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Mid-City CAN Blog

City Heights resident to speak at conference

Angeli Hernandez, 20, received a full scholarship to go to the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Denver
Angeli Hernandez,
20, received a full
scholarship to go
to the New Partners
for Smart Growth
Conference in Denver.

Angeli Hernandez, 20, received a full scholarship to go to the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Denver to recognize her work advocating for the Youth Opportunity (Bus) Pass. The pass is a pilot-program that gives free passes to a thousand students at Hoover, Crawford, Lincoln, and San Diego High.

Hernandez, also a member of Mid-City CAN and its Improving Transportation in City Heights team, will be on a panel, called "YouthPass: The Next Generation of Transit Riders for Environmental and Climate Change," with transportation advocates from Portland, Ore., and Boston talking about her work in City Heights. The conference is Feb. 13-15 and includes "elected officials and city/county staff; state and federal agency leaders, professionals in planning, transportation, public health, landscape architecture, architecture, parks and recreation, housing, public works and crime prevention."

By Angeli Hernandez

This conference will shine light on a very important issue that is affecting my community and others. When we think of succeeding in life, we think about going to school, getting a job or just traveling.

Those plans start getting complex because we don't have the available resources to get us there. There is a cycle in our community where many youth are not able to go get opportunities like jobs because they can't pay for transportation. They can't get money because they don't have a job.

It is important for me to attend this conference because I will get to share our campaign and our story to the rest of the people that are attending. On the panel, I will be speaking alongside other youth and organizers from the U.S. who also have been trying to get transportation equity in their communities.

To me it's really important to be in this panel because we have to show that investing in our public transportation is worth it and make sure that youth and residents are able to use transit. This will benefit the society as a whole. As I have been on two planning calls and getting to know the people from the panel, it is evident that we share the same difficulties even though we live in different states.

I also see this conference as a learning opportunity. The organizers and youth have been working in a similar campaign longer than we have and they have successfully been able to expand it countywide. This is something what I hope happens in City Heights.

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