Carlina Rivera represents the 2nd Council District which includes the diverse neighborhoods of the East Village, Flatiron, Gramercy Park, Rose Hill, Kips Bay, Murray Hill and the Lower East Side. She was elected to office in 2017 with 83% of the vote, and has established herself as a leader on many issues, including affordability, preservation, open space, resiliency, education equality, and small business survival.
Carlina was born and raised in the 2nd District of Lower Manhattan by a single mother who emigrated from Puerto Rico to New York and has worked for decades as a civil-servant. She began her career in afterschool programming, working with children at some of New York City’s highest-needs schools. She went on to serve her local community, creating and organizing initiatives for seniors and homeless New Yorkers as Director of Programs and Services at Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), a local non-profit focused on supporting local community issues. Most recently, Carlina served as Legislative Director to former Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, where she worked on legislation related to household pest and mold remediation (Asthma-Free Homes Act), after-hours construction, bicycle safety, utility safety, and legal representation to seniors in Housing Court.
Carlina has a history of bringing people together to improve the lives, resources and well-being of the residents of Manhattan’s East Side, whether as a community board member, as part of an affordable housing task force that delivered 500 units, or on a working group that secured funding for East River waterfront resiliency. In Hurricane Sandy’s immediate aftermath, Carlina helped coordinate a 4,000-person volunteer effort to assist over 10,000 homebound residents. She went on to help establish the Lower East Side disaster recovery network that was instrumental in relief and recovery post-Superstorm Sandy and critical in responding to the Second Avenue Explosion. It would go on to become a model for community-based urban planning.
Carlina lives with her husband, pug, and turtle. She graduated from Marist College with a B.A. in Journalism, after attending local district schools her entire life.