Equity Means Prioritizing City Heights

“Equity is just and fair inclusion into a society in which all, including all racial and ethnic groups, can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. Equity gives all people a just and fair shot in life despite historic patterns of racial and economic exclusion,” explains PolicyLink. Fair inclusion in our region means prioritizing City Heights, a community that for long, has been excluded from the resources and opportunities we need to prosper.

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CPAT on appointee to chief of SDPD + 12 Principles for Improved Policing

SAN DIEGO – Today, Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced in a press conference his choice of Assistant Chief David Nisleit as the City of San Diego’s next Chief of Police.

The Coalition for Police Accountability and Transparency (“CPAT”) released the following statement:

After a year of grassroots advocacy for an open, transparent and community-centered selection process for determining the next Chief of the San Diego Police Department,  CPAT looks forward to both the public hearing and confirmation hearing mandated in Council Policy 300-08

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2017 Year in Review - Infographic

2017 was a big year for Mid-City CAN. From the district-wide adoption of our Peace Promotion's School Climate Bill of Rights to the opening of the City Heights Skatepark, we worked hard to create a safe, healthy, productive City Heights. Click below to check out our infographic:

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SDUSD Adopted the School Climate Bill of Rights, What's Next?

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The School Climate Bill of Rights was adopted unanimously by San Diego Unified on July 11, 2017. Authored by Mid-City CAN’s Peace Promotion Momentum Team after years of organizing, the bill of rights is a significant step towards dismantling the school to prison pipeline. To address this system of criminalization leading many youth out of their school and into prisons, the bill of rights grants students, parents, staff, and community members six core rights.

“Students, staff, administrators, and parents/guardians have a right to a positive, collaborative, healthy, healing school environment. Schools should strive to be sanctuaries for students and parents/guardians,” reads the first right.

So, what’s next?

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Sneak Peak: 2018 Boards & Commissions Training

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“The training reinforces the need for low income communities of color to be on boards and commissions so issues of gentrification, affordable housing, unionized jobs, accessible healthcare don’t get lost in the developers’ agenda," commented Andrea Rocha on the upcoming Boards & Commissions Training, launching February 12th, 2018.

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Healthier, Culturally Appropriate Food—a Crawford Celebration

Photos and story by Siham Ismail—Food and Social Justice Club and Mid-City CAN Youth Media Team

5_days_halal_appetite_for_equity“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
- Mahatma Gandhi

Students from the Food and Social Justice Club at Crawford High School take this phrase to heart when setting goals for the club.

This tight-knit group of students with a mission to bring healthy food to their school has accomplished some amazing things. One of their biggest achievements has been the introduction of halal food in their school menu. The term halal refers to the humane way of slaughtering an animal or something that is permissible for Muslims to eat.

Halal foods are also very nutritious.

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Youth Call for an Open & Transparent Process in Search for Next SDPD Chief

By Jose Hernandez and Paola Villarino—Mid-City CAN Youth Council

youth_meme_1_1.JPGThe mayor’s proposal to hire the new chief of police through a secret panel is flawed and unacceptable. Mid-City CAN is part of the Coalition for Police Accountability and Transparency, urging the mayor to form a transparent search committee that includes members nominated by the community.

We commend the city for the addition of community forums in City Heights and San Ysidro, but moving forward with a secret panel will only weaken community trust in the next chief of police.

Peace, safety, and fairness from a transparent, open, and accountable democracy. This is what we, as youth, need to thrive. And that is why we are so committed to making sure our next police chief is hired through a community-led process. The inclusion of funding for a national search in the San Diego city budget was a great first step, but how that search is conducted is even more important. As youth, we are working to make City Heights—one of our city's most policed neighborhoods—more safe, healthy, and productive. We call on our leaders to step out from behind closed doors and work hand-in-hand with the community to select our next police chief.

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Meet the Leaders of the Future: Free Our Dreams Youth Organizing Summit 2017

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I’m Halima Ali. I was born in the refugee camp in Kenya because my family was running away from the war in Somalia. I came to the USA in 2004. I’m involved with this community because we need to make our voice heard and change a lot within this community. I am a member of City Heights Youth for Change, right now we are focused on the Building Better San Diego. We are trying to get more affordable housing for people that are low income. I am also a co-chair of the Food Justice Momentum Team with Mid-City CAN.

