The League’s past presidents select an individual for this award whose contributions have been extraordinary over a lifetime of public service. This year’s honoree, Mayor Ron Loveridge has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in public service working on behalf of the city of Riverside, California’s 482 cities and every city nationwide. The award presentation during the League’s conference general session included a slide show of images that are representative of his illustrious career.
A political scientist by training, Mayor Loveridge has spent his professional career as professor at the University of California, Riverside where he has inspired legions of students to commit themselves to public service.
Ron Loveridge was first elected to the Riverside City Council in 1979. After serving on the city council for 14 years, he was elected mayor in 1994, a position he’s held for 18 years and continues to hold today.
During this long service, Mayor Loveridge has played a pivotal role in the strategic and political landscape of not only his own city of Riverside, but also the region, the state and the nation. He sits on boards for the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the Southern California Association of Governments and the Western Riverside Council of Governments. In 2004, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed him to the California Air Resources Board, on which he continues to serve.
In 2004, the League of California Cities achieved one of its most significant successes: adoption by voters of Proposition 1A to protect local government revenues from state raids. Mayor Loveridge was serving as president of the League during much of the campaign and provided magnificent leadership to the board, the members and the staff of the League that resulted in this achievement. From 2009-2010 he served as president of the National League of Cities, giving him a national platform for advocating issues of interest to cities.
Mayor Loveridge received the National Association of Regional Councils Tom Bradley Leadership Award in 2005. More recently, he was inducted into a prestigious national think tank, the National Association of Public Administration.
Robin Lowe, former city council member from the city of Hemet and 2011 League of California Cities past president announced the award at the League conference. She spoke on behalf of the past presidents saying, “Ron Loveridge has actively blended the academic and practical sides of politics to the benefit of his students, his city and the larger local government community in California and across the United States. It’s an honor to recognize Mayor Loveridge for his extraordinary service.”
“Mayor Loveridge is the embodiment of public service. He has devoted himself to thoughtfully advocating for policies that strengthen cities and his work was instrumental in the successful passage of Proposition 1A in 2004,” said League Executive Director Chris McKenzie. “The League’s Past Presidents selection of the mayor is testament to his unwavering dedication to living a life of service to cities.”
The League’s Past Presidents’ Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 1996 and is given annually to an individual who has made a significant and unique contribution to the state or his or her community over an extended period of years. Preference is given to nominees with close ties to cities; however, nominees may also be selected from the categories of local government leaders, academics/teachers, authors, media producers, community leaders and state or national leaders.