Donovan Richards

Key Facts

Party Democrat
Status Incumbent

Background

Donovan Richards was born and raised in Queens, NY, and often spent his childhood in the neighborhoods of Jamaica, St. Albans, Hollis, and Rosedale. Richards later attended Jamaica High School and earned his diploma from Redemption Christian Academy. From there, he attended Nyack College and earned a degree in aviation from Vaughn College. He started turning to politics when a friend of Richards’ lost his life to gun violence, prompting Richards to work inside the City Council to fight gun violence. This then spurred into his run to become a City Council member in which he won his race in 2013. Within his time as a City Council member, Richards has worked as the Chair of the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises, the Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection (during the time Hurricane Sandy struck), and the Chair of Committee on Public Safety. By 2020, Richards ran to become new Queens Borough President, winning the election on November 3, 2020. This has made him the first African American man to be in this position.

Key Issues

Small Businesses

After the Coronavirus pandemic, Donavon’s plan is to revitalize small businesses and job creation by helping businesses navigate PPP loans through virtual guides, workshops being created to help aid in business creation, town halls to help aid small businesses and a new Director for the Nonprofit Opportunities who will help build new infrastructure that will help fund businesses.

Infrastructure

Richards has a lot of plans infrastructure wise, especially in transportation and climate change reforms. For the transportation aspect, Richards would like to install safer bike networks, opening more space on roads and bridges to cyclists, and opening more transportation in Southeast and Northeast Queens through the expansion of the Jamaica Bus Transit and making buses fully electric. For the climate change aspect, Richards would like to use a part of his budget to support solar power, fully implement the Climate Mobilization Act, create new renewable energy sites (such as Riker’s Island), and fight for the Green New Deal for public housing. More of his plans can be seen in the link below.

Healthcare

After what he calls was a lack of preparedness for the pandemic, Richard’s would like to better Queen’s healthcare through pushing for more health centers, new hospitals being constructed, offering preventative medicines, and investing more in mental health care.

Civil Rights

As borough president, Richards will work to make Queens a more equal place for all. After the surge in hate crimes, Richards will work to change the threshold the NYPD has to consider hate crimes (prompting more response to hate crime allegations), increase the funding for the Commission’s Bias Response Team, and for law enforcement agencies to create a central database to share information and make it easier to address hate crimes.

Immigration

To help aid immigrants, Richards will create the Immigrant Welcome Center, the first of its kind in any borough. The Welcome Center will help give resources in all facets of life, including resources to those who encounter legal troubles regardless of status. Richards will also work to ban ICE in all public buildings.

Housing/Homelessness

To help aid in affordable housing, Richards plans to help aid in the creation of 2,000 new affordable units for seniors and create new spacing for veterans. He would work to have the government purchase foreclosure homes and work with non-profits and help give better opportunities to first time home buyers.

Endorsements

People: Congressman Gregory Meeks, State Senator James Sanders Jr., Congresswoman Grace Meng, State Senator Leroy Comrie, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, State Senator John Liu, Assembly Member Vivian Cook, Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman, Nyc Council Member I. Daneek Miller, Nyc Council Member James Gennaro, Assembly Member Clyde Vanel, Assembly Member Jenifer Rajkumar, Nyc Council Member Adrienne Adams, Assembly Member Khaleel Anderson, Nyc Council Member Selvena Brooks-powers, Nyc Council Member Costa Constantinides, Congressman Tom Suozzi, Assembly Member Catalina Cruz, Assembly Member David Weprin, Nyc Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Nyc Council Member Daniel Dromm
Organizations: UFT, 32BJ Seiu, CWA Local 1180, District Council 37, Central Labor Council, Queens Dems, CWA District 1, Lgdcq, Jim Owles Liberal Dem Club, Stonewall Democrats, 1199 SEIU, NYIC Action, Hotel Trades Council, CSA, ASAAL, Amsterdam News, NYLCV, ATU Local 1056, Doctors Council SEIU, LIUNA NY, NYSNA, 504 Democratic Club, HHWA, IUOE, StreetsPac, PSC Cuny

Sources

RichardforQueens