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Big City Mayors ask state leadership for historic funding allocation to address homelessness

Today at 10:30 a.m., Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson and fellow Big City Mayors (BCM) will virtually ask the governor and legislative leadership to include a historic $16 billion over four years in the state budget to house nearly every Californian who entered a homeless shelter in 2020. (Office of the Mayor) If approved, this state investment would become the largest allocation of funds dedicated to fighting the homelessness crisis in United States history.

The $16 billion funding request is not unfounded, as BCM notes that California is home to over 25 percent of the nation’s unhoused residents. BCM also sees a unique opportunity to measurably impact California’s homelessness crisis through the combination of the $26 billion the state received from the American Rescue Planand the $14 billion budget surplus.

As one of only 13 mayors in the coalition, Lock Dawson’s involvement in BCM is critical to Riverside’s future.

“Riverside’s active role in the Big City Mayors coalition has been one of the Mayor’s Office’s most consequential achievements over the last several years,” Lock Dawson said. “We are the only city in our region included in this coalition and our active participation has secured our spot at the main stage of state decisions.”

In today’s press conference, Lock Dawson said she will share Riverside’s proven record of innovation in using state funding allocations to address homelessness. The coalition will also speak to why the multibillion-dollar funding would be transformative for California cities.

As far as Riverside, Lock Dawson said that residents have clearly expressed homelessness to be one of the greatest challenges of our time. Lock Dawson intends to leverage her role in the coalition to lobby for instrumental funding to tackle the city’s most pressing issues, like homelessness.

“This critical advocacy work on behalf of Riversiders at the state level will be a cornerstone of my administration,” said Lock Dawson.

The BCM coalition is built of the mayors of California’s 13 most populated cities: Anaheim, Bakersfield, Fresno, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San José, Santa Ana and Stockton.

Watch today’s press conference live at 10:30 a.m.