About Borough President Donovan Richards
Donovan Richards Jr., a lifelong resident of Southeast Queens, was elected as Borough President in November of 2020.
Growing up he lived in Jamaica, St. Albans, Hollis, and Rosedale, with frequent visits to grandparents who lived in the Rockaways. He attended Jamaica High School and Redemption Christian Academy before studying communications, radio, and TV at Nyack College. He later received a degree in Aviation Management from Vaughn College.
Donovan got his start in politics after the tragic killing of a close friend inspired him to get more involved in his community and join the fight to end gun violence. He worked in numerous positions within the City Council where he connected with the community and developed a hands on approach to helping constituents. This knowledge was crucial in getting him elected to the city council in 2013.
As a fighter for affordable housing, he was proud to serve as the Chair of the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises during his first City Council term. He used this position to fight for rezoning in the Rockaways to increase residential availability as well as commercial and community space, including a new library. He also served as Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection following Super Storm Sandy. Through his position he was able to help secure funding for flood protection to protect Rockaway communities.
He has been a steadfast advocate for criminal justice reform, most recently acting as Chair of the Committee on Public Safety. In that position he has held numerous hearings on NYPD protocols surrounding protests, cannabis, and the Special Victims Division. In the City Council he has been a proponent of closing Rikers Island and legalizing adult-use cannabis.
As Queens Borough President, Donovan is leading the efforts to revitalize our great borough and make it one which works for all of its residents and workers.
About Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor Franck D. Joseph II
About Deputy Borough President Rhonda Binda
Rhonda Binda, raised in Southeast Queens, is a visionary leader with a passion for social and environmental justice. In her youth, Rhonda successfully lobbied the New York City Council for New York Public Interest Group (NYPIRG) to shut down Fresh Kills, the largest toxic site in the country. As an attorney, she represented and released wrongly detained clients before the US Immigration Court of Appeals after 9/11 pro bono and broke up internet and cable monopolies. In government, she served in both the Obama-Biden and Clinton-Gore Administrations as a US Diplomat and in the West Wing.
Inspired by her love for her hometown, Rhonda returned to Queens as the Executive Director for the Jamaica BID, the borough’s largest business district where she took action against stark inequality of resources and investments made in the Borough. Under her leadership, Jamaica remarkably rose through the ranks to be named the #1 neighborhood in the city, won #1 awards from the NYC Department of Small Business Services (NYC SBS) and #1 in the state for downtown revitalization, raising Jamaica’s profile as a unique, vibrant multicultural center for retail and tourism.
She continued to serve her community as Chairwoman of South Asian American Voice, Vice President of the Guyanese Girls Rock Foundation High School Women’s Leadership Academy and on the boards for The Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens, The New York Hall of Science and Positive Women United.
Rhonda is an internationally recognized People’s Choice leader in building smart cities and connected communities. She is an Adjunct Professor at Medgar Evers College at the City University of New York and served on both the 21 Century Government and Foreign Policy teams for the Biden-Harris 2020 Presidential campaign. Rhonda attended Queens public schools in District 29 and, because of her academic potential, was recruited for the prestigious Prep for Prep program, which provided her a path to scholarships to The Lawrencevill School, Duke University, Georgetown University and Oxford University. Rhonda has traveled to 6 continents, 40+ countries and hundreds of cities working with state and local leaders, and lives in Jamaica Estates, Queens.