San Diego Opens City Office . . in Tijuana

WORLD

San Diego Opens City Office . . in Tijuana
Opening a satellite city office in a far-flung neighborhood is not unusual in sprawling cities like San Diego, California. But one thing sets apart Mayor Bob Filner’s newest outpost: It is in another country.

Dos ciudades, pero una region—we are two cities, but one region,” Filner said.

"We need to make the border the center, not the end," says San Diego Mayor Bob Filner." Photograph courtesy Sgt. 1st Class Gordon Hyde, National Guard

“We need to make the border the center, not the end,” says San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.
Photograph courtesy Sgt. 1st Class Gordon Hyde, National Guard

Discussion Ideas:

  • The new San Diego city office in Tijuana is part of a long-term initiative to increase political and economic cooperation between the two cities. The New York Times article mentions long delays at the border (up to three hours), a joint bid to host the 2024 Olympics, and Tijuana’s robust manufacturing economy as issues the new city office looks forward to addressing. Can students name some other ways San Diego and Tijuana might work together to foster greater communication and cooperation? Look at the region on our MapMaker Interactive to get some ideas.
    • Environment
      • The cities share common watersheds, primarily the Tijuana River Valley. Until the late 1990s, untreated sewage flowed into the valley. The South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant now regularly meets U.S. environmental standards.
      • Natural hazards, such as wildfires, impact regions on both sides of the border. The San Diego and Tijuana mayors have discussed coordinating efforts to combat such hazards and provide aid to victims.
      • Although the cities do not share an electrical grid, San Diego Gas and Electric has agreed to purchase energy from the Energia Sierra Juarez Project, a large wind farm in Baja California.
    • Military
    • Sports
      • The Xolos, Tijuana’s soccer team, are the current champions of the Mexican league. The Xolos enjoy tremendous cross-border popularity (San Diego Mayor Filner calls them “our champions”), and popular winger Joe Corona is a graduate of San Diego State University.
      • The San Diego Padres baseball team has been embraced by its Tijuana neighbors.
    • Arts and Communication
      • The cities recently established the “first binational youth orchestra in the U.S.
      • The Border Arts Workshop/Taller de Arte Fronterizo and other regional artists have been exploring the symbols, signs, and attitudes of the border for almost 30 years.
      • Tijuana musicians such as Julieta Venegas and Carlos Santana enjoy enormous success in both the United States and Mexico.
      • Both Tijuana and San Diego enjoy healthy tourist-driven economies. The drug wars put a dangerous dent in the area’s legendary nightlife, but a concentrated effort to combat crime has led to the region’s recovery.
      • All television and radio frequencies must be approved by both the Federal Communications Commission (U.S.) and the Comisión Federal de Telecomunicaciones (Mexico). This regulation forces all broadcasters to cooperate with both countries.
  • Look at the population density layer of our MapMaker Interactive. What other cities in the U.S. do students think may benefit from an office across the border (or already have one)?
    • Brownsville, Texas (Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico)
    • Buffalo, New York (Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada)
    • Detroit, Michigan (Windsor, Ontario, Canada)
    • El Paso, Texas (Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico)
    • There are dozens of smaller transnational urban areas:
      • Calexico, California (Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico)
      • Douglas, Arizona (Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico)
      • Laredo, Texas (Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico)
      • Nogales, Arizona (Nogales, Sonora, Mexico)
      • Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada)

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