News & Updates

State Funding Secured for Otay Mesa East Land Port of Entry

The California Transportation Commission allocated more than $565 million for current projects and approved $2 billion in future improvements to address transportation needs across the state. This includes the following projects in our region:

  • $42.5 million for the State Route 11/Otay Mesa East Land Port of Entry project (Otay 2). The investment covers energy, water, and communication utility relocation, and studies including design plans on the port of entry.
  • $22.7 million to the City of San Diego for the La Media Road Expansion Project to improve cargo access and customs operations in Otay Mesa.
  • The $2 billion awarded for future projects will provide funding through 2023 to improve the movement of goods, increase mobility options and access to public transit, and support equity and environmental sustainability.

With 90 percent of California’s exports to Mexico traveling through our region’s ports of entry, the Otay Mesa East Land Port of Entry project will be a critical relief valve for cargo and passenger vehicles and will improve mobility while reducing air pollution and congestion across our regional ports of entry. In addition, the La Media Road Expansion project will optimize operations of local streets and reduce congestion at a critical trade corridor for California exports. Border wait times currently cost both countries $7.2 billion annually in lost economic output and impact over 62,000 jobs. The Chamber has issued letters in support of these projects to both U.S. and Mexican authorities.

Mayor Todd Gloria Sworn-In

Fil-Am Todd Gloria sworn in as San Diego mayorChamber-endorsed Todd Gloria took the helm of the City’s government on December 10th, in a historic and virtual swearing-in ceremony. Mayor Gloria has announced the majority of his team, including former senior staff at the Chamber, Paola Avila as Chief of Staff. You can find additional information on the executive team at City Hall here. Additionally, the City has launched a shop local campaign to help our neighborhood small businesses survive, and we look forward to a strong, productive relationship with the new Mayor and his team.

California Legislature Reconvenes

On December 7th, the California State Assembly and Senate reconvened for swearing-in of new members and the kick off of the 2021 legislative cycle. Of course, COVID will loom large in every major policy discussion, but the impact of COVID on the state’s budget remains a big question. The legislature wasted no time introducing priority bills. The 100+ pieces of legislation ranged from reevaluating the distribution of EDD funds, to mandating school returns in certain timelines, to extended eviction moratoriums. We will monitor for relevant updates and include in our weekly Legislative Updates for your convenience.

CalOSHA Adopts Emergency Regulations

CoronavirusEmergency COVID regulations were adopted for employers in the state of California. These regulations, designed to further protect the workforce and set clear COVID safety guidance, were quickly drafted and adopted. Additional discussion will be necessary to make adjustments as appropriate to ensure compliance. There will be one such discussion taking place on Friday, December 18th; however if you have any feedback based on these regulations or even general concerns, please let the policy team know as soon as possible so that your concerns can be included in that meeting.

In short, the regulations include:

  • a written COVID-19 prevention plan,
  • robust and detailed record keeping,
  • and notification procedures when outbreaks in a workplace do occur, among others.

You can find a full fact sheet here.

Five Leadership Action Team Partner Agencies Named by LEAD San Diego

LEAD San Diego has announced its five nonprofit partner agencies for 2021. Members of LEAD’s Impact San Diego Class of 2021 will form teams to gain hands-on experience by working with these organizations to accomplish vital projects that will benefit the agencies and our community.

The five agencies and their projects are:

The Armed Services YMCA of San Diego provides innovative and quality social, educational, and recreational programs to meet the needs of military service members and their families. The ASYMCA is committed to promoting its goals of strengthening military families, supporting healthy lifestyles, reducing isolation, and assisting service members and their families in connecting to their community. The project will focus on identifying the need, size & scope, creative usage, identifying risks & opportunities, and project timeline of a new strategic plan.

DETOUR is a mentoring program for girls of color with a vision to see equity and inclusion for teen girls of color in higher education and priority sector employment. Their mission is to increase access to education and employment opportunities for girls. This project will provide an action plan based on existing data, which will be provided, to determine the extent to which the San Diego region is empowering and increasing opportunities for girls of color.

Promises2Kids annually provides over 3,000 current and former foster youth in San Diego County with the tools, opportunities, and guidance they need to address the circumstances that brought them into foster care, overcome the difficulties of their past, and grow into healthy, happy, and successful adults. Their goal is to reshape their mentoring model to better reflect their identity through the recruitment, matching, and support of culturally representative community members.

The San Diego Mesa College Foundation exists to put a college education within reach for students who are working hard to build a better future. The organization is looking to put together a “storytelling toolkit” and training for their Board of Directors such that their passionate volunteers can get the word out and help more hardworking students access higher education.

Uptown Community Service Center provides critical services to over 2,000 homeless and very low-income persons each month. Their project proposes to create and implement an educational program to provide workshops and webinars for religious, business, and community organizations to help further their cause and break down stigmas.

Each Impact LAT will make a presentation about their completed project at their graduation event. It will be free and open to the public. Stay tuned to see how our Impact Class and Leadership Action Teams work together to make lasting changes within our region.

Women of Impact

The San Diego American Heart Association launched an exciting new leadership and networking initiative called Woman of Impact. Cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer of women, with 1 in 3 deaths in women attributed to cardiovascular disease or stroke. This new initiative will help reverse those number and reach more women than ever before.

Woman of Impact nominees are changemakers and leaders with a fierce passion for improving the health and wellness of our community and closing the gaps on health inequities. Nominees form an impact team that competes to earn points in fundraising and with direct impact and wellness activities like going for walks or learning CPR. At the conclusion of the 8 week spring campaign, the woman with the most points is named the first-ever San Diego Woman of Impact.

Nominees are currently being recruited. Contact Kristine Kappel at or call/text her at 773-718-8467 for more information.