Mayor’s Monthly Message November 2021: State Advocacy Secures Riverside Historic Funding

Published: 11/03/2021

Fostering relationships around a shared vision is fundamental to achieving results and making progress. As your representative, it is incumbent that I, and other local elected officials, do not allow politics to get in the way of delivering results for Riversiders. We may not always agree with, or vote similarly as, those in Sacramento but we must ensure that Riverside has a say in state funding decisions. The way we ensure more funding comes to Riverside—a historically underfunded region—is by working with state leaders on shared needs and goals.

In my conversations with Riversiders, I hear the concerns and understand the frustration that many express regarding issues ranging from quality of life to finances and economic development. Addressing these matters is no easy task and Riverside cannot solve these challenges on an island. Good governance requires effective advocacy and diligent oversight of our processes and procedures.

State advocacy has been a focus of mine for decades. Over those years, I was able to secure millions of dollars in funding for major sustainability and land use projects. Now, as mayor, that same drive for ensuring our community receives its fair share of state resources continues.

Recent advocacy has brought home major investments into projects and initiatives. These efforts have secured $3 million in allocated funding for the Civil Rights Institute of Inland Southern California which is under construction now and will provide 72 affordable housing units.

This summer, state advocacy efforts secured $7 million for the Harada House restoration and construction of an adjacent interpretive center that will tell the story of the landmark legal battle over the California Alien Land Law of 1913, which prevented non-citizens from owning property. The Museum of Riverside hopes to have this large-scale project completed in several years.

A $10 million allocation was made for The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture, which is under construction now. This center will open in May 2022 and will be the first museum of its kind in the United States.

$15 million for UC Riverside’s OASIS initiative, or Opportunities to Advance Sustainability, Innovation, and Social Inclusion was secured following extensive partnership between UCR, the City of Riverside, and our state delegation. This initiative will focus on sustainability and advanced technology within a common space for students and the community.

The region’s shortage of doctors spurred the $25 million state investment in the UCR School of Medicine which will help build the second education building, set to open in 2023.  

With state advocacy through my participation in the Big City Mayors coalition, the city has received millions of state dollars to combat homelessness, aid in COVID-19 recovery, and more.

The next round of advocacy efforts is taking shape now and I look forward to sharing those with you soon. I thank our state legislators for their work in ensuring these funds are realized in our community. After witnessing the real investments currently in motion, it is my hope that you too realize the power of Riverside’s advocacy in Sacramento and all that we can achieve when we come together to achieve our goals. There is always more work to do, so let’s get to it!


Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson

18th Mayor of the City of Riverside