Rev. Dr. Monrow Mabon Riverside Ward 4 Candidate
By Dianne Anderson
Rev. Dr. Monrow Mabon never likes to brag about money, but in his lifetime, he has managed to sustain a lucrative lifestyle in his humble retirement, while taking his family on regular vacations and buying great Christmas presents for his twelve grandkids every year.
But it’s not by accident.
Economic planning, whether on a personal level or large scale cities, starts with being frugal, especially during these COVID times. Mabon has spent his entire career helping entities and agencies focus on what’s important, and bringing them from the brink of failure back to life.
He believes that his background in building consensus, restructuring failing organizations and moving them forward can benefit his ward and the city.
“That’s what needs to occur in Riverside, you need someone with a collaborative spirit to bring the council together, to put aside any special interest groups or egos and focus on what you’re there for, to serve the people,” said Mabon, who has served as a city commissioner, as clergy, and as a community activist.
Although he wasn’t an elected official, he initiated and helped bring several projects to completion. In his ward around John F. Kennedy Elementary School, an area of housing development required parents to walk more than a mile to take their students to school.
Typically, that means more traffic, but also safety issues. He pushed to get a sidewalk so parents and students could have easier access, but also to beautify the location and increase property value.
Near Martin Luther King High School, he addressed a nuisance where kids were being dropped off at an area cul-de-sac, and they would run across the high traffic street. He pushed to modify the area, and put in fencing along with a disabled ramp to help eliminate the hazard.
He gained support and funding for the projects by making the case that the projects were relevant to the health of the city.
With his background and training, he counts himself fortunate to be able shed light about the true cost of negligence, and liability for cities and agencies. He focuses on crimes of omission and crimes of commission.
“Once you bring attention to someone and they fail to act, that creates a possibility of greater liability, but punitive damages as well,” he said.
Financial stability is also the foundation of any city and he is concerned that pensions are going to be in demand soon from individuals retiring from the city, another big cost in the near future. The other hit to the city is the loss of businesses.
“We have an estimated 43% of the businesses that were in existence that no longer exist because of covid, and they are likely not to return. That has had an impact on the tax base of the city,” he said.
At this juncture, he thinks that nothing is more important than keeping the city’s reserves stable so the city has what it needs to function for the people.
“If some catastrophic incident happened in the city, will we have the resources to step up and meet the needs of the citizens of Riverside?” he said.
On Sunday, October 4, the 100 Black Men of the Inland Empire is co-sponsoring a voter education Zoom forum online and inviting the community to participate.
The “Black Votes Saves Black Lives” event features guest speaker, historian Dr. Daniel E. Walker, Cecily Myart-Cruz will address corporate responsibility, and Willie Williams, Esq., an attorney and member of the 100 BMIE. The event starts at 3:00 p.m., and is co-sponsored by Sigma Gamma Rho, Iota Phi Theta, 100 Black Men Inland Empire, Rock the Vote and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity.
Keith Willis, president of the 100 Black Men of the Inland Empire, said they are opening the event up to the community to ask questions and discuss all the different nuances and challenges faced in this election.
“I think it’s pivotal and critical that people participate. People assume that California is a foregone conclusion, but we can’t take any risks,” said Willis, who is also an attorney.
He feels that it’s a great venue to get the parents of the students they serve involved and aware about the issues, and he’s also hoping they will reach out to their own family members to spread the word about getting registered to vote, and vote early.
Everyone needs to participate in the democratic process, he stressed, and everyone needs to do their part for what happens on November 3, 2020.
“It’s a matter of personal responsibility. I’m absolutely devoting all of my people there, and I am keyed into the outcome of this election,” he said.
To register for the forum, see https://www.eventbrite.com/e/119168655657?aff=efbneb