Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Classes to be taught by state Senator Rivera

A story from this week's Bronx Press.

By Brendan McHugh

A popular series of civics classes is coming to the Kingsbridge Library this month. 

Rivera teaches civics classes
throughout the 33rd Senate district.
Beginning Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 6 p.m., state Senator Gustavo Rivera will be teaching classes on civics, citizenship and local government. 

“I’ve always believed that people need to know how their government works,” Rivera said. “As a political science professor for 11 years, it’s something I do all the time.” 

Rivera is teaming up with local resident Irving Ladimer for the second of the three classes. He heard Ladimer had taught similar classes in the past and wanted to team up with him for this round of classes. 

“We sat down and had a long conversation and he had the same concerns I did about citizenship and civic involvement,” Rivera said. 

Last month, the rookie senator held four one-hour classes at the Bronx Library Center that netted about 75 people each time. 

“It was overwhelmingly positive,” Rivera said, adding that he had “folks of all ages and all ethnicities” attend the classes from every corner of his district, including some from out of his 33rd state Senate district. 

He says the benefit of classes like this, and one that’s taught by an elected official, gives the public an opportunity to ask questions that they normally wouldn’t be able to ask. 

The first class—each one is on a Wednesday night—will focus on the constitution and civil rights and liberties. The second, taught by Ladimer, will be on citizenship. The final class is on voting and elections. 

Ladimer, the law, rules and ethics chairman of Community Board 8. 

Rivera recommends that people attend all three, but it is not required. The classes will end on Dec. 14 with a graduation ceremony to celebrate the completion of the course.

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