Serge Dedina

With the violent riot and or coup attempt at our nation’s capitol building last week by thousands of insurrectionists, the rule of law, and defense of our Constitution and our Democracy in the United States of America all came under assault. My own family’s experience with the Nazi invasion of Europe prior to and during World War II (my mother’s house in London was blown up by a Nazi rocket, my dad had family members sent to their death in Nazi concentration camps and many of my parents’ family members fought the Axis powers as British and French soldiers), has given me a heightened respect for our democratic and Constitutional protections based around the the need to defend the rule of law and prevent mob rule. That combined with a year in South America as a UCSD study abroad student witnessing the rise and fall of democracies and dictatorships in Peru, Chile, Argentina and Paraguay in particular, allowed me to witness why defending our Constitutional Democracy requires constant vigilance.

Democracy is not a football game. It is not a battle. Democracy functions best when people don’t agree with one another but are committed to finding consensus and doing what’s best for our nation. For democracy to work we have to agree that we can’t always get what we want, but that we must respect the rule of law and find consensus. Our sacred Constitution was developed by our Founding Fathers who recognized the dangerous threat to our nation from the violation of democratic norms, traditions and the rule of law.

We will get through this unsettling and frankly scary time in our country’s history by working together peacefully, holding violent insurrectionists accountable under the law, finding common ground and working together to get things done for the benefit of all. I am proud of the work we do everyday in Imperial Beach to work collaboratively and improve the quality of life in every corner of our city. As we emerge from this pandemic (and we will), our task is to build back better and do more to help our communities and our country.

Before the New Year, I was hopeful that the COVID-19 vaccine rollout would proceed much quicker and more efficiently than it has. That is obviously not the case. The City of Imperial Beach has taken a very proactive approach to working with the County of San Diego and our South Bay neighbors to push for a quicker and more comprehensive rollout of vaccines. I am thankful that our First Responders have been vaccinated, but we have millions more vaccines in San Diego County to distribute, so it will require an all hands on deck approach. The recent opening of the UCSD-Petco Park vaccine “superpod” is a welcome public-private partnership model for moving forward. Hopefully soon the City of Imperial Beach and local government and private sector partners will announce a County vaccine site or sites in Imperial Beach. For those of you who are retired medical assistants, nurses, and physicians, and or have military medical experience, you will be welcomed to volunteer for this historic and necessary vaccine mobilization. A massive local, state and national vaccine rollout is our only way back to normal.

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