CALEXICO — The Coalition of Labor, Agriculture, and Business (COLAB) hosted a candidate forum for the Board of Supervisors District 1 seat inside Calexico City Hall Tuesday, April 26, where candidates Joong S. Kim and incumbent Jesus Eduardo Escobar were present. 

Forum questions led to issues the county faces with renewable energy, environmental health, and economic development. Candidates had 3 minutes to answer forum questions.

Each candidate expressed concern for the equitable share of renewable energy due to the abundant amount of solar energy production in the Imperial Valley in contrast to the lack of money that is returned back to the County.

“Companies are taking our resources,” said Kim.

Escobar said, “It is very important we look at it fiscally and fairly. Our solar energy is going to the coast, none of it is staying in Imperial County.” 

When asked, what is the single most important issue facing Imperial County, Escobar explained the importance of economic development and job creation to solve most issues in the County. “We will be able to develop job creation with lithium in a way that is fair and equitable for the entire Imperial County, including the city of Calexico,” he said. 

On the topic of lithium production in the Imperial Valley, candidates answered how they will support the industry and its heavy taxing. 

Kim said, “We might get little benefits out of lithium companies, from what I know these companies do not create mining jobs for us. We can have a little extra taxing but not too heavy.” 

Escobar said, “We have 150 million metric tons of lithium in our Imperial County, exceeding what leading countries have … lithium here is not open mining. The mining process is cleaner, much smoother, and is much more cost-effective. Of course, we are not going to heavily tax a new industry in Imperial County. It needs to be fair; it needs to be equitable for Imperial County residents.”   

Moderator David Cañez reiterated that the primary election for this seat will be held on June, 7, and encouraged everyone to vote.

Three questions from collab

(1) comment


I can assure you any concerns for future growth in Calexico and revenue are actually intended for the pockets of the politicians in Calexico. Calexico and Mexicali politics are operated and ran in the exact same manner. The only difference is the color of the flag flying over City Hall.

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