City of Riverside swears in new mayor

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Patricia Lock Dawson was officially sworn in as Riverside’s mayor Dec. 8. The ceremony was streamed to a primarily virtual audience at the Riverside City Council meeting.

During the ceremony, she took the oath of office, and former Mayor Rusty Bailey passed her the symbolic gavel.

Lock Dawson began her speech by thanking the previous mayors of Riverside, her team, her family, and congratulating her opponent, Andy Melendrez, on a campaign well run.

“I’d also like to congratulate Councilman Melendrez for running a strong campaign and for being gracious during the entirety of the campaign,” Lock Dawson said.

The rest of the speech focused on her goals for continuing to move Riverside forward, as well as dealing with the ongoing crisis of COVID-19.

“Our city has sizeable challenges ahead,” she said. “We must stabilize our budget, work aggressively to address homelessness and employ a strong strategy for post-COVID economic recovery.”

Lock Dawson said she was excited to work with her team and the city council to make Riverside the best it can be and framed the future positively.

“Riverside’s best days are ahead of us — I truly believe that,” she said. “We’re well positioned with unique assets and a strong community.”

The ceremony ended with public comment, which mainly consisted of congratulations to the new mayor. Patrick Maloney, the host of the podcast Hey Riverside, commented in person.

“I just wanted to come down here and congratulate our new mayor, Patricia Lock Dawson,” Maloney said. “Thank you so much for always being so nice this past year, always being approachable and very friendly. It’s really cool to have you as the mayor.”

The Riverside County Registrar of Voter’s office certified the election results Dec. 3, which confirmed Lock Dawson’s win against Melendrez with an approximate margin of 20,000 votes.

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