A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and Tijuana Mayor Montserrat Caballero on Wednesday to increase collaboration in addressing long border wait times and promote advocacy of other cross-border challenges.
The signing of the MOU comes after several delays caused by the COVID–19 pandemic. Gloria said that both mayors agreed to “strengthen the integral ties between San Diego and Tijuana".
"We are an interconnected region that is stronger together, and agreements like this are a symbolic representation of our bi-national strength,'' Gloria said.
According to a statement shared by Gloria’s office, the MOU will allow both cities to develop joint working programs to exchange information and develop a work plan to enhance cooperation.
“The MOU will allow San Diego and Tijuana to continue working together to share best practices and develop joint working programs in areas of common interest,” Gloria’s office wrote in a statement.
The areas of collaboration between the two cities include environmental protection, municipal and regional planning, economic development, emergency services, and immigrant affairs.
"More unites us than the walls that divide us, we are united by both cultures, we are united by the love for our countries and this region,'' Caballero said, translated from Spanish. "With the signing of this MOU between Tijuana and San Diego, together we will build strong bridges of understanding in cultural, environmental, economic, touristic themes and many other areas we have in common.''
The two-year agreement is eligible for renewal upon its expiration in May 2024.
Gloria’s visit to Tijuana marked his first since becoming Mayor of San Diego. Caballero gifted Gloria a cake to celebrate his birthday, which took place Tuesday.