A YEAR OF IMPACT BUILDING HEALTHIER AND STRONGER COMMUNITIES
TO MY COMMUNITY, I want to take a moment to thank each of you for the honor of representing District 1. It has been my absolute pleasure to serve and elevate our communities during these very challenging times. This has been a difficult year for many, and as my heart goes out to everyone who lost someone because of this pandemic, I can assure you that it is each of you that have helped shape my priorities. Of course, I haven't done any of this alone and as we kick off a new year, I want to thank my amazing team. In 2021, the District 1 Equity Squad and our County staff, helped achieve transformational change; from working to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic, to championing equity-minded policies that are creating long-term institutional change and shining a light on the issues that impact our communities.
I am proud that we have made significant investments in our neighborhoods and I am grateful for the outpouring of support and input we received from residents along the way to ensure the county is responsive to their needs. We have compiled this “Year Of Impact” report to highlight some of the accomplishments our office has had since taking office on Jan. 4, 2021. It is not lost on me how instrumental every partnership and community voice has been as we work to build healthier and stronger communities -this has truly been a year of impact and progress. In Service,
Vice Chair Nora Vargas Supervisor, District 1 San Diego County Board of Supervisors
SNAPSHOT OF IMPACT 41 EQUITY-CENTERED POLICY INITIATIVES
NEWLY APPOINTED COMMISSIONERS THAT REFLECT THE DIVERSITY OF OUR DISTRICT
84 COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT EVENTS
10 COMMUNITY BUDGET HEARINGS & FORUMS
320 COMMUNITY MEETINGS & ROUNDTABLES 2
REGIONAL LEADERSHIP As Vice Chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, I've had the honor of serving as Co-Chair of the COVID-19 Subcommittee where I have fought for our community to have access to quality health care.
Additionally, I'm proud to serve as Chair of the SANDAG Transportation Committee as well as Chair for the Air Pollution Control District where we are advancing our equity agenda through key regional initiatives.
Proudly serve on the following regional, state, and national boards and committees: Transparency Committee, Co-Chair San Diego County Regional Airport Authority National Association of Counties (NACo) California State Association of Counties (CSAC) Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) Regional Taskforce on Homelessness Continuum Of Care Advisory Board Urban Counties of California (UCC) San Diego Workforce Partnership
MAKING GOVERNMENT WORK FOR ALL, NOT JUST FOR SOME
Budgets are a reflection of our communty's values. As a result, I introduced a budget equity tool to ensure that we are intentionally embedding equity as a strategy in our annual budget versus an equality approach. We held community forums and heard back from constituents about priorities for each district. For the first time, we engaged our community countywide and secured $284 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding (ARPA) to support District 1 priorities. Our priorities included: hazard pay for workers, rental assistance, mental health, and more. ADOPTED BUDGET FOR 2021 -2022
ARPA PRIORITY FUNDING TO UPLIFT COMMUNITIES
Through our grants programs, we funded new, unique organizations, not previously engaged, but doing the work every day to ensure our communities are healthy and strong COMMUNITY ENHANCEMENT GRANTS
NEIGHBORHOOD REINVESTMENT GRANTS
SMALL BUSINESS STIMULUS GRANTS
KEEPING OUR COMMUNITIES SAFE As Co-Chair of the COVID-19 Subcommittee, I immediately introduced equity-minded initiatives that helped mitigate the impacts of the pandemic in our communities, and brought increased vaccination and testing sites to South County. Before becoming Supervisor, I had already established a coalition of trusted nonprofit organizations to help me hit the ground running once I took office. Thank you to the countless nonprofits, media outlets, and faithbased organizations for their partnership. I am especially grateful to our South County officials, our local mayors, councilmembers, school board members, who were true partners in keeping our communities safe.
BY NOVEMBER 2021, SOUTH REGION WAS LEADING THE COUNTY IN VACCINATION RATES, WITH:
92% ELIGIBLE RESIDENTS FULLY VACCINATED
99.9% RESIDENTS HAVING AT LEAST ONE DOSE
We have a long way to go, but only by working together and following public health guidelines will we be able to beat this pandemic.
LAUNCHED THE SOUTH COUNTY EQUITY AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY TASKFORCE Comprised of organizations and individuals on the ground in those communities that were hardest hit, allowing us to more quickly identify what our communities needed.
