Newly-elected Brooklyn Borough President, Antonio Reynoso on Monday announced that he was bringing on Assemblymember Diana Richardson as deputy borough president.
In her new role, Reynoso, a former New York City Council Member, said Richardson, the daughter of Aruban and St. Martin immigrants, will be focused on addressing food insecurity, reducing gun violence, and supporting Brooklyn’s Community Boards and ensuring they are reflective of the communities they serve.
Reynoso said Richardson is a lifelong Brooklyn resident and a committed public servant.
Since 2015, she has served the 43rd Assembly District in Central Brooklyn that comprises the neighborhoods of Crown Heights, Flatbush, Wingate, and Prospect Lefferts Gardens.
Reynoso said that, during Richardson’s tenure, she has championed progressive change in the areas of housing, criminal justice reform, education and healthcare.
He said Richardson led the fight on gun violence in the New York State Legislature and recently passed the Community Violence Intervention Act of 2021, which secures funding for state-wide Cure Violence Programs.
In addition, Reynoso said Richardson “championed” 15 pieces of legislation signed into law, and led the fight to pass New York States’ Police Reform Act of 2020, and the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act (HSTPA) of 2019.
Richardson has also “delivered millions of dollars in aid to the public schools in her district — funding capital and technology improvements, and advocating for civic education,” Reynoso said.
“For years, Assemblymember Richardson has been an unwavering progressive voice and a powerful advocate for her community in Central Brooklyn,” he said. “From tackling food insecurity and gun violence in our communities to delivering historic tenant protections and criminal justice reform, Diana has been on the frontlines fighting for the kind of progressive policies that transform communities.
“Diana has shown time and again that she is committed to standing up for the most vulnerable among us, and I know that she shares our vision of creating a Brooklyn that works for all of us,” Reynoso added. “I’m proud to bring her on as Deputy Borough President and ready to get to work together advocating for all Brooklynites.”
Much like Reynoso, Richardson said she has dedicated her life to serving the community that raised her.
“I’m honored to be able to continue that service in Borough Hall,” she said. “Our borough has been hit hard by this pandemic, particularly the communities of color, small businesses, and essential workers on the frontlines, and I’m ready to work alongside Borough President Reynoso to uplift working families and deliver a recovery that centers the most vulnerable among us.
“Borough President Reynoso is a coalition builder and a progressive champion, and I know that together we can deliver a stronger, more equitable future for Brooklyn,” she added.
In an email message to constituents Monday night, Richardson said it was “a deep honor to represent the 43rd Assembly District, a vibrant community that has raised me, with its own distinct presence, so rich in culture, and an unyielding spirit like no other.
“Your willingness to take a chance on my leadership means the world to me, and the bond we have built has been incredibly special.,” she said. “I will be the first to admit I am not like the traditional elected official — I am shaped differently and move through political spaces in my own way. Yet, I am so grateful for your ongoing commitment and support over the years.
“Considering all that we have accomplished together, the memories we have formed and shared together have formed a special place in my heart including, the block parties, faith services, senior events, and community activities,” Richardson added. “I appreciate our endless conversations talking out ways to solve problems, and our ability to learn from one another, and to grow from both our differences and the commonalities we share.
“I look forward to working alongside Borough President Antonio Reynoso to continue to uplift our communities and build a stronger Brooklyn for all of us,” she continued. “I am not leaving you; I am still here and will now serve you in a different way, from a different seat and at a different angle. While I will go on to serve the entire Borough, never forget that I am your neighbor and your ally. Leadership is visible, and you will never have to look hard to find me.”
New York State Sen. Zellnor Y. Myrie, whose grandmother hailed from Jamaica, noted that few public servants get to serve the communities where they were born and raised, adding that “even fewer get to do so with distinction, passion and integrity.
“Assemblymember Richardson is such a servant,” said Myrie, representative for the 20th Senate District in Brooklyn, adjacent to Richardson’s 43rd Assembly District. “Her voice has matched her actions; whether it was fighting for transformative housing and criminal justice reforms in the halls of Albany, feeding our communities for weeks-on-end at the height of the pandemic, or standing on the frontline in our neighborhoods to stop gun violence, she has exemplified what it means to serve tirelessly and with your whole heart.
“It has been an honor to serve with her in the Legislature, and I look forward to continued partnership,” Myrie continued. “While I undoubtedly join many in my community in being sad to see her leave the Assembly, the 43rd’s loss is Brooklyn’s gain. Assemblymember Richardson and Borough President Reynoso are about to take Brooklyn to new heights, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for our beloved borough.”
Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants said Richardson is “indeed an excellent choice” as the new Deputy Brooklyn Borough President.
“For the past six years, I have been honored to partner and serve with Assemblywoman Diana Richardson who is not only a colleague in government, but who also represents me as a resident of the 43rd District in the NY State Assembly,” said Clarke, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn. “Her work ethic, leadership and compassion for others have placed her on the frontlines of policymaking in service to our community.
“She has truly transformed the discourse and the legislative course of action taken in Albany on behalf of the most vulnerable of our communities, our city and our state,” she added. “I’m confident that our borough will greatly benefit from her hands-on approach and her passion for service.”
Clarke’s congressional colleague, Hakeem Jeffries, who represents the adjacent 8th Congressional District that encompasses parts of Brooklyn and Queens, said that, throughout his congressional career, he “always knew I could count on Assemblymember Diana Richardson to fight for our values in Albany.
“And now, I know she’s ready to continue her important work from Borough Hall as Deputy Borough President,” said Congressman Jefferies. “From fighting for tenants to preventing gun violence, Diana knows how to deliver for our community, and she brings experience and passion to the Reynoso administration.”
The trail-blazing former New York City Council Member Jamaican Dr. Una S.T. Clarke, the first Caribbean-born woman to be elected to the City Council, said she has known Richardson for over a decade – from being a student leader at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College to being “a dynamic member” of the 43rd Assembly District.
“She has dedicated her life to serving Brooklyn, and she’s going to be a great Deputy Borough President,” said Dr. Clarke, the mother of Congresswoman Clarke. “She is committed to prioritizing education, supporting immigrants and working families, and keeping our borough safe. I’ve known Diana for years, and this is an exciting new chapter for her and Brooklyn.”