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Mid-City CAN Blog

Mid-City CAN elects four Coordinating Council members

Coordinating Council

Mid-City CAN members chose four members
to serve on the Coordinating Council.
Clockwise from top left: Anita Herrera,
Jeanette Neeley, Trinh Le and Melanie Cohn

 

 

On Dec. 11, dozens of Mid-City CAN members elected four new members of its board, called the Coordinating Council.

The Coordinating Council is made up of both resident representatives and organizational representatives. Members of Mid-City CAN voted for the candidates at the Scripps City Heights Wellness Center in a morning and evening session.

Anita Herrera and Jeanette Neeley are winners of two resident seats. Neeley was re-elected as a Coordinating Council member. Melanie Cohn, manager at the Childhood Obesity Initiative, and Trinh Le, organizer at the Center on Policy Initiatives,won the two organizational seats.

The Coordinating Council is made up of 15 organizational and resident representatives. It includes three nonvoting members: one community liaison from the Central Region of San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, the Mid-City CAN Collaborative Director and one representative from the Mid-City CAN fiscal agent -- SAY, San Diego.

For Aldo Vides, a participant in the morning voting and outreach specialist at San Diego Futures Foundation, the people running for the Coordinating Council were a testament to the diversity of the collaborative.

“It was great that you have people from various backgrounds that are here that really want to give back to the area of City Heights,” Vides said.

The following are excerpts from the speeches that candidates gave before the morning voting.

Anita Herrera, City Heights resident [translated from Spanish]: “I was born in Oaxaca, Mexico, but now I’m a U.S. citizen. Since my childhood, I was under the control of men - my father, my grandfather, my ex-husband. It was very hard for me to survive that and be a free woman.

I have been fighting for my dreams and I’m a different person now. One of the things that I want to do is continue to work with the community.

I work at night with the police during curfew sweeps. We work closely with the police. We bond with them as a community, and then we can have a better relationship with them.”

Jeanette Neeley, City Heights resident: “I want to work in my community, because I want to convince my children that this is the place they need to buy their homes, and raise their children. Luckily, so far, the grandkids are very small and they live down the street. But I really want them to think this is the community they choose, because I did. We have some incredible awesome people here. My life is pretty much based around my community and what I can do to convince people this is the place to be.”

Melanie Cohn, manager at the Childhood Obesity Initiative: “I’ve been involved in a couple of good projects with the Momentum Team. I sat on the food council at Hoover High School. We put together the health guidelines for the students to go by around their health needs. I am also working on the restaurant meals program. I wanted to run for the Coordinating Council to do a little bit more and be involved as much as I can here in City Heights.”

Trinh Le, organizer at the Center on Policy Initiatives: “The two issue areas that I work on at CPI: are city budget, we’ve been working with Mid-City CAN, especially the youth in making sure that their issues are heard loud and clear. About what they want to see in their neighborhoods and better understanding the city budget, because there is $2.3 billion dollars being spent every year and we don’t understand how it is being spent. We are constantly being told we don’t have money – well, where did that money go?

Another important thing we are trying to grow is our development program - we are trying to figure out some kind of training program for residents. Especially low-income neighborhoods, people of color and how to get more of our folks into boards and commissions of the city.

I fell in love in City Heights when I worked here. Since then I’ve really learned about the diversity and the value that City Heights brings to San Diego. I think it is a really exciting time to be in San Diego right now, especially in City Heights.”

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The Mid-City Community Advocacy Network's mission is to create a safe, productive,Quotation (Right)
and healthy community through collaboration, advocacy, and organizing.




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