Financial Disclosure legislation
His first week in office, Gustavo Rivera introduced legislation to increase government transparency and make it mandatory for public officials to disclose all sources of income they receive apart from their government salary. It was important to Gustavo that New Yorkers know exactly who is paying their public officials. Passing this legislation as part of Governor Cuomo’s ethics package was one important step toward ending the influence of special interests in state government.
Campaign finance reform
Since his campaign in 2010, Gustavo Rivera has been firm in his support for public financing of elections for the State of New York. Gustavo believes that ensuring that communities of color and working class individuals have the right to vote is not enough. As a democratic society, we must guarantee the right of ordinary citizens to run and win elective office. Gustavo believes that the gap between our government and the people will only grow wider if the wealthy or well connected are the only ones who can get elected. He will continue to fight for campaign finance reform in order to level the playing field for citizens from all walks of life to become public servants.
Pushed for independent redistricting
After being elected of a platform of bringing reform to Albany, Gustavo was one of the strongest voices in fighting for independent redistricting. Gustavo believes that voters should choose their elected officials, not the other way around. While independent redistricting did not become a reality, Gustavo continues to believe that in order for New Yorkers to be fairly represented, we have to draw districts in a way that is non-partisan and not politically motivated.
Encouraging Civic Participation
As a college professor of political science, Gustavo decided he would put his knowledge and skills as an educator to use teaching community civics classes in partnership with local public libraries and community leaders. The issues addressed during the series include the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the different roles of local and state government, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and Voting and Elections. Hundreds of Bronxites attended the community civics classes, including individuals studying for citizenship exams, high school and college students and other community members. Senator Rivera plans to continue teaching community civics classes throughout the 33rd Senate District.