Donovan Richards, the south Queens councilman who was elected Queens borough president in a special election less than a year ago, has surprised us during his short time in office.
We especially like his reforms of the borough’s community boards. Community board members are supposed to be the eyes and ears of the community and help legislators respond to quality-of-life issues and advise on the needs in the neighborhoods they represent.
The boards also offer recommendations on issues like zoning, transportation, and parks.
Richards has addressed some of the systematic problems with the culture and structure of the boards to make them more effective. He has taken criticisms from some established and longtime board members of these boards, but we see a conviction to make the boards better ambassadors of local communities.
He has also been fair to all parts of the borough when it comes to capital spending, which amounts to approximately $50 million a year.
The borough president is supposed to be Queens’ biggest cheerleader, and Richards has shown he is just that.
And while he is very accessible, appearing in public nearly every day, we wish his communications staff were the same. We have to assume they will get better at giving the media better access so we can do our jobs and hold them accountable to the public.
Elizabeth Crowley is our second choice in the Democratic Primary. Crowley served on the City Council representing Middle Village and Glendale, and put together an innovative and bold plan to use a rail line that runs through Long Island City, Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale as a new mass transit option for commuters.
Courage is what we look for in elected officials. Vote for Donavan, put Crowley as second choice.