The nomad of the Senate finally has a home.
Up until now, Senator Gustavo Rivera had been conducting his 33rd Senate District operations out of five “mobile” offices throughout the Bronx. On Wednesday, May 4, he officially moved into his permanent district office at 2432 Grand Concourse between E. 187th and E. 188th streets.
Traditionally, senators move into the office of their predecessors, but Rivera felt that the office he stood to inherit, which belonged to Pedro Espada, was not accessible enough.
He chose the current location based on its easy accessibility from all parts of the district.
“We chose this location because it’s central to the district,” Rivera said. “It’s accessible by the D train and by bus. There’s foot traffic outside. It really was the place we wanted to be.”
Rivera wants the office to serve as a way for his constituents to interact with his office. It will be open Monday through Friday and will include longer hours on Mondays to cater to those who wish to visit the office after work.
He previously met constituents at five different locations provided by other elected officials and local community boards. Some of those satellite offices will remain open, but the Grand Concourse location will now be the hub of his district operations.
“The biggest difference is now people can come to us whenever they want,” Rivera said.
Rivera beat the incumbent, Pedro Espada, in the Democratic Primary. He had previously served as an aide to U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Prior to his career in politics, he taught political theory at Hunter College and Pace University.
Rivera picked the Grand Concourse office location in December, but it had to be approved by the State Senate. It is located in an office building owned by Schur Management.
The celebration of the office’s opening served as a way to show the public that Rivera and his team are ready for business. He introduced each member of his staff to the crowd of community leaders from his district.Even when Rivera is in Albany, his staff members will be available to his constituents.
“We’re very approachable,” he said. “I appreciate the officials and community boards and elected officials who lent us their space. But now people can come see us any time.”
©2011 Community News Group