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This post originally appeared in the Dec. 6 Sacramento Report. Get the Sacramento Report delivered to your inbox.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a memorandum of understanding with the governors of Baja California Norte and Baja California Sur in San Diego this week reviving the Commission of the Californias, a state commission that allows California officials to collaborate on issues with the Mexican government.
The agreement will allow officials to share information on key areas of interest, including environment and energy, transportation and infrastructure, emergency preparedness, economic development, agriculture and public health.
“We know the challenges in front of us,” said Newsom. “We know the partnerships that must take shape, and we know that none of us can do this alone.”
Baja California Norte Gov. Jamie Bonilla Valdez said water quality issues, like Tijuana River pollution, and needs from the business community are a top concern.
“Any problem that happens in San Diego has an effect in Tijuana and vice-versa. If we understand that, then we can work together on the issues,” said Bonilla.
He said addressing the cross-border sewage issue is on the top of the Mexican president’s agenda. “We already know that it’s an international issue,” he said. “And we take full responsibility on our side.”
Newsom noted that cross-border relationships are especially important in the San Diego-Tijuana region, but “not to folks across the rest of the country.”
“That’s why I’m particularly proud to be here today to tell a different story, sort of mark a different journey and to begin a new conversation about our fate and future,” Newsom said.