December 23, 2022

Rep. Vargas Secures Nearly $35 Million for California’s 51st Congressional District in Government Funding Package

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 23, 2022) – Today, Representative Vargas voted to secure $34,623,332 in Community Project Funding in the Fiscal Year 2023 government funding package. This funding responds directly to some of the most pressing needs in California’s 51st Congressional District, including improving transportation systems and creating more opportunities for underserved communities.

“I am proud to have secured almost $35 million to help my district where it needs it most,” said Rep. Vargas. “These investments will create good-paying jobs and safeguard and strengthen California’s 51st District. My constituents will benefit from long overdue updates to our transportation systems, academic support for DREAMers, better access to healthcare and family services, and more parks and green spaces for underserved communities. I’m proud to have secured these much-needed investments to help communities across my district, and I’ll continue fight for critical funding to ensure my constituents receive what they need to thrive.”

Rep. Vargas championed funding for 15 projects that will directly benefit California’s 51st District residents. These include:

$4,5000,000 for Bayshore Bikeway Barrio Logan and New Zero Emission Bus Division Project – Planning Phase

  • $3,500,000 in funds will go toward the Barrio Logan Segment of the Bayshore Bikeway, a 2.4-mile, Class 1, shared-use path that will serve people walking, biking, and using other non-motorized modes. Currently 85% of the entire bikeway is complete. The project will close a major gap in the Bayshore Bikeway with a connection to downtown San Diego, the Bayfront promenade, convention center and direct access to Naval Base San Diego and many working waterfront employment centers, businesses and activity centers.
  • $1,000,000 will go toward the planning phase for the New Zero Emission Bus Division Project. The project will provide critical additional space to achieve regional climate and mobility goals as well as zero emission bus expansion.

$10,000,000 for the Beach and Boat Launch at Harbor Park, Beyer Park Phase II Construction, and San Ysidro Community Activity Center Enhancements

  • The port of San Diego’s Board of Port Commissioners have approved a Coastal Development Permit for Harbor Park that allows the completion of the design, the bidding and awarding of construction contracts, and the start of construction. $3,000,000 in funds will go towards an expansion of the existing 12-acre Bayside Park, including an enlarged and improved beach that will allow visitors especially those from surrounding disadvantaged communities to have easy access to the bay; a pocket marsh and salt marsh planting; a pedestrian boat launch for kayaks, paddleboards, and other watercraft.
  • This project provides for the design and construction of approximately eight useable acres, out of approximately 43 total acres of a community and neighborhood park on Beyer Boulevard. This project is split into two phases, and $3,000,000 in funding will be put toward Phase II, which includes a pedestrian walkway, dog park, comfort station, parking lot, exercise stations, and athletic fields
  • $4,000,000 will go toward construction improvements for the San Ysidro Community Activity Center. The project proposes implementation of the General Development Plan on an existing 0.35-acre facility to include a children’s play area, tetherball foursquare, hopscotch, handball courts, and landscaping. Additional updates will include ADA accessible parking spaces fronting the existing sidewalk, installation of additional security lighting in parking medians, replacement of an existing curb ramp to serve relocated accessible parking spaces, and more.

$1,500,000 for Light Up San Diego Streetlight Improvement Program – Logan Heights

  • Funding will go toward replacing old infrastructure to improve the reliability of streetlights, lower the City’s maintenance effort, and lead to savings associated with outages where series circuits currently exist. Approximately, 30 streetlights throughout Logan Heights would realize these benefits upon conversion.

$2,325,360 for Summer Math Academies and Teacher Success and San Diego Community College District Dreamer Resource Centers

  • San Diego Community College District proposes to establish a districtwide Dreamer Support Program to coordinate community outreach and engagement activities, promote targeted support for students, and track academic success outcomes for undocumented students. $1,200,000 in funds will be used to scale existing services available on the college campuses, further develop Dreamer Resource Centers at City and Mesa Colleges, establish a Dreamer Resource Center at Miramar College, and provide cultural competency training to ensure that the campuses at-large are knowledgeable and equip to serve undocumented students, their families, and community members.
  • $1,125,360 will go toward the Summer Math Academies for students and teachers as a way to deepen 6-12 Black, Latinx, low-income, and military-connected students’ mathematical knowledge in San Diego’s lowest income serving communities (e.g. Barrio Logan, Chula Vista), and to elevate mathematical teaching and learning in San Diego County.

$3,452,972 for Smugglers Gulch Dredging

  • Significant amounts of sewage, trash, and sediment have entered the Tijuana River Valley (TRV) in the U.S. While the City of San Diego and County of San Diego have regularly dredged these areas, there is a need for a more extensive and coordinated effort to collect the decade’s worth of sediment and trash that has accumulated. Completing this dredging prior to implementation of the SCC-funded Smuggler’s Gulch Improvements will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of those solutions. The funding will serve all residents and visitors of the TRV and will also benefit nearby residents in Imperial Beach.

$1,095,000 for the UC San Diego Health CommUnity Mobile Unit

  • The UC San Diego CommUnity Mobile Unit will increase healthcare access, improve preventative healthcare services delivery, and build capacity for local community-based organizations serving San Diego residents in California’s 51st District.

$4,000,000 for the Brandt Road Bridge Replacement Project

  • The Brandt Road Bridge is a main collector route which, at present, is primarily used by the agricultural industry to cross the Alamo River. Funds will go toward a proposed new single span bridge to be built to current standards and improve the operational safety of the road and bridge crossing.

$500,000 for the San Diego County, CA for outreach and recruitment of foster care families to support children

  • Resource parents are valued partners in Child Welfare Services. They provide a safe and nurturing home while parents actively work in reunifying with their children. The $500,000 in funding would provide strategies for engagement, ongoing support, and training for Resource parents.

$2,000,000 for the Critical Mineral Analytical Training Center

  • The University of California Riverside will use this funding to purchase equipment for a critical minerals analytical facility to meet the needs of the emerging lithium industry in the Salton Sea region of the Imperial Valley. The facility will train generations of students for the lithium-based workforce in the region and, in addition, provide data essential to the initial development and day-to-day operations of lithium extraction.

$5,250,000 for Wildlife Fuel Management and Control Strategy and San Diego County Twin-Engine Firefighting Helicopter Project

  • $3,750,000 will be used to purchase a twin-engine firefighting helicopter to replace older single-engine helicopters built out of a 1970’s airframe.
  • San Diego County has experienced several catastrophic wildfires over the past two decades. County Fire established the Community Risk Reduction Division to better safeguard homes and communities through a cohesive pre-fire strategy, focusing on public education, defensible space inspections, structure hardening and fuels management. $1,500,000 in funding would initially be spent to conduct environmental analysis of the area to be treated.

The twelve-bill government funding package will create good-paying American jobs, create more opportunities for underserved communities, and provide a lifeline for working families.

The bill now moves to President Biden’s desk for his signature. A detailed summary of the bill is available here.


Vargas represents California’s 51st Congressional District which includes the southern portion of San Diego County, all of Imperial County and California’s entire U.S.-Mexico border. Vargas was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 and is currently serving his fifth term in Congress. He serves on the House Financial Services Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee.