Governor Jan Brewer and Governor Guillermo Padres Come Together
at the Arizona-Mexico Commission’s Plenary Session:
“Arizona & Sonora: Evolution of a Region”
PHOENIX, Ariz. – Arizona Governor Janice K. Brewer hosted the Arizona-Mexico’s Commission’s (AMC) 2014 plenary session for the last time as Governor of Arizona and Chair of the AMC. Governor Brewer and Sonora Governor Guillermo Padrés Elías reiterated their commitment to promoting economic prosperity for the region through mutual collaboration as they spent the day meeting with leaders of the public and private sectors from both sides of the border.
“As I close my last year in office, I want to let you know that I have thoroughly enjoyed our friendship and hard work, and am proud of our shared accomplishments in advancing our region’s economic competitiveness” said Governor Brewer to Governor Padres during the event’s Plenary Session. “These commissions [AMC & CSA] working together have accomplished many critically important regional initiatives, projects that enhance the collective wellbeing of the people of Arizona and Sonora” she added.
Today, Arizona’s Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance (TTCA) publicly released its Roadmap. The TTCA, spearheaded by the Arizona-Mexico Commission, Arizona Department of Transportation, and Arizona Commerce Authority along with regional entities and the private sector was tasked with creating a plan to advance high value trade and investment, supported by state of the art transportation infrastructure. This plan represents an important part of the state’s economic future and sets a bold goal of doubling Arizona’s trade with Mexico by 2025 by focusing on Arizona’s opportunities, advantages, and competitive edge.
“Imagine that,” says Governor Jan Brewer “Arizona’s trade with Mexico at $28 billion. That means thousands of jobs for both Sonora and Arizona and hundreds of millions in new foreign direct investment. But that can only be accomplished if we adopt the necessary policies that enable our public sector to partner with the private sector and academia.”
This year’s plenary included the signing of an Agreement of Cooperation between the states of Arizona and Sonora through the Arizona Department of Water Resources and Sonora’s State Commission on Water. This agreement allows both states to jointly evaluate the feasibility of Sea of Cortez desalination to augment and increase water supply resiliency in Arizona and Sonora. This agreement is signed at a time where the Arizona-Sonora region is facing critical water supply challenges and experiencing extended droughts.
The two-day event also continued the annual tradition of donations from Arizona to Sonora. Rural/Metro once again donated two ambulances to the state of Sonora, marking the ninth year that the donation has been made. One of the ambulances donated by Rural/Metro was gifted to the City of Ures while Sonora’s Secretary of Health accepted the second.
As part of the Plenary Session, 13 of the AMC’s committees met to develop collaborative solutions for the region. The Health Committee will promote a bi-national effort to implement an education program aimed at residents regarding the proper use of Child Safety Restraints. The Environment and Water Committee will continue collaborating with public and private sector partners in an effort to improve the region’s water resources by exchanging information on water management and treatment practices and identifying opportunities to enhance supply resiliency in both Sonora and Arizona
Lastly, the AMC recognized the people and organizations who have contributed to advancing Arizona’s relationship with Mexico by awarding the annual Tony Certósimo, Paul J. Fannin, and Dr. Andy Nichols awards. This year, the AMC awarded the Tony Certósimo Award to ADOT Director John Halikowki, who has committed to fostering improved relations with Mexico for numerous years. His leadership has advanced Arizona’s important cross-border agenda with Mexico and has embraced the mission of the AMC in support of a mutually beneficial bilateral relationship.
The Paul J. Fannin award, which is named after the AMC’s founder – Governor Paul Fannin – is given to an organization that has demonstrated acts of good will and support toward the Arizona-Mexico relationship. This year, the Ventanillas de Salud was awarded the Paul Fannin award for its dedication to improving the physical and mental wellbeing of the Latino population in the US as well as maintaining a healthy environment grounded in local and binational collaboration between the United States and Mexico.
Finally, Bob Ramsey, President & CEO of the Ramsey Social Justice Foundation, was awarded the Dr. Andy Nicholls award for his efforts to improve the quality of life in the Arizona-Mexico region through binational border health initatives. Bob Ramsey has had a lifelong dedication to helping others; just one example of this is the tradition he established while President & CEO of PMT ambulance to identify communities in Sonora that were in need of ambulances and donate annually to the most needy communities.
In addition to the three annual awards, the AMC gave a special recognition to the Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona House of Representatives, and the City of Phoenix for their commitment to advancing the Arizona-Mexico relationship and spearheading initiatives to improve economic ties. Their collaboration and leadership has led to the funding of an Arizona Trade Office in Mexico City that will afford Arizona the opportunity to strengthen its ties with its most important trade partner, Mexico.
More than 400 people from the U.S. and Mexico came together to promote the shared interests of the region at the AMC Plenary Session. The result will certainly contribute to the long-standing tradition of the Arizona-Mexico Commission’s record of promoting mutual prosperity and enhanced quality of life for the citizens of Arizona and Sonora.
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