If there is one takeaway from this past year, it is that Riverside is moving forward. At the beginning of the year, we were in the worst wave of the coronavirus pandemic, job growth was stagnant, and our economy was under enormous strain. Back then, vaccines were not yet widely available, businesses were struggling to stay afloat, restaurants’ doors were closed, and many of us were at home, separated from our friends and family. Nevertheless, as the year began to take shape, we started to see a Riverside recovery.
The signature annual event for the Mayor of Riverside is the State of the City Address which gathers friends and neighbors from across our city to reflect on the past year and project for the year ahead. My first State of the City did not happen like those of previous mayors. The 2021 address was me talking into a camera while at an empty Fox Performing Arts Center—missing the audience of hopeful Riversiders that has been traditionally present.
On January 27, 2022, I will deliver my second State of the City address—and my first in-person address for this signature event hosted by the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce. The purpose of a State of the City is to highlight the challenges, solutions, and advancements of the past year while providing a roadmap for the year ahead. The guiding light that will direct this event is “Tomorrow is Today – The Riverside Resurgence.” Much like the meaning of resurgence, Riverside too is in the process of rising again into life, activity, and prominence. And now is the time to seize the day—deciding our future today.
Looking back at January 2021, we were facing multiple crises at once, but Riversiders showed their resilience and resolve. Overall, 2021 gave us a window into a prosperous future.
This coming January, my address will explore various themes associated with my priorities and our future. Some of these include green tech initiatives, our focus on Santa Ana River projects, infrastructure improvements, and the importance of state advocacy.
The fact is this: Riverside is in motion again. We are open for business, the most difficult days of the pandemic are in our rear-view mirror, businesses are expanding, and my focus on what is next for our city is clearer than ever. “Tomorrow is Today” recognizes our future prospects and calls on each of us to accept the shared task of creating a future that works for all Riversiders.
It is time to look forward again in Riverside. There is a new day in the city and it’s time to embrace it. It’s time to unlock our potential. It’s time to be optimistic again. And it’s time to recognize that our future will be determined by the actions we take right now.
I look forward to sharing much more in my State of the City address on January 27, 2022 at the Riverside Convention Center. Join in and let’s launch the Riverside Resurgence together.