Nora Vargas has served one year as vice-chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, with several unprecedented accomplishments.
“A year ago, I vowed to represent the residents of District 1 and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve and raise their voices,” said Vargas, the first female immigrant, and ethnic minority resident to hold the position.
Among her achievements as supervisor, she highlights that her district experienced the hardest hit when the pandemic broke out, but it stands out as the most protected through her own initiatives.
Residents in District 1 who are within the eligible age group for vaccination against COVID-19 are 99.9 percent vaccinated with at least one dose, and 92 percent of residents are fully vaccinated.
Vargas achieved these results by installing vaccination centers and motivating the bilingual community to support those who don't speak English proficiently or technological resources to make appointments, immediately made all information on the pandemic within the county bilingual, and launched an extensive campaign to ensure nobody is unvaccinated in her district.
As a representative of the border from San Diego county, Vargas' initiatives lead to the vaccination of 26,000 maquiladora workers from Baja California, allowed for soldiers who have been deported and are living in Baja California to cross to San Ysidro to be vaccinated, and granted the same permissions for children in Baja California.
She was one of the main political figures in the county who pushed for the end of restrictions on non-essential border crossings so that binational families could reunite and border businesses could reactivate.
Vargas, who was born in Tijuana and grew up in San Diego, achieved the new San Diego County Office Refugee and Immigrant Affairs, which comprehensively addresses the issues and needs of immigrants.
Also at her initiative, the San Diego County Council Government unanimously approved an end by mandate to all types of discrimination against women.
The human aspect of Vargas' achievements is remarkable. However, in numbers, her work within one year stands out.
Vargas promoted 41 initiatives to protect equity in San Diego county, included 18 commissioners that reflect local diversity, carried out 84 events to connect the community, conducted one hearing to define the county's budget, and held 320 meetings to speak with the community.