By Adina Moloman
Sources: KPBS, UT San Diego
Bob Filner won election as mayor of San Diego in November 2012 and took office in early December 2012. He becomes the first Democrat elected mayor of San Diego since Maureen O’Connor in 1988.
Starting his election campaign he showed a high commitment to cross-border cooperation.
He based his campaign on continuing economic and financial changes in a city that has changed demographically; it has changed business perspectives, becoming the 8th largest economy in United States.
He made several promises throughout the campaign related to cross border cooperation and reiterated a few of them a few days ago.
The city’s newly created Border Affairs office will open February 1st, being the first U.S. city that opens an office in a border town, while Tijuana has kept an office in San Diego for some time.
The Border Affairs office in Tijuana is a place for gathering political and business leaders from both sides of the border in order to work on new initiatives.
One of the top priorities is to promote foreign investment in San Diego and Tijuana.
In the past decades the Tijuana Maquiladora Industryhas grown impressively (not only quantitatively but also qualitatively) where investors are building manufacturing facilities on the Mexico side of the border and set up corporate offices in San Diego. This kind of situations needs special concern and promotion from leaders of both sides of the border.
There is interest by Bob Filner staff in finding the resources for alternative transportation considering a light rail link to San Diego International Airport.
If the expansion of the rail system will become a reality, this would simplify the transport of goods between San Diego and Baja California and the central and eastern United States.
Filner’s broad ambitions agenda also includes: the border wait times issue, tourism promotion, regional and environmental planning concerns, and border infrastructure.