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Riverside Mayor’s first State of the City address tackles city budget and calls for regional collaboration

Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson’s first State of the City address this Thursday will discuss a three-pronged approach to achieve financial stability in Riverside as well as what a holistic, post-pandemic recovery might look like for the city.

The annual event will be delivered unlike how any of the mayor’s predecessors presented it before her. Broadcasted from the Fox Performing Arts Center in downtown, the event will be available to stream on two online platforms and three television channels.

“In the State of the City Address I put forward how our community will come together to work towards tomorrow—while continuing to take on the challenges we face today,” Lock Dawson said in a press release.

“From the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to the racial reckoning of the past year, Riverside, our state and our nation have faced unprecedented times, but I am hopeful for our future,” she continued.

According to Philip Falcone, assistant to the mayor, Lock Dawson’s team began preparations for this week’s broadcast shortly after she was inaugurated in November. Falcone shared that constituents will hear the mayor point to the necessity of stable finances in order to address other issues facing the city.

“There are many challenges the city faces, like the area of homelessness and affordable housing” Falcone said.  “But without a stable budget, those other things can’t be accomplished.”

Job creation and budget stabilization were two of the key platforms Lock Dawson promoted on the campaign trail last year and Falcone said these play a foundational role in the 2021 address.

Riverside’s Chamber of Commerce produces the event each year in cooperation with city staff. Cindy Roth, the chamber of commerce president and CEO said that Lock Dawson’s speech carries her own ideas and directives but was developed on the information discussed with many others, like city council.

“I think the one thing the mayor has worked so hard for is collaboration and working together,” Roth said. “Whether it’s with the city, county, state or local businesses, she believes in partnerships … Those elements will be extremely important going forward.”

The broadcast begins at 5 p.m. on the 28, and will be available to watch on WatchRiverside.com, Facebook, and on the following cable networks: Spectrum (Channel 3), Frontier (Channel 21) and AT&T (Channel 99).