7 County testing sites opened in District 1
Second Countywide Superstation was established in South County
12 Vaccination Sites established in District 1
LEVERAGED PARTNERSHIPS Collaboration with trusted organizations with a record of community impact, was key to ensuring residents had equitable access to testing and the vaccine in hardest hit communities.
HIGHLIGHTS Partnered with Governor Newsom’s office and faithbased communities including Catholic churches to provide access to vaccines Worked with our local firefighters and first responders to ensure homebound seniors and those individuals unable to go to a vaccination site could receive the vaccine in their home Prioritized vaccination and testing sites in the most impacted communities Developed interventions including PROMOTORA engagement, pilot walk-up sites, and worked with 2-1-1 to expand and support with vaccine appointments Worked with CAL Fire on Operation Collaboration coordinating vaccine distribution for our farmworkers in rural areas of our county
ECONOMIC PROSPERITY Until 2021, San Diego County was one of two counties in California without a formalized economic development office. Proudly introduced the creation of the Office of Economic Prosperity and Community Development. In 2021, I prioritized mitigating COVID-19 and focused on an equitable economic recovery - we did that by uplifting local businesses and making significant investments in our communities.
ECONOMIC EMERGENCY STIMULUS ZONES Directed the County's Chief Administrative Officer to explore funding opportunities at the state and federal level to support businesses and our unique binational workforce most severely affected by COVID-19.
MICROENTERPRISE HOME KITCHENS (MEHKOS) To address some of the biggest challenges faced by women due to the pandemic we introduced an initiative to formalize Microenterprise Home Kitchens. These home-based food businesses uplift nontraditional food entrepreneurs who are usually women, immigrants, people of color and others facing barriers such as the average startup cost of $400,000 for a brick and mortar restaurant.
ELEVATING OUR BINATIONAL POWER As a proud immigrant and child of our binational and bicultural region, I am honored to be the first woman of color and immigrant elected to the Board of Supervisors, and also the first person to share remarks in Spanish from the dais.
IMPACTFUL ACCOMPLISHMENTS Launched first pilot program together with Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce and UC San Diego Health to engage local businesses, freight drivers and food service workers, resulting in 10,000 vaccinations Spearheaded the effort to vaccinate over 26,000 maquiladora workers from U.S. subsidiary companies operating in Baja in partnership with Consulate General of México, UC San Diego Health, and Consejo de Desarrollo de Tijuana Ensured that deported veterans, who served the country and now reside in Tijuana, had access to vaccines Successfully piloted cross-border program aimed at vaccinating children under 12 years of age from Baja California Launched air quality monitoring station at the U.S. Consulate building in Tijuana Fought to lift cross-border travel restrictions Prompt and accessible bilingual information relating to the pandemic
CHAMPIONED THE ADOPTION OF TRANSFORMATIVE POLICIES PRIORITIZING ACCESSIBILITY, EQUITY, AND JUSTICE TRANSPORTATION As Chair of SANDAG's Transportation Committee, led the efforts for a regional investment of $8 million in no-cost transit for youth ages 18 and under, as well as improvements to transit services as part of the 2021 Regional Plan Early Action Transit Pilot Program
NEW OFFICE OF ARTS AND CULTURE After 25 years without a formal, active voice advocating for arts and culture, we re-established the County's Arts and Culture Commission, enriching the lives of residents, empowering diverse artists and providing significant investments to diversify the arts throughout our binational region 9
ACCESS TO HOUSING A COMMITMENT TO DIGNIFIED HOUSING Introduced the strongest Eviction Moratorium in the county to protect vulnerable residents during the pandemic Secured $211 million for assistance and administration of County's Emergency Rent and Utilities Assistance Program Secured $15 million for the Innovative Housing Trust Fund Spearheaded the work to secure $4 million for the Security Deposit Program Worked to secure hotel rooms and services for thousands of people who required isolation due to COVID-19 and people experiencing homelessness