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Celebrating Peace, Safety, Justice in San Diego Unified

“Have you ever messed up?” Over 50 people in the crowd raised their hands, responding to Benita Page from Tariq Khamisa Foundation. “Restorative practices need to be a way of life,” Page added, “because we’re all going to have challenges and mistakes.”

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Last Wednesday, August 31st Mid-City CAN celebrated the adoption of the School Climate Bill of Rights, which prioritizes restorative practices and principles over traditional punitive policies in San Diego Unified. Leading up to the screening of Education Under Arrest, the community celebration centered around the conversation that restorative practices, to be successful, need to become a way of life and not just a discipline policy.

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El papel de la confianza en la activación del voto latino

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Los latinos enfrentamos un sistema lleno de barreras para poder tomar decisiones en nuestra comunidad. La desconfianza, las dificultades con el idioma, y la omisión de nuestras necesidades son algunas de las barreras que limitan la participación de los latinos en la toma de decisiones y en el voto. En City Heights, donde más de la mitad de la comunidad es de origen latino, el voto es la clave para tener una voz y procurar la seguridad, la salud y el bienestar de nuestros seres queridos. En Mid-City CAN estamos expandiendo nuestro trabajo para que el voto sea más accesible ya que queremos ver mejores resultados, más rápido, para nuestra comunidad latina y todo City Heights.

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Building Power Block by Block in City Heights

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To vote is to have a say in our community’s safety, health, and quality of life. At Mid-City CAN we are expanding our voter engagement efforts to build power in City Heights. Our goal is to see better and quicker results for our community. We are part of a movement to ensure fairness across all places by making sure that young people, immigrants, and low-income families also have a say.

Voting is about being able to make decisions on the issues that affect our everyday lives. From education and transportation to public spaces and safety, more affluent neighborhoods, which vote at a higher rate, have determined how and where resources and opportunities are allocated.

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Youth of Color Heal, Learn, Connect in the Outdoors

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Our youth are back from camp with new connections, insight, and knowledge.

Located in 1,500 acres of beautiful Yellow Pine Forest, Grizzly Creek Ranch hosts the Boys and Men of Color Camp and Sisterhood Rising Leadership Retreat, where youth of color from all over California—participating in the Building Healthy Communities initiative—converge to engage in a week-long program of team building, advocacy, storytelling, and leadership skills.

“Every time I go to these things, I listen to what people have to say and try to feel what they feel; that’s how you learn, by putting yourself in other people’s shoes,” Victor explained that he shares this new wisdom from camp with his younger brothers.

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School District Adopts School Climate Bill of Rights

On July 11, 2017, the San Diego Unified School District unanimously voted to adopt the School Climate Bill of Rights put forth by the Mid-City CAN Peace Promotion Momentum Team.

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In my own words: Sisterhood Rising

Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?

This August, I returned to the space that motivated me for years as a young woman growing up in City Heights, and I was reminded that I am capable of transforming my community.

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There were dozens of roses blooming in the Sisterhood Rising Retreat, growing and blossoming despite injustice in the air. I saw a young lady gain the courage to stand in front of her sisters and sing. I saw another young woman physically and morally support her team during the ropes course. I was in the same spot not too long ago.

This space was created for us to finally step out of the box that society puts us in, for these young women to acknowledge that they are not weeds because their skin color is a darker shade, and to learn not to be ashamed of the battle scars they all have from the constant struggle of oppression.

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Reminder: Why we vote

Last October, Carol Kim was in a hit and run car accident. Instead of staying at the scene, she had a more important mission to accomplish: convincing the people of City Heights that their votes count.

“I am so convinced that your vote counts that I called someone to pick me up from my totaled car to come here,” said Kim.

VotingSmall.jpgKim is the Vice President of Run Women Run, an organization that supports, recruits, and trains women candidates to run for public office. She was one of three panelists to stress the importance of voting at the Mid-City Community Advocacy Network City Heights Community Convening. The Convening, formerly known as the Grantee Retreat, focused on empowering residents and organizations to engage people in City Heights to register to vote.

“We deserve to be at the decision making table. We deserve to have our voices heard. We cannot be there if we are not showing up and casting our ballots,” said Kim. “We are not heard unless we vote. Civic engagement is great, but if your folks are not voting, it’s just noise. I hate to say it. As politicians it’s just noise unless you cast those ballots”