Common Council Member David Rivera has been a resident of Buffalo’s West Side his entire life. His parents Juan Rivera and Maria Diaz, who were natives to the island of Puerto Rico, came to Western New York in the early 1950’s. His father came to the area as a migrant worker in search of the stability and prosperity he knew Western New York offered.
Soon after, Juan met Maria and began a family in the city’s West side. Their first son was David and as time went on David would have four siblings: Charles, Marilyn, Emlyn and John. David, being the oldest, led the example and attended Buffalo Public Schools eventually moving on to Grover Cleveland High School. In 1976, he married his high school sweetheart, Esther Casillas, and the following year had a son, Joshua Rivera.
After working several jobs simultaneously to provide for his family, David went to work on a manufacturing line at the Dinaire Corporation. Eventually, he rose through the ranks becoming President of Local 740 of the United Rubber Cork, Linoleum, and Plastic Workers of America and all the while attending college and later the Police academy.
In 1982, he began his tenure with the Buffalo Police Department. His first position with the department was Patrol Officer with Precincts #15 and #10. In 1985, he became Detective in the Narcotics division. It was during this time he and his wife welcomed, their second son, Jonathan. In 1988, he was promoted to Confidential Aide to the Mayors Office in the administration of then Mayor James D. Griffin. By 1990, he was promoted again to Detective Sergeant in the Robbery Unit. Starting in 1993, for the next nine years, he served as Detective Sergeant in the Sex Offense/Domestic Violence Unit. As of 2002, he has served in the General Investigative Unit as a Detective Sergeant.
Aside from his career in law enforcement, David Rivera has always maintained close ties to the community. He was President of the Puerto Rican-Chicano Committee, as well as the 1st President of Hispanics United of Buffalo. He has also served in the health care arena as Vice-Chair of Columbus Hospital, as well as Board Member of the Kaleida Health/Columbus Hospital Merger Committee. Recently, David Rivera has served as Co-Pastor of True Remnant Church on Ontario Street. He also participated in a missionary trip to the Dominican Republic in 2007.
In the fall of 2007, David Rivera was elected Niagara District Councilmember. He began his term on January 1, 2008. Councilmember Rivera identified economic development, housing stock improvement, sustainable waterfront development, and youth programming opportunities as his top priorities. Councilmember Rivera has twice been voted “Best City Politician” by the readers of Buffalo Spree magazine.
Today, David Rivera lives on the upper West Side with his wife of 30 years, Esther. He is also a proud grandfather of two from his oldest son, Joshua.