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Riverside Mayor


Riverside's Hometown Hero

Patricia Lock Dawson was elected the 18th Mayor of Riverside in November 2020, following nine years of service on the Riverside Unified School District Board of Trustees. Her election makes history as she is the first University of California, Riverside alumna to hold Riverside’s mayoral position and the second woman elected Mayor in Riverside’s 150-year history.


A Riverside native, mother of three, and small business owner, Mayor Lock Dawson is Principal and Owner of PLD Consulting, which assists organizations with land use, governmental affairs and strategic planning. She has been instrumental in passing legislation to secure tens of millions of dollars in state and federal funds for regional conservation, habitat, and infrastructure projects. She has served at every level of government and has held many local and state leadership roles.

A Passionate Advocate

Since the 1990s, Mayor Lock Dawson has been a champion for the Santa Ana River. She led the Santa Ana River Partnership, a regional coalition of three counties, twenty-four cities and a variety of nonprofits in Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange Counties. Adding to her dedication to Riverside’s natural landscape, she also established the Santa Ana River Trust, a non-profit community-involvement program and in 2014 assisted in the crafting of legislation to create the Santa Ana River Conservancy.

Mayor Lock Dawson has spent most of her career in public service, working to better the lives of her fellow community members. In addition to her service on the Riverside Unified School District Board of Trustees (2011-2020), Mayor Lock Dawson also worked for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the California State Legislature.

A passionate advocate for the delivery of mental health services, Mayor Lock Dawson is a three-time gubernatorial appointee to the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, serving as Vice-Chairperson for this board that oversees all behavioral science professionals in California. Her appointments are noteworthy as few state board members are appointed and subsequently reappointed by governors from different political parties.

A Leader in the Community

As a committed community member, Mayor Lock Dawson has served as Chairperson for the city’s Planning Commission, President of the Inland Chapter of California Women Lead, and has served on the boards of the California Water Education Foundation, Riverside Art Museum, National Charity League and UCR Alumni Board of Directors, among others.

Honored for her service many times, Mayor Lock Dawson was recognized by The Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce as the Leadership Riverside Distinguished Alumni of the Year. Assemblymember Jose Medina named her a 61st District Woman of Distinction; Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful presented her with its Lady Bird Johnson Award; and she was honored as Appointee of the Year by California Women Lead.

Mayor Lock Dawson received her Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of California, Riverside and her Master of Science degree in wildlife ecology from the University of Washington, in Seattle, as well as a Master of Business Administration from Claremont Graduate University. Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson lives in Riverside with her husband Scott and their American Shepherd, Scout.

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