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 two 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.
Mayor Lock Dawson continues to secure funding and support community projects such as the Youth jobs Corps, Riverside Military Wall of Honor, and Beautify Riverside. Mayor Lock Dawson secured $4.4 million in funding for the Youth Job Corps to help youth who face pressing challenges; launched a remarkable, localized fundraising effort of $200,000 to revitalize the Riverside Military Wall of Honor; and strongly advocates for a cleaner community through the promotion and continued dedication to the Beautify Riverside initiative.
To work towards common sense solutions that address homelessness and the visible mental health challenges that many times accompany it, Mayor Lock Dawson advocated for various state bills to combat the plethora of challenges on the streets every day. One of those bills – CARE Court – was signed into law by Governor Newsom after significant advocating and personal lobbying efforts by the Mayor. CARE Court empowers family members, first responders, and behavioral health providers with an avenue to petition a civil court on behalf of a loved one or community member who is incapable of caring for themselves.
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.