M Christina Rivera, Assistant County Administrator
April 5, 2021
Please describe your role with your County:
I wear so many hats, it is a challenge to describe them all. My primary role is to be our CAO’s backup, represent management during labor negotiations, serve as a rotating Emergency Operations Center director and support the CAO department teams in the successful execution of their work. Currently, my other duties as assigned (A.K.A. hats), include project managing a Cannabis ordinance change project and covering analyst liaison roles for several departments until capacity is realigned.
What are you currently reading?
Widen the Window by Elizabeth A. Stanley. It is a neurological science-based discussion on teaching our thinking brain to allow our survival brain to repair and allow it to recognize it needs help or rest rather than just ignoring the need to reset/restore.
Is your glass half-full, or half-empty?
Always half-full!! As public employees, we have every day the opportunity to support our community by way of developing policies that serve the most needed and implement programs that improve the quality of our environment. More importantly, we are part of the responder group during disasters. WOW… what a privilege to serve our residents in their time of most need.
What motivated you to enter public service?
Mi Madre! (My Mom). When I was younger she talked about how amazing it was that county social workers would come around the trailer park where we lived to make sure everyone knew about public assistance benefits. She always declined because she thought there were others who needed the help more than her. Therefore, I grew up thinking of public employees as abbreviated versions of superheroes, always there to give a family or individual a little lift to keep moving forward.
What’s the most interesting or fulfilling part of your job?
Exciting new issues and initiatives walk thru my physical and virtual doors EVERYDAY!! In full transparency, I’m using “exciting” as both a happy feeling and a not-so-happy feeling. We all know that time and resource limitations preclude us from being able to address all of the requests that come in. We are working on developing a Cannabis Equity program, which will hopefully result in small operators’ ability to become part of Sonoma County’s licensed industry. This is exciting because creating pathways for our local residents to thrive in their businesses will (I think) limit the outside investors who may not be as vested in protecting our environmental resources and the beauty of our county.
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
Like Water for Chocolate (Como agua para chocolate), A movie about Mexican family traditions.