News Release: Chamber Led Delegation Makes the Case for San Diego in Washington D.C.





USMCA, transboundary pollution, homelessness, and defense among key priorities

SAN DIEGO (Sept. 19, 2019) – A group of more than 160 business and civic leaders from San Diego and Baja California are headed to Washington D.C. to advance key issues related to jobs, commerce, and the regional economy. This is the largest group ever to take part in the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce’s annual “Mission to Washington D.C.” which brings delegates to the nation’s capital for three days beginning September 22.

“Our delegation is working to rally federal support for the projects and policies that directly affect business and the people living and working in the Cali-Baja region,” said Jerry Sanders, Chamber President and CEO. “With such a large, diverse group we’re not just telling our nation’s leaders that these issues are important to our region, we’re showing them who it matters to and why. It’s a powerful message.”

The 162-member delegation represents a diverse mix of industries, organizations, and elected officials from both sides of the border including San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastélum, Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear, Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina, and Poway Mayor Steve Vaus. The delegation will meet with government officials, agency representatives, and policy makers to enhance understanding and advance policy that creates the best environment for businesses and neighborhoods to thrive.

Two issues of high importance during the trip are the Tijuana River Valley transboundary pollution and the ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. On transboundary pollution, the delegation will meet with the Mexican Ambassador Martha Barcena, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of State, and members of Congress to discuss infrastructure projects and legislation that provides funding to move those projects forward. This includes the Tijuana River Valley Pollution Solution bill package and HR 132.

Delegates will also meet with Speaker Pelosi’s office, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador C. J. Mahoney, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and other members of Congress to push for ratification of the USMCA. For the new trade deal to take effect, it must be ratified by each country’s legislature. Mexico was the first country to ratify the deal in June.

In full, the three-day agenda includes over 30 meetings covering a variety of areas such as housing and homelessness, healthcare, defense and veterans, transportation, border infrastructure, and workforce development. Additional key priorities for the delegation:

  • Federal government support and funding for innovative local strategies to address homelessness
  • Border infrastructure projects including Otay 2, cross-border railroad, expedited cargo processing
  • Leveraging Federal government resources to promote, protect and expand San Diego’s defense industry

Delegates will meet with:

  • San Diego Congressional Representatives Susan Davis, Mike Levin, Scott Peters, Juan Vargas
  • Acting Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella
  • Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • Assistant Secretary for the Department of Energy
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of State
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of Veterans Affairs

Additional notable delegates:

  • Sue Saarnio, U.S. Consulate General, Tijuana
  • Ambassador Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, Consul General of Mexico in San Diego
  • San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox
  • San Diego City Council Members Jen Campbell, Chris Cate, Mark Kersey, Monica Montgomery and Vivian Moreno
  • Tijuana City Councilmembers Ivette Casillas and Monica Vega
  • Imperial Beach City Councilmembers Paloma Aguirre and Mark West
  • Coronado City Councilmember Bill Sandke
  • And representatives from various businesses and organizations, including: the Union of Pan Asian Communities, San Diego State University, Kaiser Permanente, Cox Communications, Qualcomm, Sempra Energy, Rancho Guejito.

The San Diego Regional Chamber is the only Chamber to lead annual binational delegation trips to the U.S. and Mexico capital cities. As the largest member-supported business organization in San Diego’s binational region, the Chamber serves as the leading voice for the business community and presents a united effort on the community’s behalf. The largest local chamber on the West Coast, the San Diego Chamber represents approximately 2,500 businesses and an estimated 300,000 jobs.

About the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce

The San Diego Regional Chamber is the hub for connections and collaboration among the regional business community, and uses that clout to advocate for public policies and candidates that support economic growth and the creation of jobs for all businesses. As the largest local Chamber on the West Coast, representing approximately 2,500 businesses and an estimated 300,000 jobs, the San Diego Regional Chamber is fighting to make San Diego the most business-friendly region in California. For more information, please visit or call 619-544-1300.



Media Contact: Alison Phillips
San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce
P: 619-544-1381 C: 805-886-8594