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Briefings: Former Markey Staffer, Councilor Returns to Senator’s Office…

Sen. Markey welcomes back a familiar face (WMassP&I)

Donald Trump’s planned rollback of progressives and Democratic priorities has prompted one Springfield political figure to return to government service. Former City Councilor Amaad Rivera, a noted and outspoken activist, has rejoined the staff of United States Senator Ed Markey after a year in the nonprofit sector.

Rivera worked on the senator’s 2013 run to fill John Kerry’s seat. Kerry resigned to become President Barack Obama’s second Secretary of State. Rivera served as a Latino and LGBT outreach director for the then-Representative’s campaign and later his Senate office constituencies director. Last February he left Markey’s staff to take a job with Babson College.

Markey’s office confirmed Rivera’s return in an email to WMassP&I.

Former Councilor Rivera (via Twitter/@amaadair)

Rivera’s time on the City Council was short. After a brutal battle for the new Ward 6 seat, Rivera lost to Keith Wright. But when Wright resigned for personal reasons, a quirk in the city charter allowed Rivera to take the seat in 2011. In addition to identifying as both Latino and black, Rivera was also one of the Council’s first openly gay members.

Though his relationship with colleagues and the media could be tempestuous—regrettably, including with this blog for a time—his service coincided with one of the body’s more productive periods. Rivera, a graduate of Bentley and UMass, played key roles in foreclosure reforms, repeal of the proposed biomass plant permit and a language access ordinance. Though courts ultimately halted some, these efforts presaged a more muscular Council in later years.

Rivera sought one of the Council’s five at-large seats in 2011 rather than seek a full term from Ward 6. He placed 7th and left the Council. He worked on housing issues at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination before signing onto Markey’s campaign.

Not working here, but for here. (WMassP&I)

While reaching out to the commonwealth’s various constituencies on the senator’s behalf, Rivera worked out of both Boston and the old Federal Building at 1550 Main Street in Springfield. A spokesperson for Markey said Rivera will serve State Policy Director and be based out of Springfield.

Rivera has mused about another run for public office, sources close to him indicate. However, he also wanted be part of the fight against Trump. Rejoining Markey’s staff offered an opportunity to do just that. The Senator’s office said Rivera’s first day was this past Monday.