PROTECT TENANTS | PRESERVE COMMUNITIES | PRODUCE HOUSING 10
IN THE FIGHT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AND CLIMATE JUSTICE Elevated Tijuana River Valley on a regional, state, and federal level Declared the cross-border pollution of the Tijuana River Valley (TJRV) a Public Health Crisis on February 9, 2021 Created the South County Environmental Justice Task Force, bringing together over 45 community stakeholders to prioritize TJRV infrastructure projects Secured $13 million ARPA funding for short and long term infrastructure projects Introduced and successfully passed a resolution at the National Association of Counties (NACo) urging the Federal Government to invest in transboundary water and sewage infrastructure along United States/International Borders
Shortly after taking office, I was unanimously elected by my peers as Chair of the Air Pollution Control District (APCD) In 2021, approved 2019 and 2020 Air Toxics “Hot Spots” Program report Approved Portside Community Emission Reduction Plan Amended Rule 1210 to reduce cancer-causing agents in the air Hired new APCD Director
Introduced the creation of the new Office of Environmental and Climate Justice (OECJ) Secured $1.3 million to establish the OECJ OECJ will centralize health impact data for all San Diego County to work towards solutions to reduce health hazards in environmental justice and tribal communities
Advocated For Significant Investments in Parks and Libraries Championed Little Libraries Initiative to address the literacy gap and create opportunities for access to culturally and age-appropriate books $10.75 million for parks in 2021-2022 including: $1.25 million for Otay Valley Regional Park $950K for the Otay Valley Regional Park Community Garden $4.55 million for Sweetwater Loop Trail Acquisition/Construction
Addressing Food Sovereignty and Increased Access Secured $20 million in total funding: $9 million for expansion of food distribution & senior meals $7 million for community gardens $2 million to increase ¡Más Fresco! More Fresh nutrition incentive program $1 million for nutrition incentives Beyond the SNAP program
RACIAL AND GENDER INEQUITIES NOT ON MY WATCH CREATED THE OFFICE OF IMMIGRANT AND REFUGEE AFFAIRS
ADDRESSING HISTORIC INEQUITIES IN OUR COUNTY
CHAMPIONED SUSTAINABLE INITIATIVE TO UPLIFT BOYS AND MEN OF COLOR DECLARED SAN DIEGO COUNTY AS A CHAMPION FOR REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM ADOPTED UNITED NATIONS' CONVENTION ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN (CEDAW)
RACIAL AND GENDER INEQUITIES NOT ON MY WATCH DECLARED RACISM A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS ADOPTED A RESOLUTION DENOUNCING XENOPHOBIA AND ANTI-ASIAN RACISM INTRODUCED A POLICY TO VALIDATE AND RECOGNIZE COUNTY EMPLOYEE GENDER IDENTITY
RAISED THE PROGRESS FLAG FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE HISTORY OF THE COUNTY
LOOKING AHEAD THE WORK IS FAR FROM BEING DONE...
AS WE TAKE ON THE NEW YEAR AND EMBRACE THE MANY CHALLENGES THAT THE PANDEMIC CONTINUES TO PRESENT TO OUR HISTORICALLY UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES, OUR OFFICE IS COMMITTED TO ENSURING THAT THOSE NEEDS DON'T GO UNMET. OUR COMMITMENT TO EQUITY AND ELEVATING THE VOICES OF EVERY RESIDENT WILL CONTINUE TO TAKE LEAD AS WE AUTHOR, PRESENT, AND IMPLEMENT POLICIES DESIGNED TO MAKE
GOVERNMENT WORK FOR ALL AND NOT JUST FOR SOME
Housing for All
Women and Families
Accessible & Reliable Transportation
Environmental and Climate Justice
Parks and Recreation
2022 WILL BUILD UPON THE MOMENTUM WE GAINED THROUGH THE ADOPTION OF EQUITY-MINDED POLICIES
TO HELP ENSURE OUR COMMUNITIES THRIVE AND NOT JUST SURVIVE
NEW DISTRICT 1 BOUNDARIES On December 14, 2021 the County of San Diego Independent Redistricting Commission, comprised of 14 citizen-volunteers, adopted new district maps for the County’s five supervisorial districts. While Coronado and Point Loma will no longer be part of District 1, it was an honor to represent you.
I would like to welcome into the District 1 family the communities of: East Village in Downtown San Diego, Golden Hill, South Park, and La Presa. I am looking forward to meeting my newest constituents in 2022 and with your support, continue the work to build healthier and stronger communities.
THANK YOU! Address: County Administration Center 1600 Pacific Highway, Rm 335 San Diego, CA, 92101
District 1 Email: District1community@sdcounty.ca.gov