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Bringing Safety Home: Mayor's Public Safety Tour Hits Riverside Streets

Facing the challenges of retail theft and homelessness, I'm bringing the conversation on public safety to your front door, ready to tackle these issues together with our community.

I am a firm believer in bringing City Hall to the people. This is why every year since I took office, I have held listening tours dedicated to bringing the conversations happening at city hall directly to your neighborhoods. Beginning with my Big Tent Tour and all throughout the Coffee with the Mayor series, I heard several important interests consistently arise. This is why last month, at the State of the City address, I announced my Public Safety Neighborhood Tour, with the goal of bringing the conversation surrounding our City’s public safety efforts directly to where it matters most— our neighborhoods.

Together with the Riverside Fire and Police Departments, City Attorney’s Office, Councilmembers, and City Manager, we will be discussing active public safety programs and advocacy partnerships led by Riverside to inspire the change necessary for safety in our community. The tour stops will be customized to address the specific needs of each neighborhood, so if you’re involved with a neighborhood group, please contact my office to schedule a stop near you. Our first meeting with the Mission Grove Neighborhood Group reaffirmed the need for more education on the challenges we are facing and the progress we have made.

It’s no secret that retail theft is a major concern statewide due to policies like Proposition 47. This action passed by voters in 2014 reduced the threshold for non-violent crimes. For some non-violent property crimes like theft, this law made offenses where the value does not exceed $950 into misdemeanors. Although this voter initiative had good intentions to reduce over-incarceration, the unintended consequences have been felt all across the state of CA and have left businesses struggling to recover from repeated theft and crime. Coupled with the rise in homelessness, this fundamental challenge is why I support the leadership of our public safety officials, Riverside Police Chief Larry Gonzalez, and our Riverside County DA Mike Hestrin. Under their leadership, they are working to place “The Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act” on the upcoming November ballot to address the shortcomings of laws like Prop 47. We must take swift action and make no mistake: Riverside is leading the way.

There are other simultaneous efforts from legislators at the state level to correct the unintended consequences of this policy, such as SB 22 (Umberg)AB 1702 (Muratsuchi), AB 1990 (Carrillo)AB 1772 (Ramos), and AB 1779 (Irwin) to name a few. Each of these proposals tackles aspects of Prop 47 that are not working, with several of them potentially becoming ballot measures for voters to consider. As your mayor, I pledge to advocate and support more commonsense policies like these that will improve our public safety and secure our businesses. I urge you to stay informed on potential ballot measures and policy changes being proposed, such as the ones listed here. More information on advocacy efforts will be shared at each of the Public Safety Neighborhood tours; I look forward to seeing you at our next stop!