Jose B. Rivera - A Short Bio


Picture of my mom and twin brother Tony - 1956 - babytwin.jpg - 4.2 KHumble Beginnings
I was born in East Harlem in the middle fifties. My parents, Jose A. Rivera and Anselma Rivera, lived in the old tenements on East 104th Street. During the first three months of life my twin brother Tony and I developed pneumonia . We were hospitalized at Mt. Sinai Hospital, where the doctor's told my mother that they were waiting to see which one of us was going to die first. Miraculously, neither of us did. We returned home to East 104th Street where my father and two older sisters (Felicita and Diana) awaited their new brothers. My younger sister Ida was born 23 months later. We moved to Jefferson Projects in 1960 and then to De Witt Clinton projects in May of 1965.

Picture of me in Grammer School - jbrkid.jpg - 4.4 K

After attending parochial grammar school, I attended Catholic high school at  Power Memorial Academy.   After high school  I attended Fordham University. While in my junior year at Fordham, I joined the Navy. This was an important experience for me. I learned to be self-reliant. The military also gave me the income necessary to buy my first computer in 1983. That Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 4 gave me a frame of reference for computing in general and data bases in particular.

Oh, did I mention that I got married in 1982 to a beautiful woman (Cecilia)? We met on the radio. Its a long story, but if you ever meet me, I'll be glad to tell you about it. (You can't be too careful with info on the internet). We have three wonderful children. On with the rest of the story.

The main reason I purchased the computer was to do political targeting based on some simple formulas I had learned. What I ended up learning was far more. I, like many men of the time seemed to "click" with computing and it has been a passion in my life ever since, eclipsed only by my love of family and politics.

Bad picture of me in U.S. Navy 1984 - jbrnavy2.jpg - 3.3 KFrom databases, I moved on to desk top publishing. I actually started an East Harlem community newsletter in 1987. But being stationed in Albany, New York made it difficult for me to obtain enough community information. I tried the newsletter again in the early 90's but had to stop publishing due to lack of funds.

I resumed my community activism upon my discharge from the Navy after ten years of service. Almost immediately, I became I member of the board of a local community service agency. Since 1988 I have been a community board member four times, have been elected to Community School Board # 4 and appointed to Neighborhood Advisory Board # 11. I have also been active in politics. I've been elected to the Democratic county committee twice (since 1977). Other campaign activities include:

1976 - Volunteer for Robert Garcia's State Senator Reelection Race
1991 - Involved in Adam Powell, Jr's. race for City Council.
1992 - Supporter of Nelson Denis for State Assembly.
1993 - Involved in Francisco Diaz, Jr.'s for City Council race.
1994 - CO-coordinator of East Harlem portion of Charles Rangel for Reelection to Congress
1995 - Deputy campaign manager for Francisco Diaz, Jr's. race for State Assembly
1995 - Candidate for District Leader 68 AD part "B"
1996 - Elected Community School Board District # 4
1996 - Part of campaign management team of Rosado For State Senate
1997 - Elected President of the People's Forum for Change (Councilman Adam Powell's Democratic Club).

Completing College

A coworker talked me into returning to school in 1992, which led to a B.A. from Fordham University in 1994. My majors were Political Science and Religious Studies. Two very interesting fields of study. I think they mix. Religious studies for the inner man, and Political Science to motivate action.

Picture of my brother Tony and I 1995 - Twins.jpg - 4.3 KSynergy and East Harlem Online
What I have done is combine my various interests, computing, politics, community activism, and amateur radio (N2LRB is my call sign). Since all my interest can be improved, via computing, that is just what I have done. In January 1995, I became very curious about the Internet. I got my feet wet via Pipeline, a ISP, and went gaga over Web pages. I saw lots of real possibilities with the Web.

It took me a year, but in February 1996 I took a leap and uploaded my first Web pages into the Webcom server. I have since upgraded, improved, redesigned, and added to my Web site. I see East-Harlem.Com as a life long commitment. There are so many East Harlem institutions, experiences to share, stories to tell, and that's just fine with me. Everyone should have a life long project to keep them busy. Actually this Web site is a labor of love. I am proud of my community and I love to show it off for all to see.

Well that is it for my bio, if you have any question, feel free to e-mail me.


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