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San Diego leaders head to Washington, DC, for 3-day conference

The City of San Diego seal is shown at City Hall. San Diego, Calif. Jan. 24, 2023.
Alexander Nguyen
The City of San Diego seal is shown at City Hall. San Diego, Calif. Jan. 24, 2023.

A group of more than 170 business and civic leaders from the San Diego region traveled to Washington, D.C., over the weekend for a three-day conference to discuss business growth, job creation and the economy.

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce's 15th annual "Mission to Washington, D.C." includes San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nora Vargas, Chamber President and CEO Jerry Sanders, Port of San Diego Chairman Rafael Castellanos, and Caltrans District 11 Director Gustavo Dallarda.

A key priority for this year's trip will be advocating for federal funding for regional infrastructure projects.


Officials said the delegation will meet with federal government officials and agency representatives from a variety of departments including the EPA, Department of Transportation, Customs and Border Protection, Department of State, Housing and Urban Development, and several others.

Other meetings will include:

— Mexico's ambassador to the United States, Esteban Moctezuma;

— The San Diego congressional delegation;

— Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware;


— Casey Durst, executive director, operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection;

— Jesse Cross-Call, deputy director of external affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services;

— Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank;

— Zach McRae, special policy advisor, and Alexis Pelosi, senior advisor for climate at HUD.

"San Diego is about as far as you can get from Washington. It's important that our representatives and federal agency leaders hear directly from us about the projects and policies that uniquely affect business and the people living and working in the Cali-Baja region," Sanders said.

"These annual in-person meetings make a real impact, especially when we have a group of more than 170 delegates from both sides of the border coordinated and aligned in sharing San Diego's priorities."