Bronx, New York , United States
|| November 12, 1946
Jul 05, 2004 01:37pm
|Info||Peter M. Rivera was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico on November 12, 1946. He migrated to New York City at an early age along with his mother, Candita; his father, Victor Manuel; and his sister, Lucy. A graduate of New York City public schools, Peter was awarded a Baccalaureate degree in Business Administration from Pace College in 1968, and, in 1974, was conferred a Juris Doctor from St. John's Law School. He was admitted to practice law in March of 1975. |
His career in public service began in the late 1960s as a police officer in the South Bronx. From a street patrolman, he quickly rose to the rank of detective. As a detective, his duties included serving as the Department's radio and television spokesperson on issues pertinent to the Hispanic community. He became a Federal Agent with the Drug Enforcement Agency (D.E.A.), where he distinguished himself in Operation Eagle, at the time the largest federal narcotics operation in the United States. Shortly thereafter, upon graduating from law school, he joined the Bronx District Attorney's Office working as an Assistant District Attorney in the Homicide Bureau. While in the Homicide Bureau, he tried the first Co-Op City homicide. Since 1978, he has been in private law practice, where he has handled several highly publicized cases.
His involvement in community activities has been varied. His tireless efforts as President of the Puerto Rican Bar Association resulted in the doubling of the number of Hispanic judges in the state. He has worked in such diverse organizations as the Mayor's Committee on City Marshals, the Gateway National Recreational Area Commission, the Spanish Progress Foundation, El Comité de la Providencia, the Governor's Committee on the Judiciary, and the Board of Directors of OTB, to name a few.
Elected to serve as a member of the New York State Assembly in November of 1992, Peter M. Rivera represents the areas more popularly known in Bronx County as Fordham, West Farms, Parkchester and Castle Hill.
Assemblyman Rivera is presently the chairman of the Assembly Standing Committee on Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. As the committee chairman, Assemblyman Rivera convened the Mental Hygiene Work Group to reorganize the Mental Health System in New York State. He also sits on the powerful New York State Assembly Committee on Rules and was the most recent past Chairman of the New York State Assembly Committee on Cities and before that Chairman of the New York State Assembly Committee on Real Property Taxation.
Assemblyman Rivera is also the Chairman of the Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force. Over the last 17 years, the New York State Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force has used its annual legislative conference to focus attention to critical issues facing our state’s growing Hispanic population. This conference also serves as a tool that allows for the presentation of proposed legislative remedies by workshop panelists and conference attendees. It is a unique networking conference for this segment of New York’s population as thousands of community leaders, government officials, members of the corporate sector and nonprofit sector attend this important event.
The highest-ranking Latino elected official in the New York State Assembly, Peter M. Rivera has maintained close ties to the community by fighting for quality in education and for strengthening bilingual education; by promoting access to health care and AIDS-related funding; and by working for the establishment of a Puerto Rican heritage center at a newly renovated Bronx office of the New York Public Library.
Assemblyman Rivera is a member of the following standing committees: Agriculture; Consumer Affairs and Protection; Judiciary; Libraries and Education Technology; and Rules. Along with these he chairs the Subcommittee on Estates and Trusts. And is a member of subcommittees on: Constitutional Amendments, Court Operations, and Criminal Justice; and Task Forces on: Economic Development, High Speed Rail, New Americans, Workers' Compensation, and Community School District Governance Reform. In addition, Assemblyman Rivera is a member of the Telecommunications Focus Group and New York Assembly Steering Committee.
Assemblyman Rivera has two children: Lauren Elizabeth, a journalist with CNN, and Peter Jr., a 3rd year student at St. John's School of Law.