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Youngest Ever To Run For Office: 9 Questions With Arlington City Council Member Robert Rivera

Meet Robert Rivera, an Arlington City Council member since 2005. Rivera began his dream to enter public service at 18, when he became the youngest person in Arlington's history to run for City Council. He didn't win, but he immediately took up service with Home Run Arlington. The organization is largely responsible for building Rangers Ballpark. It is fitting that Rivera is a huge Texas Rangers fan! Rivera was also instrumental in bringing the Dallas Cowboys to Arlington, as chariman of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. He also co-founded Touchdown Arlington, which in 2004 helped with the successful Cowboys Stadium election. 

Rivera is dedicated to civic and charitable endeavors on the local and national levels. He serves as chair of the municipal policy board on the council and has voluteered time with nearly three dozen organizations representing issues like economic growth, tourism, domestic violence and teen mentoring.

Rivera is vice president at Stephens in Dallas, where he has more than 17 years in finance and government. Prior to joining Stephens he served as VP for a development company and a marketing officer for Bank One, Texas. Supervisors say his focus is to find ways to help public finance clients perform their jobs better and be more productive. Rivera is a University of Texas in Arlington graduate and a lifetime member of the UTA Alumni Association. We wanted to know more about Councilman Rivera, and he was kind enough to answer a few questions:  

Dawn Tongish: In your opinion, what makes Arlington stand out among the surrounding communities?  

Robert Rivera: The can-do spirit of our residents!  

DT: How can Arlington partner with other communities in Tarrant County to create jobs and future development?  

RR: The educational opportunities in Arlington are boundless; from our multiple school districts to Tarrant County College to The University of Texas at Arlington this gives every resident of Tarrant County an opportunity to expand their education and earning potential in Arlington. 

DT: Arlington is a growing community. There are thousands of people to make decisions for. What do you do to wind down?  

RR: I love to watch or read about our Texas Rangers.  

DT: What is your top priority for 2014?  

RR: I woul like to improve the overall quality of life [here] from 2013. 

DT: What do you see as the biggest issue facing the DFW area?  

RR: The ability for the region to keep up infrastructure as significant population projections are on the horizon. 

DT: Personally, what do you find the most rewarding about public service?  

RR: The ability to help resolve issues for anyone who feels overwhelmed or unable to communicate with City Hall.  

DT: What is the best book you have read lately?  

RR: "Robert F Kennedy: Promises to Keep" 

DT: What is the one fact about you the citizens of Arlington might be surprised to learn?  

RR: I failed and had to retake first semester Government senior year in high school. 

DT: Who makes the best burger in the city?  

RR: Gilligans

If you'd like to nominate a local resident for a BubbleLife community profile, contact Dawn Tongish at dtongish@yahoo.com or find her on Twitter at @DawnTongish.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014