Joel Rivera

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Joel Rivera
Joel Rivera 2013.jpg
Rivera in 2013
Member of the New York City Council for the 15th District
In office
February 20, 2001 – December 31, 2013
Preceded by Jose Rivera
Succeeded by Ritchie Torres
Personal details
Born 1978 (age 35–36)
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Valerie Vazquez-Rivera
Relations Jose Rivera (father), Naomi Rivera (sister)
Children 1
Committees Health (Chair); Finance; Housing & Buildings; Land Use; Rules, Privileges & Elections; State & Federal Legislation; Zoning & Franchises
Website NYC Council: District 15

Joel Rivera (born 1978) is the Majority Leader of the New York City Council. Elected in a special election in 2001 at 22 years of age,[1] Rivera was the youngest person ever elected to the New York City Council in its history.[2]


Early life and education[edit]

Joel Rivera was born to Ivine Galarza and Jose Rivera. Rivera attended New York Military Academy,[3] a private boarding school.


Rivera succeeded his father, Assemblyman Jose Rivera, as the New York City Councilmember for District 15 in 2001.[4] He became Majority Leader of the city council the following year. As chair of the Health committee, he helped to ban trans fat and mandate calorie labeling in New York City fast food restaurants,[5] and launched an Obesity Prevention Initiative, which funded the HealthCorps program in local schools.[6] Joel Rivera is also the founder of BronxPad a website dedicate to Helping Home Buyers and Home Sellers Achieve their Real Estate Goals.

In September 2007, he was named one of City Hall's "40 under 40" for being a young influential member of New York City politics.[7]

Marriage and children[edit]

Joel married Valerie Vazquez-Rivera in July 2006.[8] The couple has a daughter, Sophia.


  1. ^ Hicks, Jonathan P. (2001-02-21). "Fordham Student Is Elected To Father's Old Council Seat". New York Times. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Paybarah, Azi (2006-12-17). "The Rivera Family". New York Observer. 
  4. ^ Hicks, Jonathan P. (2005-03-09). "Name Recognition Is Easy When Names Are the Same". New York Times. 
  5. ^ Rivera, Ray (2007-02-26). "City Council May Change Menu Rule on Calories". New York Times. 
  6. ^ ”6M Fat Fight” New York Post, June 6, 2007
  7. ^ Rising Stars 40 Under 40: Joel Rivera, City & State, September 17, 2007.
  8. ^ "Valerie Vazquez and Joel Rivera". New York Times. 2006-07-16. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Jose Rivera
New York City Council, 15th District
Succeeded by
Ritchie Torres