Monday, September 10, 2012

San Diego DC Trip Gets Underway

Alan Bersin, Chief Diplomatic Officer in the Department of Homeland Security
The Chamber's 6th Annual "One Region One Voice" trip officially got underway this morning with a Kick Off Delegation Breakfast.  After Chamber CEO and president, Ruben Barrales, provided details about the days ahead, Chief Diplomatic Officer for the Department of Homeland Security, Alan Bersin, took the stage.

Bersin spoke about the emerging middle class of Mexico and the opportunity that lies ahead for the mega region.  As the largest binational region, it's important to show how the border can work and to continue to develop the innovative ports of entry, including funding for San Ysidro.  Bersin talked about the accomplishment that both sides of the aisle have come together to achieve thus far but encouraged delegates to not lost sight of the enormous opportunity that the border presents.
San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts

San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts spoke next and thanked the delegates for taking the time to travel to DC.  He noted that as a whole the delegation is stronger than if we were to come here individually.  Our work in DC and across the nation has helped get grants for San Diego and the Chamber's annual DC trip continues to be a great success.

Mayor Jerry Sanders
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders also spoke to the delegation.  He mentioned the importance of San Diego representatives coming to DC to tell federal officials and Congressional leaders what's important for our region and why.  He highlighted a few key priorities for the region including creating jobs, the convention center and sequestration.  Sequestration, he added, would cut everything by 10% and more than 28,000 from the San Diego region alone.  It is the absolute worst case scenario that would devastate the economy and prolong the economic recession.  Mayor Sanders ended by highlighting the main reason for his involvement on the trip which is the US/Mexico border.  He emphasized that we cannot sacrifice the impact of the border and must ensure funding to complete the US crossing.  As the busiest land border in the world, billions and billions of dollars, economic growth and jobs are at stake.

Mayor Carlos Bustamante
Mayor Bustamante also mentioned the benefits of the border for both the US and Mexico.  He noted that what's good for San Diego is good for Tijuana and vice versa.  It's of the utmost importance that the delegation insist on funding for increased and improved border efficiency.

With that the breakfast ended and the delegates were off and running to a variety of morning meetings including the Pentagon, Department of State and several Congressional offices.