|Elected Mayor:||April 2008|
|Re-elected Mayor:||April 2010, April 2012, and April 2016|
|Term Expires:||April 2020|
Lancaster native R. Rex Parris became the City’s third directly-elected mayor in April 2008. His immediate aggressive stance regarding the overall well-being of Lancaster residents quickly generated dramatic results which have gained nationwide recognition. Due to his fervent dedication to progress, strong leadership style and many accomplishments toward the evolution of his hometown, Parris was re-elected in 2010, 2012, and 2016. The most recent election extended his mayoral duties for another four years.
Upon taking office, Mayor Parris embarked on a mission to dramatically reduce Lancaster’s crime rate. As a result of his steadfast resolve, the City’s crime rate plummeted nearly 40% during his first three years in office.
Community health and wellness issues have also been at the top of the Mayor’s list. He has worked aggressively with City staff, the medical community, and faith-based organizations in Lancaster to foster a three-pronged approach to tackling total-health problems facing neighborhoods with high needs, primarily due to socio-economic status. The result is an extraordinary presence in eight local areas which now have Neighborhood Impact Homes, Wellness Homes and Community Gardens.
Maintaining a tight-knit community focus, Parris served as the catalyst for Lancaster’s downtown renaissance which completely transformed the heart of the city into a massive cultural epicenter. This community gathering place not only hosts annual mega-events such as the Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix, BooLVD Halloween & Harvest Festival, and Magical BLVD Christmas; it also offers seasonal concerts, a weekly farmers market, and daily one-of-a-kind shopping and dining experiences.
The municipal fortitude demonstrated during the worst economic downturn in more than 75 years was taken up a notch with the repositioning of Lancaster as a global leader in the alternative energy realm. This shift came about when Mayor Parris developed and implemented his vision of making Lancaster the Alternative Energy Capital of the World. His numerous successes in this arena have garnered worldwide media attention on an ongoing basis.
Mayor Parris has led the City into forward-thinking unique partnerships with leaders from all over the world. The City of Lancaster worked very closely with eSolar to bring its 20-acre 5MW Sierra SunTower solar project from conception to completion in just 14 months. In August 2009, eSolar proudly held the grand opening of the nation’s only operating solar thermal power tower plant in the United States. China-based technology and manufacturing giant Build Your Dreams (BYD), one of the world’s largest suppliers of advanced battery technology, was paired with KB Home, one of the nation’s premier homebuilders, to create a never-before-attempted affordable solar energy housing community. Having facilitated this project, the City of Lancaster was able to unveil a modestly priced energy-efficient home designed to generate more power than it uses. The grand opening event was held in July 2010 at KB Home’s Alamosa community in West Lancaster. Multiple communities have since followed suit.
The solar journey continued when all of the City’s municipal buildings were converted to solar power. This jump-started the Solar Lancaster Program implemented in partnership with Solar City to provide an affordable solar financing program for homeowners, business owners and nonprofit organizations. The Solar Lancaster program was designed to simplify the process of going solar by reducing energy bills, offering several financing options and discounting solar pricing, while providing custom solar system designs and monitoring.
Additional solar partnerships spearheaded by Mayor Parris include entering into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and a power purchase agreement (PPA) with US Topco Energy, Inc. Parris also expanded the City’s relationship with clean-energy investment firm Beautiful Earth Group to embark on making Lancaster one of the first “Net Zero Cities” in the world. By bridging local assets and development interests with viable international partnering opportunities in the “green” space, Parris has effectively generated endless possibilities for Lancaster’s economic future.
Outside of his municipal reigns, Parris is the co-founder of the R. Rex Parris law firm, which he established in 1985 with his wife Carrol.
A graduate of Antelope Valley Community College, as well as the prestigious Scholar’s Program at the University of California - Santa Barbara, Parris earned his Juris Doctor Degree from Southwestern University School of Law. He was admitted to the California State Bar in 1980.
Thankful for their continued blessings, Carrol and Rex generously support local charities, law enforcement, and educational scholarships.