You’re not the Councilman until the community says so! On Monday, April 29, Donovan Richards was sworn into his new position as Councilman of the 31st District in a community inauguration at York College. The Councilman was officially sworn in at City Hall a month ago and has already begun carrying out his duties.
The community inauguration was a celebration reflecting the new energy the Councilman brings to the position. Performances at the inauguration were by the youth with a long line of cuteness as the those as young as five to those in their teenage years sang, dance and recited phrases of encouragement for the new Councilman.
Councilman Richards’ speech acknowledged the six month anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. He also spoke to the youth of his generation. “Rise up,” he told them. “Get in line and become the new leaders of today and tomorrow”, showing his own leadership, growth and maturity as the example.
The Councilman spoke of the initiatives he will be working on including an accountability bill to track how the billions of dollars in Sandy money will be spent. Speeding cars in the District and the high costs of mass transit will also be addressed. He had bad news for those who like to have disco parties in the summer. The Councilman is establishing a “noise task for just for you,” he said to strong applause. He also reiterated his commitment to “building up libraries”.
Councilman Richards called for an end to divisive politics and concluded by thanking those that voted for him and joking that those that did not vote for him have another chance come September.
Elected Officials from the community and throughout the boroughs came out to wish the new Councilman well. NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, did the official swearing in. NYS Senator James Sanders, Jr. was on hand to lend his charm, humor and congratulations to his long time mentee.
Prior to winning the City Council Seat, Donovan was the Chief of Staff to Sanders when he was Councilman of the same District. Councilman Richards worked as an aide under Sanders for several years prior, prompted to civic service by the tragic loss of a friend.
Councilman Richards newly appointed staff, comprised of a diverse group of young adults, were on hand for the celebration. Pesach Osina, who Councilman Richards beat out for the seat in a last minute vote count, is now also member of the staff.
District 31 covers the area of Far Rockaway, Rosedale, Laurelton and Springfield Gardens.