Congratulations to the Mar Vista High Class of 2021! Graduation took place on June 2, and after all our graduating seniors have been through over the past 15 months, I wish our recent graduates lots of success and happiness in the years ahead. Congratulations to Mar Vista High School Class of 2021 Valedictorian AnnieOpal Dickson who will be attending Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois this fall. Dickson was part of the amazing squad of Mar Vista girl water polo players that claimed a pioneering water polo state championship last year and we all wish her well and salute her hard work and perseverance! I hope that we can have as many students back in classes at every grade for the coming school year. I think we are all better off when our kids are back in class.
Like many of you, I have found this transition to reopening to be confusing and challenging. I am grateful, however, to be out in the community and being able to meet with people and just have the type of normal social interactions that makes life complete. The most important thing has been being able to have our kids back in the house without worrying about whether or not someone will get sick from our time together. Family time is a priority for me, but family time without being able to hug my kids or spend time together unmasked indoors (we celebrated Thanksgiving outside) felt like punishment. Getting a vaccination is easier than ever and I am also glad that Mexico seems to be moving forward on their own border vaccination campaign. Mexico lagging behind the U.S. in its vaccination effort represented a threat to our health and safety. So the recent U.S. vaccine diplomacy by assisting border regions in Mexico, is a step in the right direction.
Now that summer is finally here, it is so important for everyone to be water safe. And water safety doesn’t just start and end at the beach. Many of us will spend time in backyard pools, lakes and other water bodies. So please never leave your children unattended in the water and please make sure your children take swimming lessons. Too many children and teenagers drown in the U.S. each year. These are preventable tragedies that we all need to play a role in preventing by taking the pledge to be water safe. As a former ocean lifeguard, I know that it is critical for parents to never take their eyes off their kids at the beach. Social media should not be a distraction from quality time with our families when we are at the beach or interfere with making sure your child stays safe, so put away your phone when your kids are in the water. Always make sure to swim in and around our lifeguards. Better yet, ask the lifeguards about their beach safety recommendations. And please do not spend the day at the beach outside of the lifeguarded area. Most people overestimate their abilities in the water. You don’t want to test your abilities if your child gets sucked out in a rip current. Better to have our trained lifeguards nearby.
On June 6, an unsheltered person in our community was assaulted at Pier Plaza. I am confident that the Sheriff’s Department will conduct a full and fair investigation based on evidence and will hold those responsible for the assault. There is also never any excuse to assault Law Enforcement Officers. The City of Imperial Beach supports the peaceful exchange of ideas and condemns violence in any form. I look forward to a peaceful summer where everyone can enjoy our beautiful outdoor spaces.