Ward 1 candidate Erin Edwards kicks off campaign

By Joshua Ransom

“All politics are local politics,”  Riverside City Council Ward 1 candidate Erin Edwards said at her meet and greet Feb. 24.

Edwards is running to help bring diversity and transparency to the local government.

Edwards is a blue candidate, but as one attendee said, “There are 2000 shades of blue.”

She said she loves this city and feels that it is at the precipice of big growth and changes.

Edwards has a strategy of coalition building with which she hopes to change the face of city council.

One of the major concerns that was brought up by the attendees at the meet and greet for Edwards was the massive warehouse being put in on Center Street.

“I want to help bring jobs to Riverside without becoming the loading dock for the state,” Edwards said.

Edwards is also currently involved with the Save Our Chinatown Committee to help ensure Riverside can restore their Spring Lunar Festival and other events to help make the Asian community feel at home in Riverside.

At her meet and greet, Edwards spoke about her background in charity work such as her time with AmeriCorp where she did relief work in Haiti. She also spoke about helping raise millions for charity and her high involvement in local community groups.

Edwards spoke about how Riverside needs good policy and how it has the ability to set a standard as and an example for the region to follow.

“Homelessness is the biggest problem we are facing as a region,” Edwards said.

Riverside has good policy with the Housing First Initiative, but good policies good for nothing if they are not being used.

Edwards plans to lean into the good policy such as the Housing First Initiative and help to create more good policies to help house those in need.

Edwards laid out her plans to tackle homelessness on a three point plan. First, more emergency options such as shelters. Second, good policies such as Housing First Initiative. Third, a policy to prevent homelessness.

She claimed that it is likely that Riverside’s homeless population will double or triple at its current rate. With solving the homeless problem, the city can use its police resources more effectively. Currently 50 percent of 911 calls are addressing homelessness according to Edwards.

Many of the attendees complained about previous city council meetings.

“We’ve been to city council meetings in the past and have been shut down,” Riverside City College English instructor Jo Scott-Co said.

“How are you going to be different?” another attendee asked.

“I stand on being as transparent as possible,” Edwards said.