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Mid-City CAN Blog

#CityHeightsDebate a community celebration

#CityHeightsDebate
More than 300 people packed into Hoover auditorium on Jan. 25 for the
#CityHeightsDebate. Many more came for the community celebration
outside. To see more photos, click here and here. To see the entire
debate, click here.
 Photo by Mike Ngo

 

 

On Jan. 25 more than 300 City Heights residents and nearby community members came to Hoover High School in City Heights to hear two mayoral candidates and have a community celebration.

The event's co-hosts were Mid-City CAN and its Youth Council and the Cesar Chavez Service Clubs and Educate for the Future.

All seats were reserved in the 320 seat Hoover High School auditorium two days before the event, and a wait-list at the event grew to as many as 50 people.

"City Heights residents are incredibly civically engaged and have really responded to this opportunity," said Diana Ross, collaborative director at Mid-City CAN.

The event was moderated by San Diego 6 anchor Heather Myers, with a panel featuring Jim Patton, San Diego 6 News anchor and reporter. Other panelists came from the community co-hosts: Hiyab Seadedin, a sixth grader at Roosevelt IB Middle School and president of the Cesar Chavez Service Clubs, and Rosa Olascoaga, a senior at Patrick Henry High School and representative of Mid-City CAN and its Youth Council.

The community co-hosts each created questions, as did San Diego 6, which also used online submissions. The event aired on prime-time on San Diego 6.

Officials at the event were impressed.

"I thought the debate was great," said Kevin Beiser, president of the San Diego Unified School Board. "I'm so proud of our students, especially the student from Patrick Henry High School and the sixth-grader for asking great questions."

Having it in an accessible, public location set it apart from other mayoral debates -- set in TV studios – as did its community driven nature.

"I think it is also important that Mid-City/City Heights groups were represented here today and that they had a voice," Beiser said. "Whoever does get elected will have to think twice when allocating resources to different neighborhoods in our city."

San Diego Unified School District superintendent Cindy Marten was also impressed by the young panelists' performances.

It was a "great opportunity for our kids at participate at the debate and to lead the conversation about who is going to be the next mayor of San Diego," Marten said. "They were so calm. They were so poised in front of the camera asking questions that matter and really putting people that are going to be elected on the spot."

Rosa Olascoaga, 17, felt like the location added interest to the event.

"Hearing all the candidates talking about issues that are important to City Heights was fascinating," she said.

Hoover Instructor Christopher Mena said students responded to having the event on campus.

"The candidates are here –one of the people here is going to be mayor, so they are really excited about it," he said.

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