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About the Association

In 2011, at the urging of then Commissioner Alan Bersin of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, mayors across the binational region came together in El Paso, Texas for a meeting where they formed the U.S.-Mexico Border Mayors Association. The goal was to create a strong advocacy voice for their metropolitan areas and residents.

2020 Summit

The 9th annual U.S. – Mexico Border Mayors Summit is just around the corner. This year the San Diego-Tijuana megaregion is once again excited to host this important event with mayors from both sides of the border. We hope that you will be able to join us.

The summit, co-chaired by the cities of San Diego and Tijuana, will take place on Tuesday, October 27 via video conference. This year the focus will be on COVID-19, the response of border cities and the economic impact for the border region. Here is a tentative agenda of the summit activities (all times PST). To RSVP please click here.

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Welcome and Introductions

Denice Garcia, Deputy Director, Department of Government Affairs, City of San Diego
Rafael Fernandez de Castro, Director, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, UC San Diego            

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
COVID-19 Keynote

Jaime Sepulveda, Haile T. Debas Distinguished Professor of Global Health and Executive Director of Institute for Global Health Sciences, UC San Francisco

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Border Mayors Panel on COVID Response

Panel Co-Chairs: Consul Generals Sue Saarnio of Tijuana and Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez of San Diego
Mayor Armando Cabada, City of Ciudad Juarez
Mayor Kevin Faulconer, City of San Diego
Mayor Dee Margo, City of El Paso
Mayor Trey Mendez, City of Brownsville
Mayor Karla Ruiz McFarland, City of Tijuana

Our History and Mission

The mayors of the association recognize that policy decisions made in distant capitals are often made without appreciation of the unique perspective of this globally competitive region, and the needs and concerns of our intertwined communities.

The substantial increase in trade that has occurred since the implementation of NAFTA in 1994 benefits the economies of both nations with specific impacts on our border communities who host the Land Ports of Entry through which nearly all these goods flow.

The value of goods traded between our two nations is now more than $500 billion each year. Increasingly border community businesses are engaged in co-production of products exported from our local cross-border economic regions to distant parts of North America as well as to Asian and European Markets.

Often times, national policies are formulated without a true understanding of how they will impact not only border communities but the economy of the entire country. Our border communities are compelled by geography to address many local urban issues like:

  • Air and water quality
  • Solid waste and hazardous waste disposal
  • Energy production and distribution
  • Emergency services
  • Public health concerns

Unlike other local jurisdictions, in border communities these issues often cannot be effectively addressed without binational planning and co-operation, often requiring the involvement of federal government agencies and subject to international agreements and policies over which we have no direct jurisdiction.

The U.S.-Mexico Border Mayors Association is dedicated to making the united voice of our communities heard in state and national capitals and to improving the lives of the more than 14 million residents who make our region a globally competitive economic engine for North America.

Past Summits

Our summits also serve as a forum for us to learn from each other, sharing best practices and practical solutions to shared urban concerns.