid-City CAN, San Diego Building Electrification Coalition, SanDiego350, San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action, Sunrise Movement San Diego, Take Action San Diego and Zeta Sigma Lambda (San Diego Alumni) Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Let's Go! San Diego Press Conference 2023

Let's Go! SD Press Event

Our intern Farnelle spoke at Let's Go! San Diego's press conference about the many benefits of the Youth Opportunity Pass (YOP) program at the Old Town Transit Center on June 21, 2023. Great job, Farnelle!

Yes for traffic relief, transit, and jobs. Let's Go! San Diego is a coalition of transportation experts, environmental leaders, unions, businesses, and more, uniting to put a measure on the 2024 ballot that allows voters to choose a better future for San Diego County. Mid-City CAN is part of the coalition and we're excited that Let's Go! San Diego will help promote the benefits of the YOP program!

"I support the Let's Go! San Diego initiative," said Farnelle during the press conference. "Thousands of youth, including those in low-income households and transit dependent communities now have a dependable ride to and from school and afterschool jobs or internships, or extra curriculars. This initiative will help us keep our YOP program permanent for all youth."

A transportation measure on the ballot will have many benefits including infrastructure safety upgrades, rapid routes from job centers to communities, trolley line extensions, cut air pollution by 20 percent, a rail connection to the airport, and much more.

Learn more about Let's Go! San Diego by visiting:


Youth Council Park Campaign Op-Ed


The following op-ed piece was sent to local media during the public input budget hearings but was not selected for publication. This piece shows the passionate and dedication that our youth have for the community.

By Salma Adlinsyah – Salma is a sophomore at Hoover High School in City Heights and a member of Mid-City CAN’s Youth Council program

“Salma Adlinsyah.” My name was called and it was time for me to speak. My heart was pounding as I walked up to the podium in City Hall on May 10 for the Fiscal Year 2024 public input budget hearing. I took a breath before I spoke as the nine San Diego councilmembers were focused on me. My Youth Council team members and our organizer stood behind me holding posters stating that Mayor Todd Gloria needs to fund our project that would revitalize our beloved City Heights park that has been crumbling year after year. The task of getting our park renovated fell on our occasionally trembling hands.

I am a sophomore at Hoover High School in City Heights and a member of Mid-City Community Advocacy Network’s (CAN) Youth Council. In January, Youth Council met to decide on a campaign that we would take on this year. Youth Council is a group of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) youth ages 13-18 from City Heights and surrounding areas that meets every Friday after school. We decided that renovating the City Heights Urban Village which includes Officer Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park – one of the busiest parks in San Diego County where events are held every weekend – would benefit the diverse City Heights residents. Henwood Park is the centerpiece of City Heights where our community gathers together.

The park is in dire need of renovation: Bathrooms are worn down and lack basic necessities such as automated faucets, soap dispensers, and a baby-changing station. Areas of the playgrounds are unsafe and need to meet National Playground Safety Institute standards. The toddler playground has one amenity and doesn’t even have a swing or spring riders. Improvements to the greenery, seating availability, and shading are among the many needs. 

Youth Council met with the offices of eight councilmembers (one declined to meet with us) and we also met with Mayor Gloria’s office to ask him to fund our renovation project. $1,054,375 is the amount we demanded. The mayor released his Fiscal Year 2024 proposed budget last month, a $5.12 billion spending plan, and it did not include our request.

“When the condition of a park worsens, it becomes an unsafe environment that attracts crime. To neglect the park is to neglect the community,” I told the councilmembers.

Youth Council at City Hall

The one million that we are asking is 0.02 percent of the mayor’s $5.12 billion budget. Youth Council speakers took their turn to go up to the podium:

“Lower income and older communities deserve revitalization just as much as the newer developed and higher income ones. This is an opportunity (for local leaders) to fulfill campaign promises of taking care of communities,” said Jasmine who is in the eighth grade.

“I shouldn’t have to find mold in the drinking fountain or trip on the uneven pavement when I’m at this park,” said Zamzam, a lifelong resident of City Heights who attends High Tech High. She pointed out that there are three new residential buildings being built across Henwood Park and with the increase in homes more families will be utilizing the park. “Jeremy Henwood is not just a park but a safe space for many low income families in City Heights,” she said.

“When you guys look back at your childhood I’m sure you have a lot of fond memories of playing outside. The youth (in City Heights) need it as much as you did,” said Ashley, a City Heights resident and student at Hoover High.

We attended both days of the budget hearing, the first one on May 3. This was a new experience for us, and everyone admitted it was nerve-racking. I decided to go back and speak again during the second hearing because this is an extremely important issue that we need to win for our community.

