Mayor's Office

Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson

Patricia Lock Dawson is a Riverside native and small business owner. She was elected Riverside’s 18th mayor in 2020. Mayor Lock Dawson is the first UC Riverside graduate and second woman to be elected to Riverside’s only citywide office in its 150-year history. She has an extensive record of service to Riverside, the Inland Southern California region, and the state. Mayor Lock Dawson served three political appointments under two gubernatorial administrations alongside serving in every level of government prior to being Mayor of Riverside.

As an environmental scientist and wildlife biologist by training, Mayor Lock Dawson was instrumental in passing legislation to secure tens of millions of dollars in state and federal funds for regional conservation, habitat, and infrastructure projects. She is well-known across the state as a champion of the Santa Ana River—the namesake of the City of Riverside.



Under Mayor Lock Dawson’s collaborative leadership, Riverside has secured over $300 million in state and federal dollars to address needs in infrastructure, homelessness, and workforce development. Her success in securing historic levels of funding for the city is also accompanied by her advocacy work in reforming major mental healthcare laws that have not been accomplished in the last 50+ years. Mayor Lock Dawson’s individual lobbying efforts led to the historic passage of CARE Court, a tool that empowers family members, first responders, and behavioral health providers to petition the court to get help for those incapable of caring for themselves. Her award-winning programs for combatting homelessness have been recognized locally and statewide and serve as an instrumental blueprint aimed at prevention and intervention.

Mayor Lock Dawson is a member of several coalitions such as the Big City Mayors, US Conference of Mayors, Riverside Conservation Authority and South Coast Air Quality Management District. The Mayor notably Chairs the Legislative/Communications & Membership Committee for the Southern California Association of Governments and is the Vice Chair of the Community and Economic Development Federal Advocacy Committee for the National League of Cities.




As an accomplished, respected leader in the community, Mayor Lock Dawson has achieved numerous awards and accolades throughout her career as a public servant. One of the most notable awards she has received is the Art Pick Distinguished Leader Award from the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce.


The Mayor's Role

The role of the Mayor in Riverside is unique. The City Charter outlines this role in three ways:

Present programs, objectives and priorities of the City of Riverside

Interpret policy and programs for the people

Advise the City Council on all policy matters and public relations


Mayor's Office Mission Statement

The Mayor's Office is dedicated to serving and honoring the needs of the community, demonstrating integrity, fairness, professionalism and confidence in the execution of the Mayor's priorities and the referral of city services. In all our work we strive to further the success of our city, while promoting the vision that Riverside's best days are ahead of us.