THIS WEEK IN POLITICS

POLITICAL ARENA

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No longer homeless

After months of delays and red tape, state Sen. Gustavo Rivera is finally moving into his office at 2432 Grand Concourse. Mr. Rivera will host an open house on Wednesday, May 4 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Mr. Rivera beat incumbent ex-state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. in the Democratic primary last year and handily won his seat in the November election. 

Mr. Rivera, who has made a point of distancing himself from the now-indicted Mr. Espada, chose not to use his predecessor’s district office. 

He instead selected the location he will soon move into. But though he chose the spot in December, the state procurement process slowed things down, according to Mr. Rivera’s communications director, Conchita Cruz. The state Senator was not allowed to negotiate for a lease because that’s the state Senate’s job, and has spent the last few months working out of his apartment, local community centers and the Senate Democratic office in downtown Manhattan.

A Kingsbridge resident displeased by how long the process was taking started a blog — www.thegustavowatch.blogspot.com — on April 18, which included a clock ticking away the seconds Mr. Rivera has spent without an office since his big November win.  

After voting for Mr. Rivera, the blogger, who asked to remain anonymous, said he lost faith in Mr. Rivera once he took (or didn’t take, as the case may be) office.

“To me, he hasn’t had much of a presence after he won ... I think that when he ran he had a certain tone. I liked what he talked about but I don’t think he stepped up to the plate,” the blogger said. 

With office furniture, computers and phones now being set up and Mr. Rivera’s office slated to open on May 4, the blogger said he will absolutely stop by and even suggested he should get some credit for Mr. Rivera’s new digs. 

“I found it to be quite the coincidence that it happened not even 24 hours after the launch of the site,” he said in a phone interview.

Mr. Rivera said he chose the location because it gives constituents easy access to the office, which is in close proximity to multiple public transportation options.

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