The 2022 State of the County Address was everything that an event in Calexico should be: Bilingual, multicultural, and full of fun.
Imperial County Board Chairman Jesus Eduardo Escobar, in his role as Chairman of the Board, gave a speech highlighting the achievements of the county now that they are moving away from the pandemic. This was the first in-person State of the County event since February 2020 when Supervisor Luis Plancarte gave his in El Centro just a few weeks before the lockdown began.
“For everyone, the past few years have been very challenging, adjusting our habits, lifestyles, and decisions based on the information available at the time. This Board and our county team members have dealt with maintaining the basic functions of local government to serve the needs of our residents while facing the same challenges as the rest of the community. Nevertheless, throughout the pandemic, we have been able to endure and thrive due to the resiliency and strength of our county employees,” Escobar said during his initial remarks.
Escobar said how county employees continue to deliver essential services to the community, addressing the health, safety, and welfare of the residents, during this pandemic, is humbling and makes him proud to have the opportunity to serve as the Chairman of the Board of the Imperial County Board of Supervisors.
“In 2021, our County continued its focus on protecting our community from COVID-19. The Board of Supervisors worked diligently in advocating week-over-week for an equitable distribution of vaccinations to our county. The Imperial County Public Health Department collaborated with public and private organizations and held 316 vaccination clinics, as well as conducted 52 home visits, and was able to administer 43,272 COVID-19 vaccines throughout the county.
In addition to its vaccination efforts, the Public Health Department had an extensive COVID-19 outreach, education, and engagement program that spanned our county and Mexicali and included providing updates to the community, media, school districts, and community-based organizations through community forums, press conferences, interviews, presentations, meetings, emails, and social media.
“In addition to its vaccination efforts, the Public Health Department had an extensive COVID-19 outreach, education, and engagement program that spanned our county and Mexicali and included providing updates to the community, media, school districts, and community-based organizations through community forums, press conferences, interviews, presentations, meetings, emails, and social media. They also continued with supporting and expanding our testing capacity, conducting outbreak investigations, and providing monitoring and reporting services to combat COVID-19. My sincere appreciation to the entire staff of our Public Health Department for shining through and through throughout this pandemic.
“Imperial County Behavioral Health Services provided mental health and substance use services and treatment programs to over 11,000 individuals last year. These services included therapy, rehabilitative services, intensive care coordination, crisis intervention, counseling, and case management.
Behavioral Health also started four new programs specialized in new treatments and therapies to reduce suicidal behaviors, improve outcomes for individuals with severe mental illness, connect clients to wellness activities that promote treatment, and alleviate the threat of an individual is a danger to oneself or others. Thank you to Director Leticia Plancarte and all our Behavioral Health team members.”
“In 2021, the Department of Social Services provided public assistance to more than 101,000 residents. This is an increase of 8% of families receiving safety net services from 2020. Through the administrative entity of the Imperial Valley Homeless Continuum of Care, the County provided more than 2,600 people experiencing homelessness with housing services. As a low-to-moderate income county that depends heavily on government support, I thank all our Social Services families for what they do day in and day out.”
“Our Public Administrator and Area Agency on Aging, better known as our AAA, worked effectively to ensure that our senior citizens were fed, had access to the internet, and had the appropriate resources to address their needs throughout our current pandemic. In 2021, the department secured funding to distribute meals to homebound seniors, reopened congregate meal sites, promoted senior reconnections with friends, and distributed iPads, internet boxes, and Google Home speakers to many seniors affected by the digital divide.”
“We will continue to work towards making Lithium Valley a tangible reality for our region. The Imperial County Board of Supervisors is fully committed to improving the quality of life for our entire community. This is why the Board of Supervisors made the forward-thinking move to be at the forefront of any decision or action that will impact those that live in this region and adopted the Lithium Valley Economic Opportunity Investment Plan to help bring new economic investment to Imperial County. We are taking control with an emphasis on economic, environmental, and social justice for all.
We will work in collaboration and support our partners and stakeholders. But make no mistake that this is our County asset and we will fight to ensure that this asset benefits the whole of Imperial County.”