Civic leaders endorsing the letter include former Ambassador to Mexico Jeffrey Davidow, former U.S. Congresswoman Lynn Schenk, and former State Senators Lucy Killea and Steve Peace. Also endorsing are Irwin Jacobs, Murray Galinson, Deborah Szekely, Christine Forrester, Marcy Krinsk and dozens more.
Wayne Cornelius (Distinguished Professor of Political Science Emeritus, UC San Diego), David Shirk (Director of the Trans-Border Institute, University of San Diego) and Richard Griswold del Castillo (Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, San Diego State University) are just a few of the over 30 educators who signed the letter.
Religious leaders supporting the letter come from almost every tradition and include Bishop Mary Ann Swenson of the United Methodist Church, Rev. Dr. Arvid Straube of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego, Dr. Jamie Gates, Director of the Center for Justice and Reconciliation at Point Loma Nazarene University and Rev. Ann Seisen Saunders of National City’s Sweetwater Zen Center.
San Diego’s legal community is represented on the letter by Administrative Law Judge Deborah Smaller, California Western Law Professor William J. Aceves, and Eric Alan Isaacson of Coughlin Stoia Gellar Rudman & Robbins LLP, among many others.
Dozens of San Diego-based organizations are signatories to the letter, including human rights organizations like the National Lawyers Guild and the San Diego Human Relations Commission, religious organizations like Office for Social Ministry, Diocese of San Diego, and environmental organizations like the Environmental Health Coalition and WiLDCOAST.
Dozens more organizations from beyond San Diego have adopted the cause of Friendship Park. Just a few of these to endorse the letter are: Border Ambassadors (Del Rio, TX), Frontera de Cristo (Douglas, AZ/Agua Prieta, Sonora), Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights (San Francisco, CA), Justice and Witness Ministries, United Church of Christ (Washington, DC), Mexican Community Center of New York, CECOMEX (New York, NY), Sojourners (Washington, DC) and Western Lands Project (Seattle, WA).
“The entire border should not be reduced to a ‘no-man’s land,” said John Fanestil, Executive Director of the San Diego-based Foundation for Change and a leader in the Friends of Friendship Park coalition.
“Friendship Park reminds us all that a brighter future lies ahead for the borderlands and border people.”
“We are encouraged by recent overtures from [“Border Czar”] Alan Bersin and [San Diego Border Patrol Chief] Mike Fisher,” said Enrique Morones, President of Border Angels and another leader in the Friends of Friendship Park coalition. “We are confident the Park will re-open soon.”
Friends of Friendship Park – www.friendshippark.org