Senator Rivera Releases Video, Urges Fellow Legislators to Keep their Campaign Promises to Pass Ethics Reform

Gustavo Rivera

February 17, 2011

Bronx, NY – Senator Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx) released a video today posted on urging the 54 members of the Senate, both Democrats and Republicans, to keep their campaign promises to reform Albany by passing former New York City Mayor Ed Koch’s reform pledge. Senator Rivera introduced legislation that would make it mandatory for legislators to disclose all sources of income in order for their constituents to know whose interests their legislators are representing in Albany.

“New Yorkers are frustrated by the scandal, corruption and dysfunction that has plagued Albany for years and been a road block to passing common sense legislation time and time again,” Senator Rivera said. “Too often, politicians have put special interests or their own interests ahead of those that they serve. I am committed to passing reforms that will help restore New Yorkers' confidence in their government and elected officials because it is what our constituents deserve and Albany needs."

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos is among the 54 Senators who have pledged to pass ethics reform. The Senate has been in session for almost five weeks and yet Senator Skelos has shown no interest in bringing this legislation to the floor. Senator Rivera is calling on his colleagues that have pledged to reform Albany to bring this legislation to the floor for a vote and expedite the passage of ethics reform.

During the 2010 campaign season, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch received a commitment from 54 of the 62 current Senators, pledging to pass his “New York Uprising Heroes of Reform” pledge. Mayor Koch’s reform pledge includes calling for the immediate passage of ethics reform that includes financial disclosure, campaign finance reform, independent redistricting, and budget reform legislation.

Video can be viewed at


Transcript of Senator Gustavo Rivera

“Last November, New Yorkers spoke loud and clear. They said “we’ve had enough of Albany’s dysfunctional and corrupt politicians.”

“My neighbors weren't being served. And instead of representing the people, the senator from our district represented the worst of government in Albany. I’m here to say we defeated him and I am ready to be an agent of reform.

“I have pledged my commitment to reform Albany, and 53 of my colleagues have done the same. We heard their message, we heard it loud and clear – and now we must deliver.

“At the top of our list is ethics reform. Albany has seen its share of unethical politicians who stole taxpayer money, abused their offices and held themselves above the law. Common-sense legislation has been bogged down for decades because of partisan politics and special interests -- and for too long, money has had a louder voice than the people of the state from Western New York to the Bronx and out to Long Island.

“That's why I'm sponsoring a bill that will require comprehensive financial disclosure from all elected officials. So I say to all my colleagues, and the 53 other senators - Democrats and Republicans - who signed Mayor Koch's pledge – Keep Your Promise, Pass the Pledge and put government back where it belongs—in the hands of the great citizens of New York.”