The Characters

The Price of Renewal
Produced and Directed by Paul Espinosa

Mike Eichler. Professor, San Diego State University and founder of the Step-Up Program which identifies students from low-performing high schools and places them on a college track, preparing them to be part of the next generation of community leadership in City Heights.





Abdiweli Heibeh.  San Diego Police Officer who became the first Somali police officer in the country.  He found that the community policing standards of the SDPD could be adapted to work effectively with the African refugee community.





Jim Gilbert. Pastor, Fairmount Community Baptist Church, is an outspoken advocate of the poor and low-income renters in City Heights, raising questions about how redevelopment affects the less powerful in the community.





Valentina Hernandez. City Heights resident who is an outspoken critic of redevelopment.  She is oncerned that poor renters are being pushed out of the area and are being inexorably displaced by redevelopment projects.





Joanna Gutierrez. Hoover High School Student who participated in the Step-Up Program and designed a tutoring project for her community service.  Working in the program has made her believe she can make a difference in her community.





William Jones. CEO, CityLink Investment Corporation, an African-American real estate developer who was the youngest person ever elected to the San Diego City Council. Jones formed an unlikely partnership with philanthropist Sol Price and succeeded in attracting significant private and public investment into a neighborhood long shunned by suburbanites.




Zara Marselian. Founder and Director, La Maestra Family Clinic which serves the low-income and medically underserved in City Heights, most of whom are either Latino immigrants or refugees from Southeast Asia and Africa, without health insurance.





Jack McGrory. Executive Vice President, Price Charities and former City Manager of San Diego. McGrory has the unique experience of working on both sides of the public/private partnership in City Heights. In the early 1990s he was San Diego City Manager. Now he’s employed by Price Charities as the head of their redevelopment arm, the non-profit San Diego Revitalization Corporation.




Maria Martinez-Cosio. Sociologist currently at the University of Texas, Arlington, and former graduate student at the Univesity of Calfornia, San Diego. She studied City Heights in her doctoral dissertation, analyzing the neighborhood’s makeup and the transformation occurring in City Heights, focusing in particular on educational institutions.




Joseph Mosqueda. Local renter who came to San Diego to raise a family and is concerned about rising rents which may force him to leave the neighborhood.




Rosario Martinez-Iannacone. Parent Coordinator, Rosa Parks Elementary School, who helped turn the school into a resource for students and parents in the community.   




Linda Pennington. City Heights resident who uses her skills as a trained artist to paint out graffiti around the neighborhood and who has been a key force behind the drive to attract gay and lesbian homeowners to the neighborhood. 





Sol Price. Businessman, philanthropist and the founder of the Price Club who is widely recognized as the father of the discount warehouse industry.  Through Price Charities, a non-profit foundation created by Price, he has invested heavily in City Heights.





Nicholas Tran. CEO, Vien Dong Supermarkets, whose family was part of the first wave of Vietnamese refugees that came to City Heights in the late 1970s.  Tran and his family have built a very successful community business, meeting the consumer needs of Asians, Hispanics, and the other diverse clientele in City Heights.




Leland Saito. Sociologist at the University of Southern California  who specializes in urban politics, economic redevelopment, and race relations in multiracial communities.




Emilee Watts. Principal, Rosa Parks Elementary School, who invited the ethnically diverse neighborhood to participate in the school’s design, operations, and mission.





©  2006 Beyond The Dream LLC