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York City Latino and LGBTQ activist Lou Rivera has announced his bid to run for a City Council seat in next year's election.

Rivera, chairman of the local nonprofit Latino advocacy organization Latinos Unidos of York, announced his council run at the First Friday Latino celebration Friday, Oct. 5, at the regional Latino advocacy organization CASA's city office.

The Democratic activist moved to the city in 2015 with his husband and since then has been heavily involved in diversity and inclusion efforts.

In January, he helped form Latinos Unidos of York, and it has since become a registered nonprofit organization.

With the organization, he's helped sponsor Puerto Rican relief fundraisers, represented the Latino community at local events and has vocally addressed problems with minority representation in city government.

He's also been active with LGBTQ activism in the city.

"I am a gay Latino, passionate about our community, and I am running for York City Council because I have a clear vision of how we can move forward as a city," Rivera said. "That’s what I expect from elected leaders, and it is what you can expect from me."

More: York City Latino population is growing, but government representation remains absent

Rivera also serves on the board of the United Way of York County, works as the director of premium services at the management consultant company Legends Hospitality and recently became the director of facilities and administration at the Appell Center for the Performing Arts.

Additionally, in September Rivera was announced to be the grand marshal of the upcoming York Halloween Parade.

Rivera first ran for a City Council seat last year, but he was defeated by Councilman Michael Buckingham and Councilwoman Edquina Washington, both of whom will have their seats up for re-election next November.

Council Vice President Sandie Walker's seat will also be up for re-election.

Rivera said he still sees "too much conflict and too little inspiration" in city politics and added he wants citizens to strive for a better future for all residents, not to look at politics as a zero-sum game.

As a result, he's running once again to address issues that "affect our 5.34 square miles and almost 50,000 citizens."

"We expect more from our elected leaders," Rivera said. "More transparency, more consultation, more careful planning and more empathy toward the different stories that play out each and every day in this city."

With his announcement, the candidate provided a broad list of issues he would like to tackle if elected to the council, such as environmental sustainability, housing and poverty issues and economic development.

He also added he'd like to improve diversity and inclusion, mental health resources, education and children and youth services.

Although the city still has way to go, it's something to be proud of, he said.

"We are all fortunate to live in York City in this time," Rivera said. "York is an exceptional city, and it can be even better. We can expect more. Our best and boldest years are right ahead of us."

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.

 

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