Gustavo Rivera was elected State Senator for New York Senate District 33 in November of 2010. The 33rd Senate District consists of the Northwest Bronx including Kingsbridge Heights, East Tremont, Crotona Park, Fordham, Belmont, Van Nest, Claremont, High Bridge and Morris Park. As State Senator, Gustavo is dedicated to working to change the way business is done in the legislature and to ensure that the families of the 33rd Senate District have a voice in Albany.
The first bill Senator Rivera introduced in the New York State Senate dealt with greater government transparency and financial disclosure. The substance of this legislation, which proposed making it mandatory for public officials to disclose all sources of income they receive apart from their government salary, was included in Governor Cuomo’s ethics package that passed the legislature and was signed into law in 2011.
Previously, Senator Rivera served as the ranking member of the Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Committee. During that time he introduced and passed legislation to allow charitable organizations throughout the state to post bail bonds for individuals who cannot afford to do so themselves.
In addition to serving as a State Senator, Gustavo continues to serve as an adjunct professor at Pace University, where he teaches courses in political science. Prior to becoming a State Senator, Gustavo worked as a community organizer for several local and state candidates including Jose Serrano Jr.’s and Andrea Stewart Cousins’ campaign for state senate, as well as Fernando Ferrer’s 2001 campaign for Mayor of New York City. In early 2008, SEIU hired Gustavo to manage their activities on behalf of Barack Obama in several crucial primary states. In this role, Gustavo traveled to Indiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas – even to his home of Puerto Rico – on behalf of Senator Obama. Gustavo was then tapped by Senator Obama to serve as his Hispanic Vote Director in the crucial swing state of Florida. Gustavo then returned home to New York State to serve as the Director of Community Outreach for US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
Since 2000, Rivera has also served as a faculty member and mentor for “Somos el Futuro," the annual Model State Senate program sponsored by CUNY, SUNY, the NY State Assembly, and the Puerto Rican Hispanic Task Force. For more than a decade, serving as a mentor to the participants of the Model State Senate program has been both a great pleasure and a source of inspiration for Senator Rivera and he looks forward to continuing his to work with “Somos el Futuro,”.
Gustavo was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico. In 1998, Gustavo graduated from the University of Puerto Rico and moved to New York to begin a doctoral program in political science at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. A proud Bronxite, he has lived in Kingsbridge Heights for the last ten years.