San Diego/ Politics & Govt
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Published on February 22, 2024
Chairwoman Nora Vargas Highlights Unity and Calls for Federal Aid in Her State of the County Address in Chula VistaSource: San Diego County, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Nora Vargas, Chairwoman of the County Board of Supervisors, delivered a heartfelt State of the County address, stressing unity in the face of adversity as she recounted the community's collective efforts to aid flood victims after the January storms. Vargas was particularly moved by the spontaneous surge of support, with "1,000 volunteers" turning out to assist more than a thousand families struck by the natural disaster, as reported by County News Center.

In the wake of this catastrophe, the Chairwoman postponed her scheduled address to organize instead a Day of Service, where locals worked tirelessly to piece together food kits and fill sandbags. The effort, she said, was conducted with all their "corazón," a nod, in her native Spanish, to the profound empathy and resolve shown by her community. These same citizens, she added, did not hesitate to quickly mobilize and contribute to the donation drives spread across the county.

Addressing the immigration issue, Chairwoman Vargas did not shy away from acknowledging her roots as a first-generation immigrant, vowing to stand by the newcomers arriving in droves. The county previously declared a humanitarian crisis and allocated "$6 million" towards a Migrant Transitional Center. This gesture, however, now hangs in the balance as funds have been depleted, prompting the Chairwoman to call on the federal government to "step up," revealed in a letter to President Biden that Vargas shared with the public. The center is on the brink of closure without renewed support.

Vargas also spotlighted the strides made in tackling some of the county’s most pressing issues, from homelessness and affordable housing crises to enhancing health and human services. She underscored her administration's dedication to furthering climate and environmental justice, improving public safety, and strengthening the local economy. Despite these advancements, she recognized that their journey was not entirely complete, but she expressed optimism about the future, confident in the foundation that had been laid.

The event, ensuring accessibility and inclusion, was broadcasted with services in American Sign Language, with live Spanish and Tagalog interpretation available via Zoom links. Taking place at Southwestern Community College in Chula Vista, the address was open for viewing across various social media platforms and television. For those looking to delve deeper into the Chairwoman's plans and proposals, the full address is available online, accessible through the County News Center.