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Mid-City CAN Blog

Coordinating Council is a chance to help community

Two new members are joining the Mid-City CAN Coordinating Council, or the governing board, and both are focused on reaching out to the Vietnamese community in City Heights.

Jenny Trang is a student at San Diego State University, majoring in political science and minoring in child and family development.


Nancy Phung's family is known to many City Heights residents as the owners of Cali Baguette Express restaurant.

Sadad Ali was also re-elected. Anyone else interested in serving on the council should attend Mid-City CAN community meetings and contact Coordinating Council members for more information.

Trang and Phung discuss their experiences and what inspired them to get more involved with Mid-City Community Advocacy Network:

By Jenny Trang

I grew up in City Heights. I understand it.

Jenny Trang 
 Jenny Trang
I'm a student of political science. I've done internships with City Council Member Marti Emerald and Trustee Marne Foster on the San Diego Unified School Board.

My job as an intern was to expand focus on youth education. Right now there is some punishment, suspension for students, but nothing that helps them grow. It is part of what is called the pipeline to prison.

I worked with an organization San Diego Asian Youth Organization doing community service work. I also interned with Environmental Health Coalition.

I work at an afterschool program at Euclid elementary. I want an organizing job when I graduate in May. I'm interested in food justice as well as transportation issues.

I've really been impressed by Mid-City CAN's bus-pass program. Transportation is such a huge thing in City Heights. Even just to go to work it usually takes two to three hours.

I'm from a refugee family. I have lots of experience falling behind because of language barriers. As a child, my parents asked me to translate things like taxes, bills. I was forbidden to speak English at home. I struggled with writing and reading English in high school. It was tough to catch up. In middle school, I ditched class out of anger and frustration. If you don't have support at home – you give up.

But in high school I made a change, I lost a lot of friends. I had to refigure out who my friends were. I actually graduated high school with honors, my realization point was when a counselor said I might not be able to graduate. Then I started to work hard through online classes, summer school, taking extra classes.

I didn't know you had to have good grades to get into college. I thought it was like the transition from middle school to high school. It was a realization point.

I worked with Marne Foster on a research project where young people research the university they want to go to and the requirements to get in. It was inspired by my experiences.

By Nancy Phung

Nancy Phung
Nancy Phung

I got involved with Mid-City CAN because of the youth summit event it is planning. I left the restaurant in April. I've been learning a lot about community. It is an opportunity to give back.

I heard of Mid-City CAN and its work in food rights, as well as the skatepark and more recent projects. It gives kids this platform speak up for changes in the community.

I was born in Lemon Grove. My family went to church in City Heights. Mom had gift shop on El Cajon Boulevard. Cali Baguette opened 2007. It has been open about seven years.
A lot of people are surprised that I speak Vietnamese. Knowing it helps out with culture, from bargaining to gossip.

Coming into this, I've been learning about all the Mid-City CAN projects and efforts. I met Jenny, a young Vietnamese-American.

Mid-City CAN organizer Martin Moreno really gives high school and college students a platform to speak. I enjoyed hearing their ideas and opinions about the youth summit. I want to continue in helping with that.

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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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