Donovan Richards shed his city council title this week to become the next Queens Borough President.
Richards, who is the first Black man to hold the borough president’s office in Queens, was certified by the Board of Elections on Tuesday. He was sworn in on Wednesday, and immediately started his borough president duties.
So what does that mean for his district?
In taking the office of the Queens Borough President, Richards had to leave behind his seat on the New York City Council representing District 31 (Arverne, Brookville, Edgemere, Far Rockaway, Laurelton, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens). That seat is now vacant.
Richards’ departure from New York City Hall to Queens Borough Hall triggered a special election to fill the vacancy. Mayor Bill de Blasio has until December 5 to announce a date for the special election and according to his press office, he’ll be announcing the date in accordance with the deadline requirements.
The special election for District 31 will be the second special election held in Queens in 2021. Residents in District 24 (Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok, Electchester, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Parkway Village, Jamaica Hills, Jamaica) will be headed to the polls on February 2, 2021 to vote on a replacement for former City Councilmember Rory Lancman, who left his post to join Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration.
There are already 10 candidates running for District 31 in the 2021 city council elections registered with the New York City Campaign Finance Board. Selvena Brooks-Powers, Monique Charlton, Latanya Collins, Franck Joseph, Nicole Lee, Nancy Martinez, Perri Pierre, Latoya Benjamin, Shawn Rux, and Manuel Silva have all thrown their names in the hat for the June primaries and could all run in the special.
Whoever wins the special will take office immediately but will have to run again in the June primary.
And to the residents of District 31: While you won’t have a voice on the council for a few months, the district will still provide constituent services and your needs will be met.
Oh, and when the time comes: GO VOTE.