“You did a fantastic job of lifting up your ask,” Council President Sean Elo-Rivera said. “You’re doing exactly what needs to be done in order to create change. I appreciate your efforts. No, they are not falling on deaf ears.”

The mayor revised the budget on May 16 and councilmembers will submit their proposed changes to the budget on May 26.

This park holds a special place in my family’s heart as it played a significant role in our transition to America, especially for my younger brother who was just five years old.

It is a special place not only for my family, but for the many immigrant families that now call City Heights their home.


Learn more about our campaign to renovate the park by visiting our webpage: https://www.midcitycan.org/youth_council


Rally in Sacramento for Youth Transit

Mid-City CAN in Sacramento

Mid-City CAN and a coalition of advocates from around the state traveled to Sacramento on March 15 to support Assembly Bill 610 - Youth Transit Pass Pilot Program: free youth transit passes. Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 3 had its hearing on transportation that day and the budget is key to whether the bill moves forward. Mid-City CAN's Policy Advocate Belen and youth leaders Omar and Frida all provided testimony to support AB 610. 

"I have been a transit rider my whole life starting since elementary school all the way through college. I rely on this program (Youth Opportunity Pass) ... that's why I'm here to ask you to allocate $94M to fund our youth transit passes across the state," said Frida during her testimony. Click here to view public comments from some of the advocates.

Mid-City CAN and the coalition participated in a rally where the authors of the bill spoke. The co-author of AB 610 - Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath - also spoke at the rally. "What do we want? Free transit! When do we want it? Now!" the coalition chanted. After the rally the coalition lobbied and asked elected leaders to fund youth transit passes. Tell state leaders to fund the bill by clicking here.

We thank our ally Move LA for organizing Lobby Day!

📷: Move LA


Youth Council Goes Camping!

Youth Council at Campland

Mid-City CAN's Youth Council had an incredible time on March 17-18 at Campland on the Bay!

"Our youth have been working hard for many weeks on their City Heights Urban Village Revitalization Campaign so it was nice for them to take a break and have a lot of fun," said Youth Council Organizer Victor Ponce. "There's so much to do at Campland and it's great that our youth were able to experience camping - many of them for the first time. Thank you to Kendra and the Campland on the Bay staff for an amazing time!"

View photos and a video from their camping trip by clicking here.

YOP Extended to June 2024

YOP Extended!

BREAKING NEWS! On February 17, SANDAG announced the extension for the Youth Opportunity Pass (YOP) program for youth 18 and under for another year! Thank you to our local leaders, community advocates, youth and our Improving Transportation in City Heights (ITCH) team for your hard work. The YOP program deadline has been extended to June 30, 2024, meaning youth 18 and under can continue to use the no cost PRONTO pass to ride public transportation in the San Diego region including the trolley, bus, and coaster. 🚌🚲🚃

Our ITCH team has advocated for a no cost youth public transportation program since 2011.

Mid-City CAN and our partner organizations will continue to work to expand and extend YOP: We want YOP to be permanent and to include everyone 24 and under!

Community advocates

Earlier this week, Mid-City CAN, along with our coalition of organizations supporting free youth transit programs, were excited about the creation of Assembly Bill 610 Youth Transit Pass Pilot Program: Free Youth Transit Passes.

We thank Assemblymembers Chris Holden, Tasha Boerner Horvath, Mike Fong, and Gail Pellerin for creating the bill.

You can count on Mid-City CAN to support AB 610! Follow our social media channels for more about this bill and our trip next month to Sacramento to encourage Gov. Newsom and California legislators to support AB 610.

Youth Council Announces New Campaign

Youth Council 2023

With the Committee on Police Practices established, Youth Council is excited to announce their next campaign. After weeks of discussion including a meeting with San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and his staff, Youth Council has chosen to revitalize a City Heights park as their new project!

If funded, Youth Council's City Heights Urban Village Revitalization Campaign will include Officer Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park (4455 Wightman Street) which is in dire need of upgrades. 

Here are the upgrades that Youth Council is requesting:

  • 2 Hydration Stations
  • 5 more trash and recycling bins
  • 5 flat benches
  • 8 additional light stands
  • Update grass
  • Adding 3 shade structures with tables along Fairmount Ave
  • 15 tress alongside Fairmount Ave
  • Upgrading both playgrounds
  • Updating ground from sand and bark to rubber
  • Adding swings and spring riders to both playgrounds
  • Additional necessary equipment in toddler playground
  • Getting playgrounds to meet National Playground Safety Institute (NPSI) standards
  • Adding automated faucets, toilets, soap dispensers, dryers, and napkin dispensers
  • Adding mirrors, hanging hooks, baby changing stations, seat cover dispensers
  • Trash cans for every stall and under the sink
  • Maintenance: Clean webs and paint floors
The total estimated project cost is $1,054,375.

