Community service should be the primary consideration for supporting a particular candidate for public office. This week, I’ve been perusing the bios of several candidates and this one in particular stands out above the rest.
Donovan Richards is an activist and community servant running for City Hall to represent the southern portion of Queens including Rosedale, Laurelton, Springfield Gardens and Far Rockaway.
He’s young, smart, and energized. Richards has a history of community initiatives, which rival that of his opponent. Richards worked in the office of then-Councilman James Sanders in a variety of roles despite never losing sight that constituent services comes before politics. In terms of strategy he has significant name recognition with prime voters and the support of Senator James Sanders, his old boss, not to mention the strategic brilliance of Steve Behar steering the campaign.
As of this post he has $8,151 in his war chest
A special election will be held in February, according to a FB post made by Richards.
I think we as a political community are at a critical juncture staring at the upcoming races for 2013. I believe it is important to call attention to this because service is a prerequisite for running for elected office. I think this should be our golden standard, our measuring stick. Given that, I decided to share with you some of Donovan’s bio and hopefully our readers in South Queens will realize the chance to get an excellent rep in City Hall.
Donovan’s Record in the 31st District
Crime and Safety
- Fought to establish “Gun Buy Back program” in Southeast Queens, successfully removing 919 from our streets
- Allocated over $5 million dollars to place cameras in Redfern Houses and Hammel Houses to combat shootings and killings
- Served as President of the Far Rockaway NAACP Youth Chapter, leading efforts to resist Stop & Frisk against local teens by organizing workshops with 100 Blacks & Law Enforcement to teach “Know Your Rights When Stopped and Frisked”
- Stopped the sale of BB guns and bullet casings at Costco Wholesalers
- Organized to keep the Rosedale, Laurelton, Averne and Far Rockaway Library open after facing closure threats Mayor Bloomberg
- Fought against the closures of daycares in Springfield Gardens and the Rockaways
- Ensured all schools in Laurelton, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens and the Rockaways received $50,000 annually for technology, science labs, and playground upgrades
- Distributed thousands of book bags and supplies for children since 2005
- Pushed to keep PS 181 open in Rosedale despite Department of Education’s efforts to close the school
- Pressured Department of Education to restore PS 251’s playground in Springfield Gardens after it was destroyed by a developer
- Fought tirelessly against the closure of Peninsula Hospital
- Pressed the Health Department to increase spraying for mosquitoes this year in Rosedale and the Rockaways
- Founded Rockaway Walks fitness program in 2005 which continues to combat high obesity rates in the Rockaways during the summer
- Brought mobile HIV/AIDS testing to residents in the district
Community Based Initiatives
- Led initiative to bring fresh foods and good jobs to Edgemere next year through a new supermarket
- Worked along with Counciman Sanders and other community leaders to stop a developer from building a “hot sheet motel” across the street from Springfield Gardens HS and IS 231
- Allocated millions of dollars to rebuild Montebello Park, Rosedale Little League Baseball Field, Rosedale Jets Football Field, playgrounds for: PS 156, PS 181, PS 104, PS 183 and PS 132 (construction will begin soon) and Lanette Playground
- Raised thousands of dollars through car washes for disadvantaged youth
- Called for the Department of Environmental Protection to fund a $14 million dollar project in Rosedale’s Brookville Triangle to alleviate flooding
- Urged New York City Economic Development Corp to complete Springfield Gardens Lake Project- a $20 million dollar initiative to restore Springfield Lake’s natural beauty and alleviate flooding in Springfield Gardens