|Address||131-44 234 St |
Rosedale, New York , United States
May 14, 2016 12:02am
|Info||Donovan Richards Jr. has a strong track record in being a spokesperson and advocate for his community. |
From childhood, Donovan has been committed to public service at home and abroad. He served as a missionary in Port-a-Prince, Haiti on behalf of his St. Albans Congregational Church highlighting this as turning point in his understanding of what it means to serve the community.
During high school, Donovan volunteered and served on the editorial staff of a disabilities awareness newsletter. Due to his work at the publication he received the 2000 and 2001 Disabilities Awareness Award from the NYS Commission on Quality Care. His success continued as he went on to pursue a college education as a Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship recipient at Nyack College and eventually graduating with a degree in Aviation Management from Vaughn College of Aeronautics.
Although, he admits initially he had no interest in politics, a tragic series of events changed his mind. In March 2003 his childhood friend Darnell Patterson was fatally shot in front of his home. Donovan decided he wouldn’t let Darnell die in vain.
Shortly after, Councilman James Sanders Jr. held a meeting regarding gun violence in the community. His testimony and outspokenness at this forum caught the attention of Sanders and he later joined his staff November 2003. Donovan served in every capacity from an intern to district manager, where he oversaw the daily operations of the 31st district, which encompasses Rosedale, Laurelton, Springfield Gardens and Far Rockaway.
Donovan’s commitment to the community stretched beyond his official roles in Sanders’ office. In November 2007, he was selected by Nicole Bell to coordinate the 1st candlelight vigil along with Rev. Sharpton in memory of Sean Bell, who was killed in a hail of 50 bullets in November 2006 despite the risks to his political aspirations choosing instead to take a moral stand.
Donovan was awarded the Effective Advocacy and Management Award by the Department of Education PAC, Title I Parents and the NAACP on behalf of the parents and children of PS 42Q. He has received other awards from the NYS Assembly, Far Rockaway NAACP, Rosedale Civic Association and the District 29 Education Council.
In June 2011, Richards was appointed as Sanders’ Chief of Staff. Together they have worked on countless initiatives including; the first Gun Buy Back in the borough of Queens which netted nearly 1000 guns from our street, rallying Southeast Queens against the proposed “hot sheet” motel near Springfield Gardens High School, a Federal Prison and as Senator Elect Sanders’ project manager for the Mayor’s Community Advisory Board, to oversee $100 million dollars in airport capital funds.
His commitment, work ethic and extensive experience have positioned him to successfully represent voters in Rosedale, Laurelton, Springfield Gardens and Far Rockaway in the New York City Council.