Youth Spotlight: Rosa Olascoaga Vidal

We recently spoke to Rosa who joined Mid-City CAN's Youth Council ten years ago and moved to San Francisco to go to college. She recently graduated from the University of San Francisco and shared her insight into how Youth Council helped her grow and prepare for college.

To learn more about Mid-City CAN's Youth Council or to join, contact Laura Baeza, Youth Organizer at [email protected]

Check out Rosa's story below:

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Residente Destacada: Stephanie Perez

En el 2017, Mid-City CAN inauguró su primer entrenamiento de liderazgo para preparar a residentes de City Heights para servir en comités de consejo para el gobierno municipal, conocidos como boards and commissions. Los comités de consejo influyen en la toma de decisiones de los diferentes departamentos de la ciudad y el condado de San Diego y en áreas tales como las artes y la cultura, los parques, la vivienda, la prevención de pandillas y las prácticas policiales. Por lo tanto, los comités de consejo son de suma importancia y quienes sirven en ellos deben representar a las diversas comunidades de San Diego.

Stephanie Perez, residente de City Heights y recién graduada del entrenamiento de liderazgo, platicó con nosotros sobre la importancia del entrenamiento y los comités de consejo:

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Youth Urge City Council Budget Allocation to Break School to Prison Pipeline

We commend councilmembers Gómez and Ward for including in their joint budget memo to the mayor our ask of $300 thousand for restorative justice training for police officers serving the Mid-City region. We would like to thank them for listening to the young people of City Heights working tirelessly to keep youth out of jail and in their schools, homes, and community where they can learn, grow, and develop. We would also like to thank Chief Nisleit for supporting Mid-City CAN in seeking additional training on restorative justice for his department.

Now that SDPD is part of the Restorative Community Conferencing program, we urge Mayor Faulconer to include in his final budget to be released on June 13, a budget allocation of $300 thousand to better prepare SDPD to serve the community through the restorative justice program.

SDPD Joins Mid-City CAN and Law Enforcement Partners for Restorative Justice Program

Chief David Nisleit and the San Diego Police Department have joined community members and law enforcement partners to end unjust youth incarceration by joining the Restorative Community Conferencing (RCC) program. SDPD will be able to refer certain juvenile offenders to the Restorative Community Conferencing program rather than seeking prosecution, which disproportionately incarcerates young people of color.

With Chief Nisleit's signature in May, the San Diego Police Department officially joins the RCC Memorandum of Understanding to provide an alternative to youth "who were arrested for felonies, high-level misdemeanors, and probation violations," as outlined in the MOU.

Our criminal justice system is like an exceptionally difficult maze, with too many paths in and too few ways out, especially for youth of color. The RCC program prevents youth from entering this maze and gives them an opportunity to be accountable to their "victim, family, community and self."

With SDPD's participation in the RCC program, many more youth will have an opportunity to remain in school, with their families, and their communities. Mid-City CAN looks forward to working with Chief Nisleit, SDPD, and the continued partnership with community members and the other juvenile law enforcement agencies.

Current Restorative Community Conferencing partners:

  • Mid-City CAN
  • San Diego County District Attorney's Office Juvenile Division
  • San Diego County Probation
  • San Diego Unified School District Police Department
  • National Conflict Resolution Center
  • San Diego County Sheriff Department
  • San Diego County Public Defender's Office

Student Leaders Recognized for Campaign to Fund Regional Transit Passes for Youth

Hoover High School students in City Heights are determined to ensure that young people are prioritized in decisions about transportation and community development because a great transit system should be affordable, safe, efficient, and of course, FUN!

May was National Bike Month and dockless bike company, OFO, recognized the student leaders of City Heights’ newly-formed Hoover Improving Transportation City Heights (ITCH) Club with a donation of 22 bikes for their campaign to fund no-cost transit passes for youth. The bikes were awarded to the student leaders of Hoover ITCH and to the writers of exceptional essays about the positive impact of bike ridership on the environment and the community. Local advocates for active transportation, climate action, and community development were present to support the youth-led program.

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Community Convening Launches Planning for Remaining Years of Building Healthy Communities

city heights mid-city can san diego community convening

April's Community Convening launched the planning process for the final three years of City Heights Building Healthy Communities (BHC). The upcoming planning process will run from May through December—stay tuned for the detailed timeline—and will build new strategies for current campaigns and define a community vision for the post-building healthy communities period.

