Imperial Beach high school teacher and surfer Josh Hill stands along the city's shores in January. Hill, an avid surfer, says he's gotten sick at least 30 times from being in the Pacific Ocean, and he was once hospitalized with MRSA, and he developed a hole the size of a baseball on the upper side of his left lung. Staff photo by Madeline Yang.

The response to my Op-Ed  questioning “Where are the Democrats in the ongoing Tijuana River sewage crisis?” neglected to point out that in the body of the piece, I named those Democrats who have been in various positions of city, state and federal  government leadership for at least 10 years.

Perhaps it would have been better had I titled my piece “Where are the Democrats in California Leadership on the Sewage Crisis.”

If you read the entire editorial, you will see I particularly questioned the absence of Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, to helping alleviate this crisis.  

You may have noted I clearly stated, “A bipartisan delegation led by Mayor Richard Bailey and then Councilman Whitney Benzian traveled to Washington,  D.C. several times in 2019 to lobby Congress…”

Bipartisan – do look up the  definition. 

SEALs, Border Patrol suffering from crisis

The residents, Navy Seals, U.S. Border Patrol and visitors who have suffered for decades with the Tijuana River Valley sewage pollution include every age, color, non-political, political, variation of people.

Similar to folks to the non-partisan, all ages group who joined the Sept. 1 rally on the beach, I applaud the high school groups that have started “Stop the Sewage” clubs. 

This crisis impacts not only the residents who live closest to the Pacific Ocean, but the many visitors traveling from far inland who reserve space months ahead at the Silver Strand State Beach Campground. Some plan six months in advance to reserve a spot.

Sewage crisis affects all walks of life

This sewage crisis is hardly effluence meets affluence.

The residents of Silver Strand military housing can’t enjoy the Pacific Ocean and beach right across from their homes. 

Those who wrote questioning if I am informed are new to the fight.

A bit of research will provide you with record of my concern and stated opinion on the  Tijuana River Valley pollution crisis since 2017.

I attended Surfrider meetings in Imperial Beach and reported on the many Tijuana River Valley pollution meetings in Imperial Beach and Coronado with all state and federal government agencies during 2018 and 2019.  

Why isn’t Gov. Newsom doing more?

There are those who choose to paint me as a villain for questioning why those elected Democrats in California have not done more to fund clean-up of the Tijuana River Valley pollution crisis.

If you voted for them, I understand why.  Look yourself in the mirror and ask why the Democrats you voted for are not using your tax dollars to address your concerns. 

You said: “Newsom’s silence and absence on this issue is unconscionable.”

Nothing divisive there.

We agree.

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