On January 24, 2013, Riverside’s 17th mayor, William “Rusty” Bailey, delivered his first State of the City address to an audience of residents, business owners, fellow educators, current and past elected officials, several of his students, and his family.
“Through my conversations of the state of our city, I discovered this: the state of our city is responsive and responsible, dynamic and sustainable, inclusive and intelligent. These are the words that I believe best describe and exemplify OUR city.”
That statement set the tone for the new mayor’s articulations of his commitments and vision for Riverside, and he referenced three themes that he not only integrated into his address and (per Bailey) will continue to refer to throughout his time in office: Gratitude, Leadership Philosophy, and Challenge.
“My philosophy on leadership is simple: lead by example and take care of your troops,” explained Bailey. “Integrity, vision, courage and passion are all characteristics that motivate me daily, and it is my mission that these characteristics will define Riverside’s leadership and for which Riverside will be known throughout the region, the state, our country and the world. If we all share the philosophy of a servant leader, imagine what we can accomplish working together in public and private enterprise.”
As his inaugural address, naturally this is the instance in which the mayor’s expectations of city employees are set. However, the 6th generation resident added a slightly different and more personal touch for the audience to contemplate. What would their role be? What are they doing to make their lives and Riverside a better place? What can they do? Bailey acknowledged that Riverside needed the engagement, support and leadership of our community to make these things happen.
“Better together;” doing things “The Riverside Way”.
“We have our own style here, our swagger…but I call it, The Riverside Way,” to which Mayor Bailey described as
- Collaborative…we are ‘better together’
- Welcoming…we make new people feel at ease and at home; old Riverside accepts new Riverside like no other
- Relational…meaningful conversations build meaningful relationships
“My challenge to you is to believe in the Riverside Way, and to commit yourself and to make yourself available to the Riverside Way in 2013. Available to serve your family, available to serve your neighborhoods, and available to serve YOUR city,” challenged Bailey. “To do this, we build upon the four pillars of our strategic plan, Seizing Our Destiny: Intelligent Growth, Catalyst for Innovation, Location of Choice and Unified City.” (Click here to read Riverside’s definitions for each.)
Bailey’s commitments for 2013 included:
- Leveraging our relationships with Sister Cities to create economic opportunities for Riverside
- Making weekly school and business visits
- Keeping the UCR School of Medicine Creation a top priority
- Continuation of the Education Roundtable to continue the work of Completion Counts and create new approaches to ensure we are enabling our students to be the best and brightest
- Organizing a Business Roundtable to create policy and programs that help Riverside businesses create jobs for our community
Catalyst for Innovation
- Increasing green and sustainable programs and businesses in Riverside
- Creating an Innovation Center on Main Street Riverside that supports new entrepreneurs and start-up businesses
- Supporting the creation of the Riverside Entrepreneurial Academy with the four universities and colleges in Riverside to grow our own entrepreneurs
Location of Choice
- Telling Our Story: “ensuring the Riverside we know and love becomes the Riverside that everyone knows and loves; we are a new side of classic California”
- Developing a 21st century transportation network, including a streetcar plan to help college students have easier access to our retail centers and entertainment hubs
- Continuing Mayor’s Night Out and Walk with Mayor events
- Spending time with each of the City Councilmembers in their Wards and with city staff in all departments
- Continue building bridges and cultivating relationships to deepen our historic roots and promoting the Riverside Way
- Promoting a healthier lifestyle for all Riversiders
- Encouraging Riversiders to commit to helping others and the community
Mayor Bailey concluded his inaugural State of the City address with this challenge:
“What is your destiny in Riverside? This is YOUR city. This is YOUR moment. Whatever your destiny is, let’s achieve it together. After all, THAT is the Riverside Way.”
To watch the full 2013 State of the City address, click here.