As the regional decision-maker for the 18 cities in the San Diego region and San Diego County, collaboration is at the core of SANDAG. We extend this spirit of collaboration to a variety of partners. Coordinated planning with cross-border partners; neighboring counties; military partners; tribal governments; and local, state, and federal agencies helps promote collaborative solutions to best serve our communities and protect our quality of life.

Local jurisdictions

SANDAG is governed by a Board of Directors composed of mayors, councilmembers, and county supervisors from each of the region’s 19 local governments. Supplementing these voting members are advisory representatives from Caltrans, Imperial County, Metropolitan Transit System, Mexico, North County Transit District, San Diego County Water Authority, San Diego Unified Port District, Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association, and the U.S. Department of Defense. Representatives from local jurisdictions also participate in policy advisory committees and working groups to ensure that the whole region is considered in large- and small-scale planning.

BOD meeting

Public comments are shared at a SANDAG Board of Directors meeting

State and federal agencies

State and federal agencies—including the California Coastal Commission, Caltrans, the California Transportation Commission, the California Air Resources Board, the Federal Transit Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, and wildlife agencies—participate in many of our working groups and work closely with us in a variety of areas including air quality, habitat, energy, and transportation.

Transit agencies

SANDAG works closely with the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) and North County Transit District (NCTD) to help plan and deliver transit to the region.

The Transportation Committee advises the SANDAG Board of Directors on major policy-level matters. The Committee provides oversight for the preparation and implementation of San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan - which merges the Regional Transportation Plan, the Sustainable Communities Strategy, and the Regional Comprehensive Plan - and assists with other regional transportation planning and programming efforts. It provides oversight for the major highway, transit, regional arterial, and regional bikeway projects funded under the Regional Transportation Improvement Program, including the TransNet program.

Representatives from the major transit agencies participate in many of the policy advisory committees and working groups that SANDAG convenes.

Poinsettia Station Ribbon Cutting

SANDAG, NCTD, Caltrans, State Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath’s office, and the City of Carlsbad celebrate the completion of the Poinsettia Station Improvements project

Partners at our borders

Our region borders other counties, Mexico, and tribal nations. We are all linked socially, economically, and geographically, and we work together to benefit all communities.

The Borders Committee provides oversight for planning activities that impact the borders of the San Diego region as well as government-to-government relations with tribal nations in San Diego County. SANDAG and partner agencies collaborate within a geographic area that encompasses San Diego, Orange, Riverside, and Imperial counties, the 17 sovereign tribal nations, and the Tijuana–Tecate–Playas de Rosarito metropolitan zone in northern Baja California. Our focus on collaboration across jurisdictions and international boundaries helps leverage the region’s strategic location within the growing megaregion, which encompasses many metropolitan zones with interdependent relationships.

The Committee on Binational Regional Opportunities (COBRO) serves as a working group for the Borders Committee and facilitates better understanding of binational border-related issues and needs of the California–Baja California region. COBRO advises the SANDAG Borders Committee on short- and long-term binational activities, issues, and actions; provides recommendations regarding binational border-related planning and development; and identifies ways to assist and coordinate with existing efforts in the binational area. The membership consists of elected officials and staff, representatives of academia, business, community organizations, and the Mexican government.

Partners at our borders

The Borders Committee and the Committee on Binational Regional Opportunities with the Municipalities and State Government of Baja California together in a joint meeting in 2020

In the San Diego region, there are 17 independent sovereign tribal nations with jurisdiction over 18 reservations – the most in any county in the United States. The Interagency Technical Working Group on Tribal Transportation Issues brings together tribal nations and public agencies that impact tribal transportation to discuss issues of mutual concern. At a policy level, the Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association (SCTCA) has representation on the SANDAG Board and Policy Advisory Committees and collaborates on the development of a tribal consultation plan for each Regional Plan update. Elected leaders from the 19 local governments that make up the SANDAG Board of Directors and the 17 federally recognized tribal governments in the San Diego region periodically convene a Regional Tribal Summit to discuss policy issues of mutual interest related to transportation and regional planning.

Tribal TWG Viejas

Staff and members of the Interagency Technical Working Group on Tribal Transportation Issues conduct a meeting at Viejas Resort

The military

Our region has the largest military presence in the country, with Camp Pendleton, Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, Naval Base San Diego, and Naval Base Coronado. The San Diego Regional Military Working Group provides a collaborative forum for branches of the United States military and SANDAG to address areas of mutual interest, including growth management, habitat, transportation, regional growth, housing, water, energy, and other related topics.

MWG Workshop

Partners and members of different stakeholder groups contributed during the San Diego Regional Military Working Group workshop

Community-based organizations

Promoting social equity and environmental justice in regional planning requires proactive engagement of disadvantaged or underrepresented communities. The 2021 Regional Plan Social Equity Working Group provides a collaborative public forum for  Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) and SANDAG to receive ongoing input from these communities regarding key regional planning activities.

Our CBO partners include: Alliance for Regional Solutions, Bayside Community Center, Casa Familiar, Chula Vista Community Collaborative, City Heights Community Development Corporation, El Cajon Collaborative, National Latino Research Center, Nile Sisters Development Initiative, Olivewood Gardens, Samahan Health Centers, Urban Collaborative Project, and Vista Community Clinic.

Participants at a table collaborating on actvities
Participants with the National Latino Research Center envision improved communities through the 5 Big Moves