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Interpreter Spotlight: Guillermo Mendez

interpreter city heights san diego mid-city can

Interpreters have a unique opportunity to be a linguistic and cultural bridge for the community of City Heights and beyond. Mid-City CAN works with interpreters to ensure our diverse community is at the center of our campaigns to build a safe, productive, and healthy City Heights.
If you’re interested in joining Mid-City CAN’s roster of on-call interpreters, come to our Interpreter Recruitment Night.
Following the Interpreter Recruitment Night, we will offer an interpreter training on May 24th at 5:30 p.m. at Mid-City CAN.
On-call interpreters are considered independent contractors of Mid-City CAN. Languages of interest include Spanish, Somali, Vietnamese, and others.

Now Recruiting Youth for Summer Leadership Camps

The Sons and Brothers Summer Camp and the Sisterhood Rising Leadership Retreat take place at the end of July and serve as spaces where youth of color can experience healing, meaningful growth, transformation, and empowerment as they develop into the next generation of young leaders. The camps are inclusive of youth who are gender non-binary.

Click here for more information and to apply to Sisterhood Rising Leadership Retreat. 

Click here for more information and to apply to Sons and Brothers Camp.

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Join the Community Budget Alliance on May 11 in Preparation for City's Budget Hearing

At the upcoming Budget Teach-In, we'll review what's on the mayor's proposed budget and will prepare for the evening budget hearing. Click Here to RSVP

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State Responds to Local Advocacy, No-Cost Transit Passes for Youth Regaining Momentum

Alondra & Maria from Hoover ITCH club

Making sure all youth can grow up to be happy, healthy, contributing adults is everyone's responsibility. Transportation is crucial to youth development and state and local elected officials are responding to advocacy across California for affordable, efficient, and safe transit systems.

"I request $50 million to be allocated from the FY 2018- 2019 State Budget to fund a Student Transit Pass Pilot Program, as described by AB 17 from 2017. The funding for this program would foster a new generation of transit users, help underserved students, and reduce the number of cars on the road," wrote Assemblymember Holden to the California Assembly Committee on Budget in December 2017.

Holden's request for $50 million to reintroduce a Student Transit Pass Pilot Program comes a year after the first version of the bill, AB 17, made the long legislative journey to the governor's desk, but was vetoed. If signed by Governor Brown, the new version of the youth transit pass program,  AB2304, "will provide students and schools the opportunity to partner with regional transit providers to develop innovative student transit programs," explains Assemblymember Holden.

Equity, youth opportunity, and the environment are at the core of the Mid-City CAN's Improving Transportation City Heights' (ITCH) effort to fund Youth Opportunity Passes, our local version of no-cost student transit passes. "We call them Youth Opportunity Passes because mobility is about getting to the opportunities we need in order to grow and develop," said Alondra Guzman, President of the newly-formed Hoover ITCH student club at a recent press conference.

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Dalia Villa, Youth Council Member, Student Leader at Hoover HS Walkout Over Gun Violence

Dalia Villa, Youth Council, Student Leader

Check out our Youth Council Instagram to stay up to date with the youth's organizing work. Please contact Laura Baeza, Youth Organizer, at [email protected] to learn more about Youth Council and how youth build power in City Heights.

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Cain Elizarraras, the Youngest Neighborhood Captain

Click to apply for the Neighborhood Captain position

Click here to apply to be a Neighborhood Captain and work with Mid-City CAN's innovative Civic Engagement team building power block-by-block in City Heights.


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Community Convening to Address Remaining Years of Building Healthy Communities Initiative

RSVP to Community Convening

"If you're reading this, you should attend. It's open to the public and encouraged to anybody who lives in City Heights, who works here, who cares about the environment, the policies that affect City Heights, and opportunities for residents. Anybody who has that commitment is encouraged to attend," Steve Eldred.

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Police Chief Nisleit Confirmed, Will he Support Restorative Justice with Action?

On Monday, February 26, Assistant Chief David Nisleit was confirmed by City Council as the new chief of SDPD. Mid-City CAN recognizes the year of community-led advocacy to create an open and transparent process in the selection of the new chief. From the allocation of $100K by the city for a nation-wide police chief search to the creation of six community forums, the search process was more transparent and inclusive than ever, thanks to you!

Chief Nisleit on Restorative Justice

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Miriam Rodriguez, Residente Destacada

Miriam Rodriguez, Residente Destacada