CBN exclusive interviews with border mayors

Douglas Mayor Robert Uribe earlier this month spoke at the Arizona-Mexico Commission Annual Summit in Tucson and stressed the importance of the relationship between our two countries and the role that border communities play.

Uribe grew up in New York City and moved to Arizona in 2005, where he would meet his wife Jenea. The couple moved to Jenea’s native Douglas in 2012 and opened the town’s first coffee shop. For their good work, the couple eventually won the 36th Annual Governor’s Arts Awards, beating out more than 90 other small businesses.

Due in part to the success of their business, area residents encouraged Uribe to run for Douglas mayor, something that he had never considered. He was officially persuaded to run in 2016 and is currently in his third year as mayor.

During his conversation with CBN, Uribe describes being honored to represent a “beautiful bi-national community” that he believes is vital to maintaining and advancing the Arizona-Mexico partnership. He has two main goals for Douglas – to strengthen Douglas’s relationship with Mexico and other border communities, as well as provide Douglas with the same economic opportunities as larger Arizona cities like Phoenix, Mesa and Gilbert.

Mayor Douglas Nicholls of Yuma also spoke at the summit and with CBN. Nicholls focused on Yuma’s booming agriculture industry, which produces 95 percent of the leafy greens consumed in the United States in the winter and generates more than $3 billion in economic activity each year. He also said Yuma is currently working on developing new technologies to increase crop output through more effective water use.

In addition to Yuma’s agricultural prowess, Nicholls says the southwest Arizona city will be the first with full internet and wifi access with the help of Encom, a company that specializes in providing internet access to cities like Yuma. This new technology will pave the way for Yuma to become a more attractive location for high-tech companies.

Four years ago, Yuma, Douglas, and two other border towns Nogales and San Luis established the “Fourfront Ed,” a cooperation between the cities to advance economic and educational causes for its citizens. “Four” stands for the four border communities; “front” is short for frontera, the Spanish word for “border;” and “Ed” represents economic development and educational improvement, two priorities for the communities. The entity recently held its first meeting in an effort to increase collaboration between the communities, strengthen relationships, and look for opportunities to grow. The future of the Fourfront Ed is bright!

Megan Donahey

Nick Serpa

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