For many young people in Imperial Valley, Mexicali Mayor Marina Del Pilar and the Morena party in Mexico represent a model of change we would like to see here at home.

A grassroots effort of citizens across the political spectrum working peacefully to do away with the “Mafia de Poder” that have kept their people in poverty while successive corrupt governments, and their friends, remained rich. Government that is active, but austere, in improving the everyday quality of life of its citizens.

Morena promised its leadership would be “La Esperanza de Mexico.” Today that is being manifested under Mexicali Mayor Marina’s leadership with active strides toward environmental cleanup, street paving, and revivification of the City’s urban core. More recently, she has led the City’s COVID-19 response and is daily walking the City’s streets providing aid and comfort to her citizens, especially the poor and elderly.

While banal accusations of racism against political opponents are rapidly replacing thoughtful civic dialogue north of the border, I and other locals read with surprise a column in Friday’s Imperial Valley Press disparaging the young, active, and innovative Mayor of Mexicali as “xenophobic.”

Her crime? To act with dispatch ensuring those reentering Mexico did not have a fever during this pandemic and to curb the illegal import of black-market booze.

Instead of dubiously disparaging our neighbors, we can work together during this crisis and beyond, toward a better region with improved air quality, protection of our rights and use of the Colorado River, stemming the pollution of the New and Alamo Rivers, shared renewable and lower-cost energy solutions, and a stronger, better paid regional economy. Perhaps, in the words of Morena, “Juntos Haremos Historia.”

And to those local critics of Marina: mándalos por un tubo.

JB Hamby

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