News & Updates

San Diego County Allocates $3M for Migrant Support Services

This month, the County Board of Supervisors voted to allocate $3 million for migrant support services, with funding coming from the American Rescue Plan Act. This funding aims to last up to three months with the County considering long-term solutions from the federal government and finding a location for a temporary migrant center. 

“The funding measure, recommended by District 1 Supervisor and Board Chair Nora Vargas, is one of the first steps local officials have taken to address the more than 13,000 migrants — many of them asylum seekers — who have been dropped off at transit centers across the county since Sept. 13. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol continue to process migrants, many of whom waited sometimes days at the U.S.-Mexico border, before dropping off around 500 people a day.”

Read Full San Diego Union-Tribune Article 

Nov 7 Special Election Ballots Hit Mailboxes

You’ve got mail!

Ballots are now out for the November 7 Special Election’s registered voters in the following areas: The County’s Fourth Supervisorial District Seat, City of Chula Vista – City Attorney, Fallbrook Public Utility District and Rainbow Municipal Water District. Fallbrook and Rainbow voters will vote on the ballot measure on whether the districts can cede from the San Diego County Water Authority. 

Only the voters who live in each of those districts can vote in their respective elections. If you’re not sure whether you reside in one of the following districts, you can look it up at

City of San Diego 2024 Minimum Wage Increase

Starting January 1, 2024, the City’s minimum wage will increase to $16.85 per hour.

To assist in determining if a work location is within the geographic boundaries of the City of San Diego, employers and/or employees can find the community by  City Council District or can enter the specific address of the work location in the interactive geographic boundaries map.

The City of San Diego’s Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance,  San Diego Municipal Code (SDMC) Chapter 3, Article 9, Division 1 became effective on July 11, 2016. It is applicable to employees who perform at least two (2) hours of work in one or more calendar weeks of the year within the geographic boundaries of San Diego.

Learn More



Major California Bills Signed and Vetoed by Newsom

This month, Governor Newsom acted on over 470 bills and vetoed about 20%. Most of the vetoes touched on financial concerns associated with the bills or duplicative actions created by bills. 

Governor Newsom signed SB 326 and AB 531, two bills that reform California’s Mental Health Services Act, sending them to the March 2024 ballot for voters to consider. This reform package has been the Governor’s top ballot measure priority and an increasingly large overall focus for the administration. If passed, the Mental Health Services Act would be renamed as the Behavioral Health Services Act and funding would be disbursed differently, with specific amounts set aside for housing interventions and for wraparound services to tackle behavioral health and substance use challenges. The other part of the package is a bond to finance 10,000 new treatment beds and supportive housing units throughout the state.

The Governor also signed SB 525, the deal between labor unions and the healthcare industry that will allow for a phased-in healthcare worker minimum wage of $25 per hour while preventing unions from running local healthcare wage ballot initiatives for ten years. The deal offers predictability to health systems and avoids costly and unnecessary ballot initiative battles. However, this unfunded mandate will continue to be a significant financial challenge to the healthcare industry due to the cost of implementation. 

On the other hand, a couple of major signings. SB 253 by Senator Scott Wiener, explained here, and SB 261 by Senator Henry Stern, here. The Chamber opposed these bills, but Newsom has said he will work with concerned stakeholders next year to do some “clean up” and try to minimize negative impacts to business from the legislation. 

Newsom also signed SB 677 into law, a bill from Senator Blakespear that includes an assessment on the threat climate change poses for rail service in San Diego. The study will help find projects that can increase the climate resiliency of the LOSSAN Rail Corridor and hopefully improve it in the face of future climate challenges. 

The Governor also signed a package of 56 bills focused on streamlining housing, affordability, and tenant protections – including AB 1287 by Assemblymember David Alvarez, which expands the state Density Bonus Law by creating a new “Middle Income Bonus Program.”


Chamber Led Binational Delegation in Mexico City Advocating For Cali-Baja Priorities

Hi-res delegation photo available for download here

A group of nearly 90 business and community leaders from San Diego and Baja California – including Mayor Todd Gloria and San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Nora Vargas – traveled to Mexico City to champion U.S.-Mexico relations and advance issues critical to the success of the binational business community

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 17th annual Binational Delegation to Mexico City included a list of priorities to advance the border region.

