Imperial Beach faces plenty of unique challenges: rising sea levels, crumbling infrastructure and pollution from the nearby border. Not that Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina is fazed by his city's obstacles.
"We need to make sure that everyone can live a high quality of life regardless of where they live or their income levels," says Dedina, an IB native, author, surfer and first generation American. "That is totally doable and possible, but we have to spend way more time on those issues rather than addressing the needs of billionaire sports franchise owners. I will continue to work with partner agencies and institutions to make sure that, at least in Imperial Beach, we can make low-income and historically underserved communities places where everyone has access to a healthy and thriving life."
As a passionate conservationist and co-founder of WiLDCOAST, he's not afraid to get his hands dirty to cut through bureaucratic red tape to get results, especially when it comes to long-term sustainability and economic goals.
"I have an incredible love for Imperial Beach and a fierce desire to give back to the people and community that provided me with great opportunities," he says. "[I want] to make sure that everyone and every neighborhood has access to...beautiful open spaces, is treated equitably, fairly, and that we always put our kids and families first. Access to our natural open spaces should not be an afterthought, but a vital part of a healthy and happy future."