CALEXIC – The Calexico Parents Athletic Association returned to Calexico City Council on Wednesday, October 20, seeking help finding available space to host league football matches. It comes after the association formally asked to be placed on the board’s agenda during public comments at a meeting earlier this month.
The Calexico Parents Athletic Association has 1,300 participants and founder Carmen Estrada previously said she didn’t have enough space to host her games. Estrada said he has received offers from other football leagues in Yuma and San Diego to merge into a single entity to provide the necessary resources.
“We are here because of the persistent problem we are having with the park situation. We are suffering so much and I invite you to come and see these parks and see what state they are in, ”Estrada said.
Estrada took the time to acknowledge the city staff who responded to their concerns and thanked them for going out to the fields to see the conditions they were referring to. Estrada said that was not enough to address his concerns and believes the council is not taking the matter seriously.
“We are an organization that currently has 1,300 members, they are children. We have the whole Imperial Valley, we have Yuma team members and some are coming from San Diego, ”Estrada said. “So, as the president of the league, I come here to ask to establish a ground worthy of our players because we deserve it.”
Estrada said she has 26 years of experience in various leagues, most notably as a former director of the Calexico Police Athletic League. She said she had been there for 10 years and was the biggest league in the state of California among all sports leagues. Estrada said she was disappointed with the closure of the Police Athletic League.
“It is not fair to have closed such a grand and important program for our community. I feel this loss very deep in my heart. I firmly believe that we have such a vast intelligence and capacity to be able to establish a new program when such a big one is closed, which is the one we have right now, so that it does not get put waiting as it has been, ”says Estrada.
Estrada is convinced that they have overwhelming support from the majority of the citizens of the Imperial Valley and that the time has come to establish a new domain.
“It’s the biggest league; we can’t allow it to go away just because we don’t have enough land to play. Right now I have members who are playing Brawley and Heber in a game, ”she said.
One of the locations they have been allowed to use is the Daniel Gutierrez Field and has consistently delayed all activity due to fertilization and terrain issues that have made it impossible to use. Estrada said the association spent up to $ 1,200 to repair it as much as it could, but said the land was no longer an option.
“This is not an appropriate or adequate place to call a football field, in fact none of the places we currently use to play games (should) be considered football fields,” he said. she declared. “It’s very sad, and it’s an emergency for us.”
Estrada mentioned that Adrian C. Cordova Park is a prime location for their league and doesn’t understand why construction is taking so long. She said something should be done to quickly set up a makeshift space to use for games.
“If we work together on this project, we could do it by January or February and have a lot of kids play on it,” Estrada said.
Estrada said the terms are no longer acceptable and has taken the time to make an emotional plea addressed specifically to board members Camilo Garcia and Gloria Romo who were part of the Calexico Parents Athletic Association some time ago.
“You were with me in the football league, you know we are capable of intelligence and of heart to successfully accomplish what we want to do,” said Estrada.
City councilor Rosie Arreola-Fernandez responded to Estrada’s concerns.
“I want to thank you for what you have done, and all of us here support what you are doing that greatly helps our youth. I know it’s a lot of work but for my part we will do everything we can to be able to help fulfill what you ask of us, ”said Arreola-Fernandez.
Estrada said she hopes the resolution process will be swift as they can’t afford to wait any longer. She even offered to help the council set up the requested park space by installing a sprinkler system and grass.
“My whole league would also like to thank the Imperial Irrigation District as we have now five years of working with them,” Estrada of what the league has learned from them about the organization of the fields.
Estrada said everyone needs to open their eyes and do what needs to be done.
City Councilor Raul Ureña asked City Manager Miguel Figueroa if funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) could be used for parks. Figueroa said it was possible and promised to come back with more details in the future.
“I think that with this opportunity to collaborate together, we can address these multiple elements that need to be looked at in a way that is feasible for Miss Estrada and the city,” Figueroa said.