The project has received support from the following organizations and Council President Sean Elo-Rivera.

Organizations supporting Youth Council's campaign


Community members, help support Youth Council's new project: City Heights Urban Village Revitalization Campaign. Tell our local leaders to fund their project by filling out the form below.





Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for updates on their campaign!

ITCH Members Attend Vargas Address

ITCH with Nora Vargas

Our Improving Transportation in City Heights (ITCH) members attended Supervisor Nora Vargas' State of the County address Wednesday night. Vargas made history as being the first Latina, immigrant, and woman of color to deliver the speech.

Mid-City CAN thanks Chairwoman Vargas for her continued support of the Youth Opportunity Pass (YOP) program! During her address Vargas mentioned a student named Heidi who before YOP had a daily commute to school of 3 hours a day. Not only was it exhausting, but her family struggled to pay for her monthly bus pass to get to school.

"Access to education is one of the most crucial investments we can make as a community to support our youth and prepare them with the skills necessary to perform and excel at the jobs of the future," Vargas said.

Vargas mentioned that thanks to YOP youth ridership in public transit has increased in San Diego by 84 percent.

"That's why I will continue to champion no cost transportation for our youth. Only this time we're going to expand it to offer no cost transportation for 24 and under helping our college students, young adults, and those trying to make it to their jobs on time."

Our ITCH team has advocated for a no cost youth public transit program since 2011. Learn more about our campaign to make YOP permanent by visiting our Transportation Justice (ITCH) page.

For more photos of our team at the State of the County address, visit our Flickr page by click here.

📷: Ron Sanchez, Mid-City CAN

ITCH Heads to Sacramento!

Members of Mid-City CAN's Improving Transportation in City Heights (ITCH) team and our Policy Advisor are in Sacramento today (January 10) for a rally to encourage legislators to fund student transit passes. 

Last year, Governor Newsom vetoed the Free Student Transit Pass Program (Assembly Bill 1919) despite near unanimous support from all members of the legislature and a historic budget surplus.

The rally is taking place on the West Steps of the California State Capitol from noon to 1 pm. Mid-City CAN along with organizations will also meet with legislators and their staff to encourage them to fund student transit passes. The letter below will also be given to legislators. Thank you Move LA for organizing the rally and lobby visit, and to all organizations that are part of the coalition! Mid-City CAN has advocated for a no cost youth transit program since 2011. The Youth Opportunity Pass in San Diego is from May 2022 to June 30, 2023. 


Members of the California State Legislature
Sacramento California 95814

Dear Senators and Assemblymembers:

As a coalition, we request that your 2023 Budget allocate funding to support a groundbreaking statewide student transit pass program so that every single California student–from kindergarten to graduate school–can easily and freely access our public transit systems. This should be considered as part of a larger transit and education rebuilding and recovery effort as the COVID pandemic subsides.

Student transit pass programs have multiple co-benefits, making this an effective investment during a time of fiscal austerity. This is based on at least three peer-reviewed papers[1] [2] [3] conducted by several University of California researchers that provide academically rigorous research indicating fare-free student transit is an effective program to improve educational outcomes, increase the recruitment and retention of students, increase ridership, decrease VMT, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Transit agencies across California have partnered for over a decade to provide “insurance-like” transit discount programs because they work for students at K-12 institutions, community colleges, and our state’s universities. However, these programs are limited in scope and scale. During the pandemic, transit agencies, including Los Angeles Metro and SANDAG, used American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funding for their robust and successful pilot programs. However, these successful programs will run out of funding in 2023 and need a sustainable source of funding.

You have the opportunity to build on these successful programs by creating a comprehensive, statewide program that provides an immediate and tangible benefit to struggling students–from low-income elementary school children to UC Academic Workers striking for, amongst many demands, free transit passes. This is because more than half of adults in the U.S. who are experiencing poverty are also experiencing transportation insecurity[4] and studies[5] show that discounted fare programs for low-income individuals can alleviate poverty, increase social mobility, and improve health by increasing trips, particularly to health care and social services.

Finally, these programs result in real educational gains that could help struggling students post-pandemic. In the first year of an Alameda County student pass pilot program[6] 14% of students missed fewer days of school than they did during the prior year, and involvement in non-school-based afterschool activities and after-school jobs increased dramatically (by 77% and 238% respectively) for student participants. And at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, a pilot program resulted in community college graduation rates increasing by 27% higher for students who receive free transit passes[7].