View Binational Delegation to CDMX Photo Albums Here

The full agenda touched on various topics important to our binational region, from border infrastructure and efficiency to cross-border water management and sustainability, Mexico’s energy sector, and trade opportunities through USMCA.

During our water and sustainability session, delegates learned about 2 upcoming announcements on key infrastructure projects in Tijuana to address transboundary pollution impacting our community. The news included investment in urgently needed wastewater treatment plants. Previous delegations and advocacy efforts helped identify a list of projects on both sides of the border to mitigate pollution and secure funding from the U.S. and Mexico’s federal governments to advance their implementation.

Furthermore, IBWC Commissioner Adriana Reséndez and NADBank CEVO Salvador López reflected on water scarcity challenges and talked about public-private partnership opportunities to reach water sustainability goals and ensure water supply for the border region.

Other sustainability conversations included the transition to zero-emission vehicles and access to renewable energy, efforts, and infrastructure projects led by the private sector, and Mexico’s energy policies and regulations over the years.

Delegates also had several conversations about the impacts of migration during separate sessions with the US Embassy and Mexico’s National Institute of Migration. The Chamber learned that several federal agencies in Mexico, including the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs (SRE), continue to work with Central and South America to tackle the root causes of migration.

Additionally, Roberto Velasco, Chief Officer for North America at SRE, committed to follow up with Mexican federal agencies on long border wait times affecting traffic going south from San Diego to Tijuana.

One of the most impactful meetings brought together representatives from federal agencies overseeing border infrastructure efficiency. Delegates heard about investment in new technologies that will help streamline customs processes at airports, accurately measure border wait times at land ports of entry, and enhance resource allocation to facilitate crossings. Follow-up items include addressing congestion and infrastructure needs on trade corridors and bridges connecting to the land ports of entry in Tijuana.

Delegates also met with representatives of key commissions at the Mexican Senate including North America Foreign Affairs, Border and Migration Affairs, Economy, Public Health, and USMCA Implementation.

Hearing and seeing it from Mexico’s perspective and those working on it every day gives a new perspective on the deep complexities that there are.

Here’s what our regional leaders shared about the 17th Annual Binational Delegation to Mexico City:

“The Chamber is very proud to lead this binational delegation to Mexico City for the 17th year. Our mission is, and always has, been clear: collaboration between nations is not a choice; it’s an imperative,” said Jerry Sanders, President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. “At the heart of Mexico’s vibrant capital, we aim to build bridges of opportunity and collaboration that will benefit both the San Diego and Cali-Baja regions. Together, we unlock the potential that lies in our partnerships, fostering economic growth and quality of life for our border communities.”

“San Diego is a proud binational region with deep connections to Mexico,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “Throughout the year, we work to strengthen our U.S.-Mexico ties, and over the next few days we bring this united voice to the nation’s capital to address issues like immigration, cross-border pollution, and reducing border wait times.”

“As a proud Fronteriza and the first Latina Chairwoman in the County of San Diego’s 200-year history, I’ve had a lifelong commitment to emphasize the importance of the binational relationships between the U.S. and Mexico, and the people that make up our region,” said Chairwoman Nora Vargas. “We must prioritize some of the shared challenges in our binational region for the network of infrastructure along our border, including critical projects at Tijuana River Valley and East Otay Mesa. We’re tirelessly working with partners on both sides of the border to make sure our shared priorities align and advance together. Mexico is our cultural and economic partner. Together, we unlock countless opportunities for trade, investment, and growth, benefiting the entire binational community. Competing globally here in the Cali-Baja region means leveraging each other’s strengths. With Mexico, we combine talent, resources, and innovation to build stronger and healthier communities.”

“My goal is to have the delegation trip strengthen the bi-national commerce relationship and to promote business investment opportunities in the City of Chula Vista and the San Diego region. Mexico is the largest trading partner with the United States and we need to work together to create security, prosperity, and improve the quality of life in the San Diego-Tijuana Economic Region,” said Chula Vista Mayor John McCann.

