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Mid-City CAN Blog

In my own words: Telling lawmakers about transit

On April 22 and 23, five City Heights resident leaders traveled to Sacramento to take part in the TransForm 2014 Transportation Choices Summit and Advocacy Day. Transportation and public health advocates learned about the legislative process on the first day. On the second day, the City Heights group split up and met with various state lawmakers to talk about the work that Mid-City CAN is doing to support public transportation with the Youth Opportunity (transit) Pass. The pass provides more than 800 students at Crawford, Hoover, Lincoln and San Diego high schools free transit passes. The group is working to expand the program.

Mid-City CAN Improving Transportation in City Heights Team Members Khamar Osman, Abdullahi Mohamed, Angeli Hernandez, Barbara Nevarez, and Abdulrahim Mohamed, who is also a Mid-City CAN Coordinating Council member, participated in the event.

By Abdulrahim Mohamed

Mid-City CAN Improving Transportation in City Heights Team Members Abdullahi Mohamed (left) and Abdulrahim Mohamed, on April 22 traveled to Sacramento to take part in the Transportation Choices Summit and Advocacy Day. Three other Mid-City CAN resident leaders also took part.  Mid-City CAN photo

Mid-City CAN Improving Transportation in City Heights Team Members Abdullahi Mohamed (left) and Abdulrahim Mohamed, on April 22 traveled to Sacramento to take part in the Transportation Choices Summit and Advocacy Day. Three other Mid-City CAN resident leaders also took part. Mid-City CAN photo

I came to Sacramento with my fellow compatriots to advocate for a bus pass program on a state level and learn about the legislative process.

Breakout sessions were valuable in that we were able to learn the importance of knowing what you want and going after it. We also learned about getting the right information to plan and execute our goals – and gain public support.

I have a vision for the City of San Diego: having those bus passes is not an entitlement for students. It teaches students responsibility. Students need to learn the consequences of using it.

We are here to give them the opportunity to succeed, give them the opportunity to go to a job – with accessibility.

If you try hard enough and you put in the work you can go a long way.

I’m an example. I was born in Somalia, and grew up in the United States after living in Canada. I was held back a grade at Hoover High School. Now I’m getting my graduate degree. I wish I had the Youth Opportunity Pass when I was in high school.

The [state legislators] were very supportive. We learned about mobilizing people to vote – with more people, more power.

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