As the creation of a California-Mexico Commission is waiting for the signature of approval by the California governor, a group of leaders is urging him to support this initiative.
In a letter signed by 19 California leaders from media directors, elected officials, chambers of commerce, and university representatives are urging Governor Gavin Newsom to sign SB 558 that will create the Commission of California-Mexico Affairs and will develop a closer relationship of the state with Mexico.
“As the federal government increases animosity towards one of our closest allies, now is the time for California to lead the way to foster productive conversations with Mexico, and to find new and innovative ways to lead domestically and internationally,” the letter reads.
The letter explains how the bill tasks the commission with improving collaboration between California and Mexico to address matters of particular concern to California. The commission would further this mission by holding hearings, cooperating with other state agencies, appointing advisers or advisory committees, and advising the state on matters of particular importance regarding the border and close proximity with Mexico.
“These issues are not just limited to immigration and include: water and air quality, binational and bilingual education, cultural exchanges and tourism, economic and infrastructure development, improving trade corridors and lowering border wait times, developing a cross-border workforce, and many more,”
The letter points out that the constant changes in administrations and political parties make it difficult to facilitate the strategic long-term planning that is required to address binational and cross-border issues.
The letter tells the governor that community organizations, non-profits, and private businesses have led any efforts to work with the people of Mexico to address cross-border problems. The letter tells Newsom that it’s time that the state invests in the relationship with Mexico and that California needs to prioritize the economic interests of the binational relationship.
“By signing this bill, you have a unique opportunity to continue your global leadership and show an uncooperative federal government that California will take every step to prioritize working with the people of Mexico to address issues of mutual concern. For quite some time, the binational community has been provided with band-aid solutions; SB 558 provides the avenue to forge effective policy and programmatic responses in the face of a federal administration more interested in scoring political points than helping the people of our state.”