The delegation represented a diverse mix of regional leaders, industries, organizations, and elected officials from San Diego and Baja California including:

● San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria
● San Diego County Board of Supervisors and SANDAG Chairwoman Nora Vargas
● Baja Secretary of Tourism Miguel Aguíñiga
● California State Assemblymember Tasha Boerner
● San Diego Councilmembers Vivian Moreno and Marni von Wilpert
● Tijuana City Councilmembers Juan Carlos Hank and Rogelia Arzola
● Chula Vista Mayor John McCann and Councilmember Carolina Chavez
● Coronado Councilmember John Duncan
● Ambassador Carlos Gonzales Gutierrez Consul General of Mexico in San Diego.

Media Coverage

San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Heads to Mexico City for Annual Delegation 

90-Member Chamber Delegation Heading to Mexico City on Bi-National Business

Binatinal Trip to CDMX Televisa Coverage



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LEADers On The Move

We enjoy seeing what our graduates are doing and how they are making an impact on the world. Share your good news with us via email:

Elizabeth Cox (Impact 2016) left SANDAG after 11+ years and joined the San Diego County Office of Education as Director of Communications.

Nancy Saavedra (Advance 2023) is now Network Practice Support Manager for Integrated Health Partners of Southern California.

Vanessa Ruiz (Impact 2009 & Advance 2017) is the new Managing Director of U.S. Programs and Growth for Global Communities.

Stephanie Hernandez (Impact 2023) is now Program Coordinator of the Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement for the County of San Diego.

Dr. Inez Gonzalez Perezchica (Impact 2001) has been named a 2023 Latino Leader of Influence by the San Diego Business Journal.

Nancy Maldonado (Advance 2017 & Influence 2020) has been named a 2023 Latino Leader of Influence by the San Diego Business Journal.

Adriana Ochoa (Impact 2013) has been named a 2023 Latino Leader of Influence by the San Diego Business Journal.

Liz Ramirez (Advance 2020 & Influence 2023) has been named a 2023 Latino Leader of Influence by the San Diego Business Journal.

Manuel Rodriguez (Influence 2019) has been named a 2023 Latino Leader of Influence by the San Diego Business Journal.

Sofia Salgado Robitaille (Impact 1997) has been named a 2023 Latino Leader of Influence by the San Diego Business Journal.

Alan Tornel (Impact 2024) has been named a 2023 Latino Leader of Influence by the San Diego Business Journal.

Krista Torquato (Influence 2015) has been named a 2023 Latino Leader of Influence by the San Diego Business Journal.





What will it take to end hunger in San Diego County? San Diego Hunger
Coalition is determined to find out.

San Diego Hunger Coalition (SDHC) leads coordinated action to end hunger in San Diego County
supported by research, education and advocacy. This 501c3 nonprofit organization partners
with local stakeholders to improve food access, championing initiatives to feed our vulnerable
neighbors. They embody community service, going beyond business goals to address a
fundamental human issue – hunger.

The Hunger Coalition’s latest research estimates that 740,614 San Diego County residents (23%
or nearly 1 in 4) are food insecure, meaning they do not have enough nutritious food for an
active, healthy life. The work of San Diego Hunger Coalition positively impacts our regional
economy by helping tens of thousands of households each year to become financially stable
and stimulates the local economy by boosting people’s food budgets, enabling them to spend
not only more money at the grocery store but on other goods and services as well – all of which
supports local jobs and businesses.

San Diego Hunger Coalition elevates issues and practical solutions to San Diego County’s
elected officials, and they provide data, maps and dashboards with hunger statistics by district
illustrating current need, food assistance levels, and remaining unmet need by ZIP code.
Annually, 350+ organizations and 1,375 trained Hunger Free Navigators participate in an SDHCled training or taskforce. The Hunger Coalition’s leadership and facilitated tables also reduce
competition, enabling stakeholders to better align their efforts and resources through a datadriven approach to ending hunger.

The Hunger Coalition predicts that their Hunger Free San Diego initiative, including shared data
metrics and methodologies and the Hunger Free Navigator program, will be a national model
within five years. It has already been recognized by USDA, Baylor University and the National
Alliance to End Hunger for its innovation and effectiveness. SDHC was also awarded the 2023
Small Business Award by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

This year, on Thursday, November 16th, SDHC will host its 5th Annual State of Hunger luncheon
where they will be celebrating the successes of the hunger relief community and will be
presenting their latest data and leading solutions to hunger in San Diego County. If you would
like to attend visit