Major Binational Mayor’s Summit In Rosarito Seeks to Unite The Californias

Published 29 March 10 09:54 AM

By Ron Raposa 


Mayors Hugo Torres and Rodolfo Valdez, with Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jose Guadalupe Osuna

SAN DIEGO---A major bi-national summit for mayors and other leaders from Southern and Baja California on issues ranging from the border crossing to desalination to public safety was announced today at the Mexican Consulate here.

The Fifth Bi-national Mayors’ Summit will be May 6 and 7 in Rosarito Beach. Universities and business groups from both sides of the border also will be represented to discuss mutual interests and actions.

The summit’s theme is “Uniting the Californias.”

“We live in a region that is closely linked by economy, environment, geography, friends and family,” said Mayor Hugo Torres of host city Rosarito Beach. “It is important that we all work together to achieve maximum benefit from those relationships.”

For the first time, the summit is being expanded to include six Southern California counties as well as the five cities of northern Baja. Southern California Mayors or their representatives from 70 cities are being invited.

May’s expanded summit is co-hosted by the cities of Rosarito Beach and Redondo Beach. The Mexico Business Center/San Diego Chamber of Commerce, Project Smart Border 2010 and Rancho Santiago Community College are among groups assisting.

Joining Torres for the announcement was Redondo Beach Mayor Pro Team Steve Diels and James Clark, director general of the Mexico Business Center of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, an event sponsor.

Mexico Consul General Remedios Gomez Arnau gave welcoming remarks.

“This summit serves as a forum to talk about all issues --- from trade and the economy to border issues and public safety --- that concern our independent nations,” Diels said.

“I am honored to be part of this unique group of men and women working for the best of both worlds. On behalf of Redondo Beach, we look forward to welcoming you to Rosarito and also hosting the next summit.”

Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, who was unable to attend today’s conference, sent a statement of support.

"We have hosted two of the bi-national summits in Santa Ana and have seen first-hand the benefits in bringing together officials from both sides of the border to work on key policy issues,” said Pulido.

“I'm especially pleased to see this summit expanded to include more Southern California   mayors,” he added.  “This will benefit the entire Southern California region.”

The future of the border crossings at San Ysidro, the busiest in the world, will be a focus of attention.

 “For purposes of commerce, shopping, tourism and keeping friends and family connected, it is extremely important that the border crossing operate efficiently, both north and southbound,” Clark said.

The Bi-national Mayors’ Forum is in keeping with the spirit of a memorandum of understanding between California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Baja California Governor Jose Guadalupe Osuna Millan for the two Californias to work together.

The Bi-national Mayors’ Forum will start with an early evening reception on Thursday May 6.

Friday will include a keynote presentation on the present and future of the border crossings, with speakers from both the U.S. and Mexico.

Friday also will feature six working groups --- border crossing, environment, desalination, public safety, economic development/investment and a bi-national mayors’ round table to discuss specific actions to benefit the region.


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