Mayor’s Monthly Message – December 2023: Year in Review 2023

Published: 12/28/2023

Riverside is on the move—leading our region and state as a center for growth, opportunity, and investment! 

In 2023, we’ve made good on our promise to reimagine Riverside’s economy with input from you, our community partners. We held a series of “Coffee with the Mayor” community meetings with local business owners to listen to their concerns while also sharing the city’s plans for business development. We also finalized an agreement with the electric autonomous shuttle company, Ohmio, to move its international headquarters from New Zealand to manufacture its vehicles right here in Riverside! Ohmio estimates constructing 550-750 shuttles within the first five years, generating over $2 million in sales taxes to the city. Manufacturing not only provides high-quality jobs, but also incentivizes other companies to choose Riverside as a trusted economic partner.

Riverside also received historic levels of infrastructure funding, and not by accident.  Our persistent advocacy efforts at all levels of government and strategic targeting of fund sources secured much needed investment dollars.   Projects like the $75 million dollar 3rd Street grade separation downtown are now fully funded, reducing the over 3 hours a day that cars must wait at the existing railway crossing. On the west end, the $7.4 million-dollar Five Points Neighborhood Pedestrian Safety Improvements have been erected to include five high-visibility crosswalks, the City's first Pavement-to-Parks project, and 1.5 miles of sidewalk development.  And we’ve invested more in road repaving and repair than ever. In this last year, we launched a website that shows the schedule for street repaving over the next few years.  And we’ve paved more streets in 2023 than in the previous decade!

Additionally, we were successful in securing $8.8 million dollars this year from the state to address homelessness. My office was instrumental in the passage of historic mental health legislation like SB 43 which expands the criteria for the detention, treatment, and conservatorship of people with severe mental illness.  We also launched Project Connect to connect those exiting our jail with services and housing and made a $13 million commitment to additional outreach through our Public Safety Engagement Teams.

I know the challenge of homelessness and related mental health crisis have impacted our city and residents, creating an urgency for action. I fight every single day for better mental health laws and more resources. It’s why I’m a relentless advocate for funding to address this crisis, and why I will never shy away from working towards meaningful solutions that actually make an impact on our quality of life. As your mayor, that is my responsibility.  

And as many of you have heard me say, Riverside’s best days are ahead of us!  We have much work to do as we navigate the challenges of our time, but we also have much to be proud of.  Let’s work together and continue to build the promise that is Riverside.