Jerardo Rivera is a Senior Construction Inspector/Resident Engineer for the Emergency Spot Sewer Repair Program at the SFPUC. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, his duties have remained the same as his team continued to respond to essential and emergency repairs for San Francisco’s sewer system.
For Rivera, public service means helping the residents of San Francisco and being sympathetic to their issues in regards to the service the City is providing. As a team member of the SFPUC and the City and County of San Francisco, Rivera said he takes pride in providing quality service with high level of professionalism by responding to emergencies with expediency and as efficiently as possible. He shared one of the reasons he chose public service is to help the community in tangible and timely way.
Rivera was born in the Philippines and migrated to Guam with his family when he was only six months old. At the age of seven, his family migrated to San Francisco where he attended George Moscone Elementary School, Ben Franklin Middle School, and Mission High School by Dolores Park. “So I was raised in San Francisco most of my life. I have traveled to many places while in the Military and there is no place like San Francisco. I have never considered any other city home,” he said.
Rivera is a fourth generation carpenter and mason. “Construction was always a part of my life and so it was a natural transition for me,” he shared. “I learned a lot working in the lab testing concrete, conducting compaction tests, rebar pull tests, etc. And I also acquired ACI Certification for Concrete testing, In Place Density Testing with the Nuclear Gauge, and much more.”
He recalls how the real estate crashed and business was tough when he was a general contractor. Rivera saw an opening at the Department of Public Works for a City Lab project and applied for it. One year later, he was hired.
Rivera has seen San Francisco vastly change over the years. One thing that hasn’t changed, he said, is how San Francisco continues to be richly diverse in many ways whether it be ethnicity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation or political affiliation. “It’s almost natural for San Francisco to welcome any and all people no matter what their views or affiliations are and I’ve always thought that is what makes San Francisco unique,” he shared. “Considering the political and social climate of the nation today, I think it is extremely important that we celebrate the diversity of our work force and show that all are welcome and that we love diversity in our communities, in our schools, in our businesses and most importantly in our city government.”
For Rivera, Immigrant Heritage Month during June is a celebration of the diversity of the communities that make up the City of San Francisco. “It is to salute those immigrants who fought through great hardships to make a home here and share their rich heritage with the city we love so much,” he said.