Donovan Richards was born and raised in Southeast Queens. He received an associate’s degree in Aviation Management from Vaughn College of Aeronautics and went from there to the Academy of Aviation. In March of 2003, after the fatal shooting of his childhood friend in front of his home, Donovan committed to be involved in politics. In 2011, Richards became chief of staff for NYC Councilman James Sanders, Jr., and when Sanders was elected to the New York State Senate, Richards won a 2013 special election to the NYC Council to succeed him, serving a district that includes South Jamaica and Far Rockaway, an office he still holds. During his first term, he secured more than $1.5 billion to help fill the enormous sewer infrastructure problem of flooding in Southeast Queens. In the second half of his term, Richards was at the center of Mayor de Blasio’s push for affordable housing across the city. Donovan has had the benefit of a religious education, at a Christian Academy, a time that he says he will never forget, and this guides his concern with the work he does with the yeshivah school system.