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A Vote for Me is a Vote for you! March 3, 2020


Rich Gardner  
What an honor it will be to serve Riverside in the capacity of Mayor!... I live in Orangecrest with my wife Shelley and her 46 year old special needs daughter, the effervescent Kimberly Nielsen. I retired from Stater Bros in 2013 to tend to my late wife Debbie who would pass from early onset Alzheimer's in June of 2014. I became an advocate during her last year serving as an ambassador to Rep. Mark Takano and speaking before city council meetings in Riverside. I learned that city government can listen to it's residents and enact change, when we adopted a "Get Home Safe" program for the cognitively impaired in August of 2014. That kind of a government structure is what I hope to not only maintain but thrive in the city of Arts and Innovation.

Speaking   I honed my public speaking skills at Riverside Community College, where I was the Student of distinction in Television News. I also spent 4 years producing the High School Game of the week for Charter Communications and was the sideline reporter on the broadcast. This helped me learn what a great tradition of outstanding athletes our city turns out.

Mayor's Office    Working through Mayor Bailey's office, I was able to start up and establish a Dementia Friendly City program to help enhance the lives of those living with the disease and the ones that care for them. Shelley and I developed a monthly program to bring joy to a difficult situation as we host a support group party once at the Janet Goeske Senior Center. This March will be our four year anniversary of the event. On my personal journey, I found traditional support groups helpful but there was sadness as people shared their experiences.
Caregiving    I recently returned to the area full time after spending almost two years helping my mother take care of her dear sweet husband Curtis Schmidt in Long Beach. I have learned a lot as a caregiver in the past 10 years. I learned that you do everything in your power to make sure your loved one is safe. Safety is always first ! but dignity is a real close second. I learned that you sacrifice a lot of your life when you are a caregiver and I am ready to make that commitments to the city I love, Riverside! Working Together    I believe my heart and ability to bring people together give me the ability to not only solve the issues Riverside is facing but to lead us in a better direction of togetherness and community in ways we haven't seen before. Working together, I believe there is nothing we can't accomplish.. Thank you for considering me in the March election for Mayor and as cliche as it sounds because basically every politician says it... I really look forward to serving you!