You are reading

Council Member Donovan Richards is Running for Queens BP Seat

CM Donovan Richards has announced his bid for Queens BP (Donovan Richards/ Instagram)

Oct. 2, 2019 By Allie Griffin

Council Member Donovan Richards announced today that he is running to be the next Queens Borough President, joining an increasingly crowded field.

Richards is the latest politician to announce his bid. Council Member Costa Constantinides, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman are all in the race with others expected to come forward.

The seat is likely to be vacated by current Borough President Melinda Katz, who won the Democratic Primary for Queens District Attorney and is expected to cruise to victory in November’s general election for the position.

The city will hold a special election for Queens Borough President within 45 days of Katz’s vacancy.

Richards, a lifelong Queens resident who has represented Southeast Queens in the City Council since 2013, was first inspired to begin a career in politics when he was 18 years old, after his childhood friend was shot and killed.

“When I saw him in that casket, I knew my life had changed forever, I knew I had to act,” he said in a campaign video. “I couldn’t watch one more friend have their dreams cut short.”

He did community work aiming to combat gun violence and then decided to run for office.

“I had to do something. I had to serve,” Richards said.

In his first term in the city council, Richards served as the Chair of the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises and fought for affordable housing particularly in the Rockaways.

He later served as Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection following Superstorm Sandy, where he helped secure funding for flood protection to protect Rockaway communities.

Currently, Richards serves as the Chair of the Committee on Public Safety. In the position, he has held numerous hearings on NYPD protocols surrounding protests. He is a proponent of closing Rikers Island and legalizing adult-use cannabis.

Richards has named four key campaign issues he is running on — criminal justice reform; jobs and affordable housing; immigrant rights; and fixing public transportation.

In his campaign video, Richards said he hoped to create a “new” Queens as Borough President.

“For some in Queens there has been growth, but far too many of our communities have been left behind,” he said. “While we watch luxury buildings pierce the sky, far too many of our children live with mold in public housing. We must do better.”

Richards said he was committed to bringing more jobs into the borough and fighting for measures like commercial rent control for small businesses.

In addition to ensuring NYCHA makes necessary investments to fix its infrastructure, Richards said he would fight for tenants’ rights and funding for housing court attorneys.

He also made campaign commitments to ensure funding to provide legal services to undocumented immigrants and to keep ICE out of Queens courthouses.

Lastly, Richards promised to advocate for long term investments in public transportation infrastructure and improvements for bike safety.

Assembly Member Hyndman announced her candidacy last Friday, while former Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, who lost her city council seat to Robert Holden in 2017, said she is likely to run for borough president, but hasn’t officially announced her candidacy yet.

Other rumored contenders include Council Members Paul Vallone and Eric Ulrich, the borough’s only elected Republican.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Romanian nationals busted for ATM skimming scheme that involved more than 600 Queens residents: Feds

The NYPD and federal agents arrested five Romanian nationals living in Queens on Thursday for engaging in a sophisticated ATM skimming operation that involved the theft of bank account information and PIN numbers from more than 600 unsuspecting bank customers from across the borough.

The five men were named in an indictment that was unsealed in Brooklyn federal court charging them with fraud and aggravated identity theft following a long-term investigation by the NYPD, FBI and the Secret Service.

3 men sought for armed robbery in East Elmhurst home invasion near LaGuardia Airport: NYPD

The NYPD is looking for three men who allegedly robbed an East Elmhurst man of tens of thousands of dollars during a home invasion early Monday morning.

Police from the 115th Precinct in Jackson Heights responded to a 911 call of an armed robbery at a townhouse located at 108-09 Ditmars Blvd. near 29th Avenue just south of LaGuardia Airport.
The victim had pulled up in front of his home just before 2 a.m. when he was approached by three suspects. One of them pulled out a firearm and forced him inside the townhouse where they stole around $30,000 in cash and a safe that contained an unspecified amount of jewelry, before exiting and driving off in a silver four-door SUV, police said.

Corona man criminally charged with sex trafficking for forcing Mexican woman into prostitution: DA

A Corona man has been indicted on sex trafficking charges for allegedly forcing a Mexican woman to engage in prostitution over a three-year period, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Wednesday.

Galindo Capultitla, 39, of 40th Road, was arraigned Tuesday before Queens Supreme Court Justice Peter Vallone Jr. on a seven-count indictment charging him with three counts of sex trafficking and other crimes for forcing the victim to engage in sex for money in Mexico and the United States, including in Queens. During the victim’s three-year ordeal, Capultitla allegedly hit and choked her—and even threatened to kill her family in Mexico—if she failed to hand over the money gained through sex.