The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Makes A Splash At City Hall

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Dana Straehley, published in the Press-Enterprise on August 21, 2014.)

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is flooding the nation, with everyone from former President George W. Bush to celebrities such as Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Justin Bieber getting soaked for charity.  The Riverside area is all wet as well.

Riverside Mayor William "Rusty" Bailey takes the Ice Bucket Challenge Thursday at the fountain in front of City Hall.  Phot credit: Kurt Miller

Riverside Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey takes the Ice Bucket Challenge Thursday at the fountain in front of City Hall. Photo credit: Kurt Miller

Friends challenge each other to donate $100 for ALS or take a soaking and post photos or video to social media. 

Riverside Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey was among the latest Thursday to have ice water poured over his head in the fundraising stunt that has gone viral. Drenched while sitting in the fountain in front of City Hall, he challenged his City Council colleagues to do the same or donate $100.  According to The ALS Association, Ice Bucket Challenge donations have surpassed $79 million as of 8/25/14.  For more information about ALS research in Riverside County, click here to connect with The ALS Golden West Chapter Support Group located here in Riverside.    

ALS, or Lou Gehrigs Disease, is a progressive disease that causes motor nerves to degenerate in the brain and spinal cord so the nerves can’t control muscles, leading patients to lose their ability to walk and talk and leading to eventual paralysis and death, according to the ALS Association.

Riverside Mayor William "Rusty" Bailey gets a double-bucket dunking from his daughters Julia, 8, left, and Elizabeth, 11, on Thursday at the fountain in front of City Hall.  Photo credit: Kurt Miller

Riverside Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey gets a double-bucket dunking from his daughters Julia, 8, left, and Elizabeth, 11, on Thursday at the fountain in front of City Hall. Photo credit: Kurt Miller

The people of Riverside are brought together around common interest and concerns, to engage with one another and accelerate the common good for all.  The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is just one example of Riverside coming together as a unified city.  Research and awareness for ALS is an important cause whether you are a professional, college student, or the Mayor.  It is refreshing to see all types of individuals from different backgrounds in the community doing there part to try and make a real difference.

To read the full article, click here.

 

 

Riverside Police Officers Help Students Gear Up

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Brian Rokos, published by the Riverside County Office of Education on August 13, 2014.)

Riverside police have provided about 500 schoolchildren with a little magic as they prepare to head back to class this month.

Riverside police Officers Mike Crawford, left, and Ryan Railsback hand out backpacks filled with school supplies to children at Casa Blanca Library.  Photo credit: Brian Rokos

Riverside police Officers Mike Crawford, left, and Ryan Railsback hand out backpacks filled with school supplies to children at Casa Blanca Library. Photo credit: Brian Rokos

Our community is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all of it’s inhabitants, regardless of background or socioeconomic status.  Another example of how Riverside exemplifies Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar, the Riverside Police Dept. values the potential of students from lower income families and focuses on facilitating their school supplies.  Everyone in our community deserves access to quality education, and the opportunity to engage with one another for a better life for all.

The Riverside Police Officers’ Association, A Foundation for Kids and the Riverside Police Foundation have handed out backpacks to children from low-income families in the past two weeks.  On Tuesday, Officers Ryan Railsback and Mike Crawford, Lt. Eric Charette and other Police Department employees lined up 75 grade-schoolers at Casa Blanca Library and gave them sturdy, black backpacks loaded with pens, pencils, paper, folders, rulers and crayons.

“If you give them a good foundation, they will go far in life,” said Rose Marie Lane, the community liaison for the Police Officers’ Association and unofficial Police Department mom. “You have to give them the tools to start with.”

One child put on a sad face after being handed a backpack. It seemed he already had one at home. Lane told the boy that there were magic pens inside that would help him get good grades. Lane suggested the boy share this duplicate backpack and gave him a big hug.

To read the full article, click here.

PICK Group’s Board Development Training Program Is Accepting Applications

(This article contains excerpts from PICK Group’s post on July 17, 2014.)

The Board Development Training Program (BDTP) is seeking engaged and civic-minded individuals between ages 21-40 who want to grow their personal potential and community value in Riverside.  Since 2009, BDTP has trained and placed more than 40 graduates onto local nonprofit boards of directors, including The Unforgettables, the Mission Inn Foundation, The Riverside Area Rape Crisis Center, Path of Life, and Community Connect.

The deadline has been extended until Monday, August 25, 2014 at 8 PM.

Photo Credit; The PICK Group

Photo Credit; PICK Group

Class participants learn numerous aspects of the nonprofit sector, including governance, legalities, financial management, strategic planning, fundraising, board recruitment, and marketing. Speakers on the various topics include experienced community leaders and experts in their field, such as Damien O’Farrell, Sue Mitchell, and Aaron Norris, among others.

PICK Group is a model of Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth and unified city pillars.  They value and embrace the growth of the nonprofit sector in our community, and are dedicated to further engaging Riversiders to get involved with local non profits.  Pick group motivates individuals to get involved and take leadership roles in civic duty.  Getting Riversiders to come together and engage in civic duty is an effective route to accelerate the common good for the community as a whole.

BDTP’s mission is to educate participants on the roles and responsibilities of nonprofit board directorship, to inspire participants to utilize their skills to address the community’s needs, and to hone effective board members that serve as a model for the future leaders and betterment of Riverside.

Please contact Kristii MacEwen at bdtp@pickriverside.org with any questions regarding the application or if you are interested in recruiting one of PICK Group’s BDTP Graduates for your board of directors.

