Serge Dedina

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Serge Dedina
18th Mayor of Imperial Beach
Assumed office
December 9, 2014
Preceded byJim Janney
Personal details
Los Angeles, California
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Emily Dedina
Residence(s)Imperial Beach, California
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Texas at Austin
University of California, San Diego

Serge Dedina is the current mayor of Imperial Beach, California and Executive Director of Wildcoast,[1] a non-profit environmentalist group. A member of the Democratic Party, he was elected 18th Mayor of Imperial Beach in 2014.

Personal life[edit]

Dedina was born in 1964 in Los Angeles, California to a Jewish father and a British mother.[2] Dedina moved to Imperial Beach in 1971 and attended elementary, middle, and high school there. Dedina went on to study at the University of California, San Diego graduating with a B.A. in political science. Dedina also has an M.S. in geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Texas at Austin.[3] Dedina lives in Imperial Beach with his wife Emily and sons Daniel and Israel. Dedina is a former lifeguard and self-proclaimed avid surfer. Apart from his mayoral duties, Dedina manages Wildcoast at its Imperial Beach headquarters.[4]


He is the former Northwest Mexico Program Manager for The Nature Conservancy's Baja California Program.[5] In his capacity as director Dedina lobbied for the development of the San Lorenzo Marine Archipelago National Park in Baja California, Mexico.

In 1988, Dedina successfully lobbied the Mexican government for San Ignacio Lagoon, a gray whale breeding zone, to be included in the El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve.[6]


In 2005, Dedina's Wildcoast launched a media campaign starring former Playboy Playmate Dorismar in a series of provocative posters proclaiming "Sea turtle eggs DO NOT increase sexual potency!" The advertisements featured Dorismar in revealing thong underwear exposing her bare buttocks. These advertisements drew ire from women's rights groups, and several environmental groups refused to be associated with the campaign.[7][8]

In 2016, Dedina issued a citywide proclamation declaring Imperial Beach to be a "Welcoming City" and directed "city departments to [...] help provide services to families legally relocating to the City of Imperial Beach."[9] Many Imperial Beach residents interpreted the language of the proclamation as a veiled attempt at labeling Imperial Beach as a Sanctuary city.[10][11] Due to a large outpouring of community outrage the Mayor was forced to rescind his proclamation after significant citizen backlash at an open city forum.[12]


  1. ^ "Who We Are". Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Serge Dedina Wants To Increase Civic Participation". San Diego Free Press – Grassroots News & Progressive Views. April 8, 2015.
  3. ^ "Mayor Serge Dedina - City Council". City of Imperial Beach.
  4. ^ "US Contact". WILDCOAST. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  5. ^ "Baja Preserves". The New York Times. May 31, 1998.
  6. ^ Dedina, Serge (2000). Saving the Gray Whale : People, Politics, and Conservation in Baja California. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. ISBN 978-0-8165-1845-6.
  7. ^ McKinley, James C. Jr. (August 25, 2005). "Turtle Eggs, Sex and Flirty Ads, Fixings of a Mexican Stew". The New York Times.
  8. ^ Iliff, Laurence (September 4, 2005). "Protectors Of Turtles Stick Necks Out With Ad". Washington Post.
  9. ^ "Imperial Beach Welcoming Proclamation". San Diego Reader. January 30, 2017.
  10. ^ Sampite-Montecalvo, Allison (February 2, 2017). "South Bay officials consider pros, cons of 'welcoming' city".
  11. ^ "Imperial Beach pulls in its horns". San Diego Reader. September 26, 2016.
  12. ^ Sampite-Montecalvo, Allison (September 25, 2016). "IB mayor retracts city's 'welcome' to migrants".