How Government Can Work With Private Business

Published: 06/21/2024


June 21, 2024



Phil Pitchford

Public Information Officer


[email protected]



Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson to Lead Discussion on How Government Can Work With Private Business to Achieve Economic Goals

U.S. Conference of Mayors panel explores ways to spur economic development

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Cities that want to realize their economic development goals must aggressively pursue cooperative agreements with private businesses through public-private partnerships, Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson said.

Lock Dawson will make that case Saturday (6/22) while leading a panel discussion on what are commonly called P3 agreements at the 92nd Annual United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) in Kansas City. Lock Dawson is representing Riverside at the event, which includes more than 200 mayors from across the country among more than 1,000 attendees.

Lock Dawson is a member of USCM’s P3 Task Force, which is chaired by Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens. The task force identifies best practices and opportunities for investment utilizing the P3 model around the country. It also seeks to influence federal policy to ensure the P3 process is as impactful as possible at the local level.

“P3 is a way to protect taxpayers from potential costs while incentivizing the public sector to participate in projects that offer an opportunity to make a reasonable profit,” Lock Dawson said. “The end result is that residents get a better bang for their buck.”

Lock Dawson hosted a local conference on the issue earlier this year. She said P3 is especially attractive to California cities that no longer have access to the redevelopment process to encourage economic development.

The panel discussion is part of a larger effort to give mayors across the nation an opportunity to work together on solutions to common problems while meeting with high-level state and federal officials. For example, Lock Dawson met with representatives from the White House regarding ways to combat homelessness.

Homelessness is becoming more of a nationwide issue every year, even among mayors of smaller cities, Lock Dawson said. For example, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, who chairs the group’s Homelessness Task Force, gave a presentation entitled “Confronting the Homelessness Crisis: Building a New National Agenda,” which was standing room only.

The conference also is an opportunity to seek resources for Riverside. Lock Dawson participates on the Jobs and Workforce Development Committee and the International Affairs Committee, which enabled her to meet with State Department officials regarding how to better attract foreign investment to Riverside and further the city’s economic development goals.

Her focus has been on promoting Riverside and its unique strengths, including the city’s four colleges and universities, including a UC campus; the Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) at UC Riverside; the headquarters of the California Air Resources Board (CARB); and Ohmio, the new autonomous shuttle company opening in Riverside.

“We have a great story to tell in Riverside,” Lock Dawson said. “I’m grateful for this opportunity to share that story and bring resources and dollars home.”