By Naeisha Rose
Richard David, a community activist, public sector worker and former candidate for City Council District 28 in Jamaica, officially launched his campaign as the male Democratic district leader of the 31st Assembly District Part B for Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park.
David, 32, hails from Guyana and moved to the United States s a 10-year-old. In 2017 he was the youngest candidate vying for disgraced Councilman Ruben Wills’ District 28 seat in a tight three-way primary race with current Councilwoman Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica) and public defender Hettie Powell.
Although he did not win, he did have a solid second place outing with 2,822, or 31.59 percent, of the 8,933 votes that were cast, according to Ballotpedia. He ran on a platform to create more community centers, better public transportation, and to improve education for School District 28, covering Jamaica, Forest Hills, Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park.
Now he is running for another seat that was vacated by Wills, who had to leave his position after being found guilty of corruption last year.
“I felt we did really well in the race last year,” said David. “I think this is an opportunity to grow the Democratic Party in the neighborhood and to get people connected and active.”
If he is chosen as the Democratic district leader in the Nov. 6 general election, he will act as a liaison to the party’s leaders in Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park, sponsor events on behalf of the local community and the Democratic Party, lend support to other elected officials or candidates who best represent the local Democratic Party’s interests, and lead or organize activists within the party or Democratic clubs.
“Your goal as a district leader is to make sure the Democratic Party locally is vibrant,” said David.
As a potential Democratic district leader, David wants to increase the party’s base in Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park, get more Democratic activists involved in the community and make sure that Democratic clubs in the area have a better presence by reaching out to voters via social media and through community engagements like his June 27 campaign rally at the United Hindu Cultural Council Senior Center in Jamaica.
“I want to get new people – activists like myself involved in the party,” said David. “I want to get a nice exciting slate of county committee people elected and I want to make sure we create a Democratic club in the area that is going to be a visible presence and an active outlet between residents and elected officials.”
David works for the Administration of Children’s Services, was responsible for managing over $2 billion in construction projects for the city Economic Development Corp., and serves as a member of Community Board 9, which includes Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, Ozone Park, and Kew Gardens).
In 2010, he co-founded the Indo-Caribbean Alliance, a non-profit that highlights topics and addresses issues within the Indo or South Asian Caribbean community.
David received support for his campaign by the female Co-District Leader Michelle Titus of the area, state Assemblywoman Vivian Cook (D-Jamaica), Congressman Greg Meeks (D-Jamaica), state Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) and former challenger Councilwoman Adams.
“I am delighted to endorse Richard David to be our next district leader,” said Adams. “His unwavering leadership, commitment and dedication to our community is invaluable.”
In order for people to vote in the Sept. 13 primary voters must be registered Democrats. The Board of Elections will release the full list of candidates running for the unpaid voluntary position July 13. Other people who would like to run must file their petition before the July 12 deadline.
“I think that I’m the best candidate to be district leader because I’ve worked in government for 12 years, I’ve been on the community board for 10 years and I’ve been active locally,” said David. “I think now more then ever we need elected officials at any level and at the grassroots, which is to stand in stark contrast to what’s happening in D.C..”
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose