Petition drive launched to designate 6-block area in City Heights, Talmadge area as 'Little Saigon'

Proposed district would be along El Cajon Blvd.

SAN DIEGO - Imagine walking at night along a bustling street in San Diego, full of Asian foods and retail shops. That is one event being considered as some push for a six-block area in City Heights to be officially designated "Little Saigon."

Vietnam's night markets are known for their bustling activity, including plenty of food and shopping and entertainment.

The night market is one option being talked about amid a push to designate a part of El Cajon Boulevard in the City Heights and Talmadge area as "Little Saigon."

"I think it'll be great," said Tina Greenbank, who manages a salon in the area. "I think it'll give people a destination to go to."  

That destination is a six-block section between Highland and Euclid avenues. The area has been home to Vietnamese and other Asian businesses for nearly four decades.

The Little Saigon Foundation group has started an online petition asking the San Diego City Council to make the designation.

Charlie Tran, who owns the restaurant Pho King, thinks it will be good for business and good for the community.

"I think it will attract more people to come," said Tran. "I think it will give the community a sense of pride and identity."

Supporters of a "Little Saigon" district say that identity would also mean a sense of ownership, allowing the area to flourish.

Throughout the proposed district, banners that read "Little Saigon" have been purchased and set up, though there has been no official designation.

The proposed district falls in the area represented by San Diego City Councilwoman Marti Emerald. Her office told 10News they are supportive of the idea but would like to see a business plan.

The Little Saigon Foundation says it has been working on a business plan and will present it to council members.

So far, the group's petition drive – including a previous one which concentrated on businesses – has netted about 600 signatures. Click here for more information on the campaign.

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