Coming up on Saturday, April 28, City Council Member Carlina Rivera is hosting a community resource fair with Grand Street Settlement. There will be free blood pressure screenings, information about affordable housing applications, information about volunteer opportunities, etc. The event takes place from 1-4 p.m. at Grand Street Settlement’s main building, 80 Pitt St. You can RSVP by emailing District2@council.nyc.gov, or by calling 212-677-1077, ext. 107.
Photo courtesy of Carlina Rivera’s campaign.
Carlina Rivera, a candidate for City Council in District 2, has picked up two significant local endorsements. She’s won the support of State Sen. Daniel Squadron and State Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou.
Rivera is running in September’s Democratic Primary to replace her former boss, Rosie Mendez. The sitting Council member is prevented from pursuing another term due to term limits. District 2 includes some sections of the Lower East Side below East Houston Street, and it covers the East Village, Gramercy Park and Kips Bay.
In a statement, Squadron said, “Carlina Rivera has worked for years as a champion for the Lower East Side. Her experience and commitment to our community will make her a strong representative for the Second Council District. I am proud to endorse her, and I look forward to working with her as a colleague in government.”
Niou, who was recently elected to serve Lower Manhattan, said, “I am thrilled to give Carlina my support… Having spent years as a community advocate, Carlina is prepared to hit the ground running and advocate for the Lower East Side and its surrounding communities. I am confident Carlina has the knowledge, experience and energy to take on this challenge, and I look forward to working with her to deliver real results for Lower Manhattan.”
Other candidates competing in the primary include Jasmin Sanchez, a community activist who worked for Squadron; and Mary Silver, an attorney active in local education issues.
Rivera was previously a staffer in Mendez’s office and worked for Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), the housing advocacy organization. She’s a lifelong resident of the Lower East Side. She’s also been endorsed by State Sen. Brad Hoylman, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick and, of course, Rosie Mendez.
Photo courtesy of Carlina Rivera’s campaign.
Next week we’ll have a pretty good idea how the 2017 campaigns for City Council are shaping up. On Tuesday, candidates must file finance reports with the city covering the past six months. One candidate in District 2, which covers the East Village, isn’t waiting for the filings to become public.
Carlina Rivera announced last night that she has raised $176,000, including $76,000 in private funds. This means Rivera is just about finished fundraising for the Council race. The spending cap for Council campaigns is $182,000. The city offers a six-to-one match for the first $175 in donations from local residents. A press release from Rivera’s campaign noted that she has “one of the largest small donor bases in the city” and that her filing, “demonstrates that she is the clear front-runner in the open–seat primary to replace Councilwoman Rosie Mendez.”
Rivera is Mendez’s legislative director and has been endorsed by the three-term City Councilwoman. Mendez is barred from running this year due to the city’s term limits law.
According to the Campaign Finance Board, two other candidates have filed to run in the District 2 primary this coming fall. They include Jasmin Sanchez, a community activist who has worked for State Sen. Daniel Squadron; and Mary Silver, an attorney active in local education issues.
District 2 includes Gramercy Park, Kips Bay and East Village, but also a few pockets below East Houston Street on the Lower East Side. Buildings in the neighborhood currently represented by Mendez include the Vladeck Houses, Masaryk Towers and 210 Stanton St.
Carlina Rivera on Stanton Street, 2013.
The next City Council election isn’t scheduled until 2017, however, one Lower East Side contender took an initial, but important, step toward running over the weekend. Carlina Rivera sought and received the endorsement of CoDA, the progressive political club covering Council District 2.
Rosie Mendez is serving her third and final term as Council member in an area covering a sliver of the neighborhood below East Houston Street, the East Village and Murray Hill. Rivera is Mendez’s legislative director. She previously worked for Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), the housing advocacy organization, and was a member of Community Board 3. Rivera currently holds a volunteer elected position, that of district leader in the 74th AD (Part A).
During an endorsement meeting on Saturday, the lifelong Lower East Side resident said of the community, “It’s where I went to school. It’s where I made my closest friends, and it’s where I fell in love (Rivera was married to fellow neighborhood activist Jamie Rogers last year). Needless to say, I know how precious the LES is. It’s everything to me, absolutely everything.” She promised to help lead the battle for tenant rights, for the survival of small businesses and for the sustainability of public housing. “I’m a fighter,” said Rivera. “I plan to work hard every single day.”
An official announcement regarding the Council campaign is likely months away. CoDA’s endorsement, however, is significant. It means Rivera will be able to count on the organization as a political base, following in the footsteps of Rosie Mendez and Margarita Lopez (who served as LES Council member from 1998-2005). A potentially crowded field is expected to compete for the District 2 seat.
CoDA weighed in on other campaigns this past weekend. The club decided it won’t make an endorsement in the April 19 special election to replace Sheldon Silver in the 65th Assembly District. Alice Cancel, the Democratic nominee, was fighting off a flu bug and did not attend. Rosie Mendez spoke on her behalf. Yuh-Line Niou, who’s running on the Working Families Party line, did make an appearance. She faced a withering series of questions from club members (we’ll have more about this in an upcoming story regarding Niou’s candidacy). Nydia Velazquez (7th Congressional District) and Carolyn Maloney (12th Congressional District) both received CoDA endorsements.
The organization also selected new leaders. Jamie Rogers and Marquis Jenkins were elected co-presidents. Rogers, owner of Pushcart Coffee, is also a member of Community Board 3.
This feature spotlights a wide variety of people who live and work on the Lower East Side. This month, we are featuring Carlina Rivera, a community activist and lifelong LES resident. This story originally appeared in the March 2013 version of our print magazine.
What do you do?
I manage programming at Good Old Lower East Side, serving and organizing seniors around the issues affecting their quality of life everyday. GOLES is an amazing nonprofit that does a little bit of everything in the name of social justice. I’m also a member of the community board.