For the full article, or to get more information and apply, click here.

 

Riverside Embraces Transparency And Open Data

(This article contains excerpts from an article on cafwd.org by Christopher Nelson, published on 7/30/14)

City of Riverside making headway with new open data portal

With its brand new citywide transparency portal launched earlier this month, Riverside joins Los Angeles, Palo Alto, and other California cities that are embracing transparency and open data without reservation.  The city claims that the newly launched site “EngageRiverside” gives unfettered access to 815,000 documents that contain 3.4 million pages worth of information on any facts or data sets that inquiring citizens or journalists would want to know.

Photo credit: cafwd.org

Photo credit: cafwd.org

The site has sections for city records, budget and finance, general open data, council and board meeting agendas and info, election results, maps as well as one for reporting fraud. What is perhaps most interesting, however, is the one labeled “Share Your Ideas,” which after clicking leads you to a tool called MindMixer. It offers the ability for direct, two way communication between residents and city officials.

Although social media already exists for exchanges like this, residents create an account with MindMixer and it’s specifically tailored for this type of interaction while offering community members a chance to engage and share ideas with each other as well.  “Collaboration and making use of collective knowledge is critical,” said Lea Dessing, Chief Innovation Officer for Riverside at an event earlier this year at which she previewed some of the thinking behind Engage Riverside. “It’s not about government being all knowing, it’s about public participation.”

As a unified city, Riverside invites the community to get involved and participate.  “EngageRiverside is neither the beginning nor the end of our ongoing effort to improve transparency, but it is an important step forward,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said in a release.  Riversiders care about each other and understand that involvement like this will benefit everyone.   

To read more, click here.

UC Riverside Hosts ‘Boot Camp’ To Ease Native Americans’ Entry

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Krysta Fauria, published in the Press-Enterprise on July 23, 2014.)

Young college bound Native Americans are being encouraed to attend the “Boot Camp” opportunities at UC Riverside.  These exercises are an outstanding model of Riverside growing as a unified city.  Riversiders care for one another and ensure that everyone has access to a great education and the resources necessary to succeed.  We are a caring community that engages with one another for a better life for all. 

Native Americans take part in a drum circle before workshop sessions at UCR. Only 12 percent of Native Americans between 25 and 34 have four-year degrees, compared to 37 percent of whites, according to a 2012 report.  Photo credit: Chris Carlson

Native Americans take part in a drum circle before workshop sessions at UCR. Only 12 percent of Native Americans between 25 and 34 have four-year degrees, compared to 37 percent of whites, according to a 2012 report. Photo credit: Chris Carlson

Throughout their week at UCR, students got a taste of the college experience by attending classroom lectures, eating in the cafeteria and sleeping in the dorms. The 30 students also participated in cultural activities like prayer circles and beading workshops.  Upon completion of UCR’s program, students are given access to the university’s resources and staff to assist with the application process.

Elijah Watson knows he wants to go to college. He also knows it will be difficult to leave home on the Navajo reservation if he does.  The 17-year-old was reminded of the tough decision he’ll face next year when he participated in a week long celebration in March of his cousin’s Kinaalda, a hallowed Navajo ceremony marking a girl’s transition into womanhood.

Native Americans gather for a drum circle before workshop sessions at UC Riverside on Thursday, June 26.  Photo Credit: Chris Carlson

Native Americans gather for a drum circle before workshop sessions at UC Riverside on Thursday, June 26. Photo Credit: Chris Carlson

To reach students like Watson with higher education aspirations, a growing number of universities are offering programs to recruit and prepare Native American students for a transition to college life that can bring on a wrenching emotional conflict as they straddle two worlds.

Many young Native Americans find themselves divided by their desire for a higher education and the drive to stay close to home to hold onto a critical part of their identity. Sometimes, families discourage children from pursuing college, fearing once they leave the reservation, they won’t come back.

To read the full article, click here.

Students Interact With Officials In Summer Bridge Programs

(This article contains excerpts from rusdlink.org.)

Over the past several weeks, students enrolled in RUSD Summer Bridge programs have had a unique opportunity to learn about our community and government by speaking directly with local, state and national leaders. Congressman Mark Takano, Assemblyman Jose Medina, Riverside, City Councilman Mike Gardner, and Darlene Trujillo-Elliot, Assistant to Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey and Riverside firefighters were among those who took part in this project.

Photo credit: RUSD

Photo credit: RUSD

Students participating in the community history project included those in the AVID Excel Middle School programs at Chemawa, Sierra andUniversity Heights Middle Schools and English Language Learner students from across the district.  Working with Taylor Libolt, Curator of Education for theMission Inn Museum, students learned about our community, researched government roles and wrote and practiced interview questions for dignitaries.

My broad goal with our community history project is to teach students about local history in non-traditional ways,” Darlene Trujillo-Libolt noted. “This is accomplished through guided research, walking tours, photography, mural design, and of course oral history interviews.  I hope that our students were able to gain insight into the many untold and unseen histories of Riverside by speaking with and learning from our community leaders and professionals.

Photo credit: RUSD

Photo credit: RUSD

The Summer Bridge Programs are great examples of Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar.  Riverside is committed to nurturing an environment where everyone is involved and everyone has a voice.  Riverside is a city for everyone and by everyone. Riversiders respect and value the cultural heritage, distinct needs and varied input of each of our neighbors, while proactively engaging them across historical dividing lines.

To read more, click here.