A minute and a half into the above clip, you'll see a passionate and touching performance of the Puerto Rican national anthem turned in by Bronx State Senator Gustavo Rivera at last weekend's Somos El Futuro conference in Albany. Seriously. Not bad, right? Next stop: Albany Idol.
According to Rivera's communications director Conchita Cruz, the new state senator in the 33rd District is an avid singer who won an award for his killer karaoke work over the weekend. (He was also honored for pushing transparency legislation this year, Cruz said. And no, he still does not have a district office yet, almost four months into his term, but there's been progress, Cruz said. A lease has been signed and is now awaiting approval from the Comptroller and Attorney General. Cruz said she was forbidden from going into details about the procurement process, but said basically it's just a sad case of Albany bureaucracy grinding slowly.)
In any case, Rivera's passion for music led him to recently pass a senate resolution, his first since taking office in January, praising and congratulating the Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music choir for being named "Best Choir in New York City" at the Sing! for Wildlife competition a few months ago. "These kids are an inspiration," Rivera said in introducing the resolution.
He added: "It is a testament to the importance of Arts education in our schools. The way they became a tight choral organization, how they used the arts to not only learn how to perform, but to perform better at school."
He'll be presenting the resolution to the choir tomorrow morning at 11:30 a.m. at Lehman College, where the choir rehearses. Who knows? Rivera might even make a cameo at their next concert.