Ward 1 - October Update

City of Riverside Councilmember Erin Edwards | Ward 1 Newsletter
Erin at Santa Ana Rivertrail Clean Up with KRCB

Dear Neighbors, 

Ward 1 is busier than ever. Last month, Council made important decisions on street vending and housing opportunities, while residents shared their thoughts on the City's response to homelessness at the September 30th public safety & homelessness workshop. On the weekends, our office cleaned the Santa Ana Trail with you (144,000 pounds of trash collected!), saw you at neighborhood block parties, and celebrated arts and culture with the Riverside Arts Council in White Park. 

Read on to keep up with Ward 1 this month. City Council is finalizing the ARPA Expenditure Plan, supporting local workers, and planning the future of our vibrant Downtown. Finally, learn about how you can have Halloween fun around Ward 1

In service,


Mini office hours on Oct. 27th, link in text.


Tune into Mini Office Hours on October 27th from 5:30-6 PM to check up on specific inquiries or 311 requests with Paloma. 

Ward 1 commissioners and Charter Officers gathered for a retreat overlooking the Downtown at the Main Library

Ward 1 Commissioners (and city-wide commissioners who live in Ward 1) gathered last month to learn from each other and work together to best serve our ward. We were joined by City Clerk Donesia Gause, City Manager Al Zelinka, and City Attorney Phaedra Norton, who shared the cultural shift our City is leading as we align our policies with our strategic goals. Advice from former Ward 1 commissioners invigorated our group as Chani Beeman (CPRC, HRC) and Justin Scott-Coe (RPU) led small-group discussions on how we could best reach our communities and help one another serve effectively. Ward 1 is lucky to have such a dedicated group of community leaders and volunteers.

Slater's MAc and Cheese Bites

A special thank you to Slater's 50/50 for donating delicious snacks that fueled our commissioners before their retreat--the mac and cheese bites, cheesy flatbreads, and fried cauliflower were a hit! Give this new Downtown business a visit at 3750 University Ave #125. 

End Homelessness. Build Housing.

CM Edwards at the Habitat for Humanity Build

Councilmember Edwards at the Habitat for Humanity Build of Mulberry Village -- 10 cottages for people experiencing homelessnes in Ward 1

Homelessness is a complex issue, but some solutions are very simple.

At the October 5th City Council meeting, the City Council approved our 6th Cycle Housing Element. Working with community members over the past year, Riverside's Planning Team identified land throughout Riverside to help us reach our Regional Housing Needs Assessment goals: 18,458+ units.

As our City's housing vacancy rates are at unhealthy levels and as home prices exceed what is affordable, Ward 1 remains a leader in addressing Riverside's housing needs. I am proud to share that Ward 1 --from the Northside to the Innovation District to the Downtown core -- has identified space for 8,338 housing units. This is 39% of our City's total projected units over the next 8 years, more than in any other ward.
Click here to see the future of housing in Ward 1

The more housing we have, the better equipped Riverside will be to address critical topics such as homelessness and housing affordability. Our city is growing, and a robust housing market with diverse housing options provides opportunities for all.

CM Edwards' five-year plan to reduce homelessness

What's Next?

Our 5-Year Plan to Reduce Homelessness Moves Forward!  

We need this plan to ensure 1) progress on our housing and homelessness goals and 2) eligibility for $8.4M of Homeless Housing Assistance and Prevention funding. 

Read the proposed plan here. City staff will work on the plan over the next eight months by engaging the community. I would love to hear from you: reach out to me with your ideas and questions.

As California battles its housing crisis, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) have become a part of our toolkit to address homelessness and housing affordability.

Join us at the workshop listed below to learn more about State ADU legislation and what this means at the local level.

ADU Workshop via Zoom

ARPA Funding Update

ARPA Survey Graphic

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding allocation is a one-time funding opportunity for our city. It's critical we spend this $73 million allocation wisely.

I've advocated for this money to go toward a matching grant fund for businesses to support their security needs, as well as for families who need childcare, for Riverside's nonprofits to support the most vulnerable, and for our city to invest in aging infrastructure.  

You are the eyes and ears on the ground--take this short survey and tell us where you think funding is needed most. Participate in the November 9th Council Meeting to hear the final expenditure plan for this first of two tranches of federal funding. Read the expenditure plan here.

A Win for Local Workers

Members of the audience during 10/12 City Council Meeting

After months of championing a policy to prioritize local, skilled labor when developing formerly City-owned property, Riverside has adopted new Local Hiring Goals and Skilled Workforce requirements for the development of City-owned Surplus Land. 

For many workers, this means it'll be easier to work, live, and play in Riverside! As one commenter said, working in the City where one lives in makes it easier to spend more time with family while taking pride in our community. 

Coming to the dais


Note: Dates and meeting times may change. Please always check Engage Riverside for the latest. 

Block Party at Park View Terrace

Neighbors at a Downtown Block Party in early October 2021

Vote in the municipal election on November 2nd, 2021

Halloween Fest on Saturday, 10/16 at White Park

Spooktacular trunk or treat at Reid Park