BY TRONE DOWD
Community activist and Southeast Queens native Richard David announced Tuesday that he will be running for the City Council’s 28th District.
David, who resides in South Ozone Park, made the announcement via Facebook. In the 98-second video, he details some of the hopes and aspirations that he’d like to fulfill in the district if elected this September.
“For far too long, Richmond Hill, Rochdale Village, South Ozone Park and South Jamaica have been divided and left behind,” David said. “We know what the problems are here. Our schools are failing our young people. Shelters are opening up left and right. And homeowners are being taxed more and we’re not getting more in return. The truth is, no one seems to stand up for the residents of District 28. Together, you and I can win this election.”
According to David, the district seemingly gets divided by neighborhoods east and west of the Van Wyck Expressway. He says that he wants to “bridge the two sides” of the district in order to address these issues head-on.
“We can stand united for our seniors, for our children, and for a better quality of life,” Richard said.
David currently serves a member of Community Board 9. He has also more than 10 years of experience serving other city agencies, including his work as executive director of the city’s Department of Community Affairs, vice president of the city’s Economic Development Corporation and executive director of the Indo-Caribbean Alliance Inc.
“As an activist in our community, I know what it’s like to fight hard for everything that I have,” he said. “To struggle and to overcome. I love District 28, and I’m ready to work hard to get us real results.”
Currently, City Council District 28 is led by Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica), who has been accused of funneling taxpayer money into a non-profit organization that he controlled, and using that money to purchase luxury items. Two weeks ago, the Press of Southeast Queens reported that the trial determining Wills’ fate was delayed due to a “conflict of interest” involving his attorney. According to the State Attorney General’s office, there has been no worthwhile developments in the case since then. If convicted, Wills faces up to seven years in prison.
“We need a fresh start with a Council Member who can make government work for all of us, with bright, new ideas,” David said in a statement released shortly after the announcement. “I have worked in government for over 10 years and I have been a leading advocate for the community for even longer. I’m ready to work hard to deliver real results. Now, more than ever, this is the kind of change we need”
The Democratic primaries are set for Sept. 12.