San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria crossed the border Wednesday to join Tijuana Mayor Montserrat Caballero in calling for increased collaboration to address long border wait times and Tijuana River Valley pollution, among other bi-national issues.
The two mayors signed a memorandum of understanding that "strengthens the integral ties between San Diego and Tijuana," Gloria said. "We are an interconnected region that is stronger together, and agreements like this are a symbolic representation of our binational strength."
The signing of the memorandum had been delayed several times due to the coronavirus pandemic, and is intended to allow San Diego and Tijuana to "continue working together to share best practices and develop joint working programs in areas of common interest," a statement from Gloria's office read. Possible areas of collaboration include environmental protection, municipal and regional planning, economic development, emergency services and immigrant affairs.
"More unites us than the walls that divide us, we are united by both cultures, we are united by the love for our countries and this region," Caballero said, translated from Spanish. "With the signing of this MOU between Tijuana and San Diego, together we will build strong bridges of understanding in cultural, environmental, economic, touristic themes and many other areas we have in common."
The two cities will begin developing joint working programs to exchange information, develop a work plan and enhance cooperation between both cities. The two-year agreement is eligible for renewal upon its expiration in May 2024.