JB Hamby

Last night, we made history. We achieved the biggest landslide in an Imperial Irrigation District election (64 percent of the vote) in a generation, possibly much longer. We also became the youngest candidate to ever win a seat on the IID Board in its 109-year history. You made the choice to shape history in the Imperial Valley, across the Colorado River, the American West, and Mexico.

At this point, I have been up for over 24 hours but cannot sleep until I take the time to thank the people of El Centro, Heber, and Seeley for placing your trust in me to be your IID Director.

I cannot express my gratitude to the people of Imperial Valley that made this historic win a reality. I am just one person. Our team is just a handful of people. I could spend long days and leave the office late after midnight only to catch a few hours of sleep and get back to the grind. Our team could sweat through blistering 117° plus Imperial Valley summers, knocking on doors and spending hours on the phone working out ideas. We did those things, and they mattered.

But no part of this historic success would be possible without your trust and support earned over one year and nine days of conversations in person, over a cup of coffee, online, over the phone, and at your front porch.

We started with a simple statement, that water is life in Imperial Valley. That without it, we have nothing. To protect our Valley’s future, we knew we had to keep our water here with a public vote, by stopping the San Diego Pipeline, and establishing leadership across the Colorado River Basin.

At a time when families are hurting due to the worst effects of COVID-19 amplifying already bleak economic conditions in our community, we pledged to commit to efficiency and oppose raising power bills over the next four years.

To preserve our health and quality of life, we committed to working feverishly to ensure the people of Imperial Valley can live in a place with clean water and clean air with a New River that complies with the Clean Water Act and a Salton Sea not marked for extinction just to keep lawns green and suburbs sprawling in big cities.

We told the truth. We said what we meant and meant what we said. When others attacked us with falsehoods, we turned the other cheek. We double downed on educating the public about the most critical water, power, and environmental issues that shape our daily living. We focused on the issues and our vision for Imperial Valley.

We changed the conversation on a range of long-term issues and looked to replace acquiescence, ignorance, and division with active optimism, understanding, and united purpose.

Before the March primary election, a supporter from Heber who attended our first town hall sent me pictures of her family, young and old, showing their support with yard signs in their yard and handing out our palm cards after Sunday Mass. I remember getting these pictures on my phone and just staring at them. Why? In that moment, and quite honestly for about 10 minutes afterward, it put everything into perspective.

You have put your trust in the future of our community and your family in me. And as I’ve been reminded, trust has been eroded so deeply and for so long. As one person wrote to me, “Remember your electorate has been lied to and screwed over for many years. You are the new kid on the block now, and we are watching carefully. We have pinned a lot of hope on what you will do next. Please don't disappoint us.”

It is my duty to honor the trust you have placed in me with service. I am humbled by your trust and I am excited to get to work — this is where the real challenge begins. Now, more than ever, I need your support to continue this work. With your support we will not fail.

Thank you for your confidence. We won’t repeat the mistakes of the past. We are going to start a new era and Imperial Valley is going to grow for everyone.


JB Hamby

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