 [1] Saphores, J., Shah, D., & Khatun, F. (2020). A Review of Reduced and Free Transit Fare Programs in California. UC Office of the President: University of California Institute of Transportation Studies. http://dx.doi.org/10.7922/G2XP735Q Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/74m7f3rx

[2] Nuworsoo, C. (2004). Deep Discount Group Pass Programs as Instruments for Increasing Transit Revenue and Ridership. University of California Berkeley. Dissertation Series UCB-ITS-DS-200402, May 1, 2004, pages 1-292. https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/crp_fac/18

[3] Brown, J., Hess, D. B., & Shoup, D. (2003). Fare-Free Public Transit at Universities: An Evaluation. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 23(1), 69–82. https://doi.org/10.1177/0739456X03255430

[4] https://poverty.umich.edu/research-funding-opportunities/data-tools/the-transportation-security-index/

[5] http://equitytransit.mit.edu/

[6] https://www.alamedactc.org/programs-projects/studentpass
 [7] https://scholarshare.temple.edu/handle/20.500.12613/6951

Earlier this year, Governor Newsom vetoed Assembly Bill 1919 which would have enabled hundreds of thousands of K-12, community college, CSU, and UC students and academic student employees to ride transit without fare throughout the state. The reasons were sound; funding had not been included in the budget. Therefore, we respectfully request that you include funding in this budget for the full cost of a pilot program.

The reasons couldn’t be more urgent; as we experience unprecedented inflation and more extreme weather, we must support every conceivable way to get people out of polluting cars, immediately, and with a societal benefit that reduces poverty, quickly. We encourage your budget team to identify funds that are:

  1. Non-Proposition 98 funding which would ensure support from school districts, many of whom contribute to student transit already.
  2. Subject to SB 535 Disadvantaged Communities and AB 1550 Low Income Community requirements.
  3. Dedicated to reducing the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, created by passenger vehicles.

We ask that you finally be the Legislature who makes public transit a truly public good for millions of California.

Yours sincerely,

Eli Lipmen
Executive Director, Move LA

Veronica Hahni
Executive Director, Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative

Barry Scott
Executive Director, Coastal Rail Santa Cruz

Heidi Harmon
Senior Public Affairs Director

Diana Ross
Executive Director, Mid-City Community Advocacy Network

Jesse O’Sullivan
Policy Counsel, Circulate San Diego

Bubba Fish
Co-Director, State Policy, Streets for All

Jonathan Parfrey
Executive Director, Climate Resolve

Tamarah Minami
Youth for Climate Justice

Pauline Seales
Santa Cruz Climate Action Network

Iwalani (Lani) Faulkner
Director, Equity Transit

Lynda Marin
Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Santa Cruz Chapter

David Diaz, MPH
Executive Director, Active San Gabriel Valley

Rafael Jaime
President, UAW 2865

Vinita Goyal
Executive Director, San Francisco Transit Riders

Rick Longinotti
Campaign for Sustainable Transportation

Zach Lou
Coalition Manager, California Green New Deal Coalition


Governor Gavin Newsom

Secretary Toks Omishakin

Year in Review 2022




These are words that come to mind as we reflect on 2022.

Gratitude: Mid-City CAN is thankful for your support in helping us build a stronger community.

Progress: Advocacy can take years and in 2022 we had two major wins -- the Youth Opportunity Pass that provides no cost public transit to youth 18 and under began on May 1 after a decade of advocacy by Mid-City CAN. It immediately makes an impact: SANDAG reported a 92 percent increase in overall youth ridership in September with YOP (compared to April before YOP). Another reason to celebrate is the establishment of the Commission on Police Practices that will hold police accountable when abuses of police power occur, -- a campaign that Youth Council members worked on for four years.

Joy: We were able to provide many programs to the community such as Artivism which empowers youth of color; we provided the COVID-19 vaccine to over 500 residents; we educated thousands of community members about the importance of voting through door knocking, phone banking, held workshops and events such as Boba and Ballot, filmed a Public Service Announcement, and so much more!

We wish you a wonderful and restful holiday season and we're excited about what we will accomplish in the New Year!

Year in Review

Year in Review

Year in Review

Snowy Wonderland 2022

Snowy Wonderland

More than 300 community members kicked off the holiday season at our Snowy Wonderland Family Event on Sunday, December 4th. Hundreds of children enjoyed playing in 22 tons of snow at the Sherman Heights Community Center. There were also many activities such as face painting, gingerbread cookie making, meeting Santa and the Elf, eating delicious food, games, getting to know community organizations, and much more!

Thank you to everyone that attended and many thanks to Sherman Heights Community Center and our partner organizations for being there and making the event a huge success!

Mid-City CAN wishes you a wonderful holiday season!


Check out the Snowy Wonderland video!

View photos from Snowy Wonderland by clicking here. 

📷: Ron Sanchez, Mid-City CAN