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Name:  Richard S. David
Office Sought: New York State Assembly District 31
Party Affiliation(s): Democrat
Age: 34
Education: Masters in Public Administration
Occupation/Employer: Previous employer was Kasirer
Previous Offices, Campaigns and Community/Civic Involvement:

  • District Leader, Assembly District 31 – current
  • Community Board, 10 years
  • Richmond Hill/South Ozone Park Lions Club, Member
  • NAACP Jamaica Branch, Member
  • Indo-Caribbean Alliance, Co-founder
  • City Council District 28 Campaign, 2017

Twitter:  @itsrichdavid



Please state whether you support or oppose the following reform measures. If you wish to elaborate on your answers, you may do so in the provided space at the bottom of this page.



  1. Replace the Joint Commission on Public Ethics and the Legislative Ethics Commission with an effective and independent enforcement body (S594A/A1282A).
  1. Limit outside compensation earned by state legislators and statewide officials to 25% of their salaries and eliminate stipends.


Elections and Voting

  1. Do you support or oppose the following changes to the state’s current registration and voting system?
    1. No-excuse absentee voting (second passage of constitutional amendment)
    2. Election Day voter registration (second passage of constitutional amendment)
    3. Re-enfranchisement of people on parole automatically through legislation, without requiring a Certificate of Good Conduct or Relief
    4. Automatic voter registration, unless the potential voter opts out
    5. Mandating poll sites on college campuses
  1. Reform the special election process, utilizing a nonpartisan special election for state legislative seats and eliminate delays in filling vacancies.
  1. Reduce the vote threshold to become a registered party back to 50,000 votes and keep the gubernatorial election as the qualifying election, and reduce the petition requirement for independent candidates back to 15,000 signatures.


Campaign Finance

  1. Amend the state’s public campaign financing system, approved in the 2021 budget, by
    1. Drastically reduce campaign contribution limits
    2. Set even lower contribution limits for registered lobbyists and those who do business with the state
    3. Move the campaign finance matching program to be administered by an independent, nonpartisan body outside of the NY Board of Election
    4. Simplify the matching system by making both in- and out-of-district donations eligible and by eliminating the three different tiers for matching


Budget Process

  1. Require full disclosure of grants and contracts issued by the state, including the budget lines from which the spending is made and reporting on the results of each grant or contract over a certain amount.
  1. Provide for effective online disclosure and itemization of spending from elected officials’ lump sum appropriations, including reporting on potential conflicts of interest and how the funds are spent.


Police Accountability

  1. Repeal Civil Rights Law, Sec. 50-a, which shields from public view the disciplinary records of police officers, correction officers, and firefighters.


Election Administration

  1. Restructure the state Board of Elections to abolish the strict two-party division of governance and operation and put in place professional, nonpartisan administration.
  1. Empower the attorney general to investigate and prosecute election law malfeasance and cases of public corruption.


Home Rule

  1. Make mayoral control of city schools permanent, with a governance system that provides for accountability, transparency, parent engagement, and democratic participation.


Court Reform

  1. Simplify and consolidate New York State’s court system by passing the Chief Judge’s proposed constitutional amendment to modernize the courts.

If needed, you may elaborate below on your positions on the previous questions. You may also provide additional information on any actions that you have taken or plan to take to advance your positions on these issues.

For voting reform, I’d like to push for open primaries and voting at any poll site instead of just the one you’re assigned.



Government under the COVID-19 outbreak

  1. Adopt technological solutions and provisions that will allow the New York State legislature to convene and vote remotely if needed.
  1. Provide public access to observe and participate in government proceedings, in meetings that would be public under the New York Open Meetings Law, via live and recorded video available on government Website:
  1. Implement immediate programs to facilitate absentee voting for all New York voters as long as the widespread contagion risk of COVID-19 continues, under current state constitutional limitations. This includes electronic submission of absentee ballot applications without a wet signature and a public information campaign.
  1. What are your concerns regarding the use of emergency powers during this crisis, and how do you think NY government can maintain public accountability standards at this time?
    I’m concerned about which companies are procured and their relationships, spending, how resources are deployed and in which communities. NY can maintain public accountability even during this time with clear, transparent and public access to records, decisions and internal communications, as well as independent post-Covid commission.


Serving the public under the COVID-19 outbreak

  1. What are the biggest challenges in your district in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak?
    Access to food, especially culturally sensitive foods, healthcare and testing, masks, credible information, limited access to technology/internet and familiarity with social media, limited to no financial relief for small businesses, little to no assistance to undocumented residents, burial services for non-Christian and non-Abrahamic religions.
  1. What are the appropriate roles of city, state, and federal governments in a crisis such as this?
    The federal government should be doing more to lead a global understanding of the virus, and use that info to put in place a national plan that prioritizes residents. The federal government should be helping small businesses, providing emergency supplies and coordinating between states. The Feds should be providing templates for treatment, responses, best practices across states and exchanging critical health data.

    The state should be in close coordination with local governments, offering financial assistance, benchmarks for health and for re-opening, making sure equal access to resources across race lines, income groups, and geographic locations. Funding hospitals, essential workers and identifying best practices to share across municipalities.

    Local governments should be identifying vulnerable areas and people, over resourcing riskiest areas/people, direct delivery of food, medical supplies, coordinating with community boards, civics, church groups and community leaders. Offering housing and racial justice. 

    They all have an important role uplifting people’s expectations, feelings and mood.


  1. How will you help your future constituents, residents and businesses, access potential funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, or any other future government relief funds?
    It is a shame that AD 31 will not have Assembly representation for almost a full year, when we need it the most. Many of these loans will be exhausted by that time. If I were in office, I would leverage nonprofits, corporations and community groups to get info to people about unemployment insurance, loans for businesses (and help them to apply), connecting seniors and high risk people with help for food and pharma drugs, and making sure people feel they have access to consistent and reliable information across three very distinct geographic areas. This is sorely missing in this crisis and I have been trying my best to help.



What are the top five promises you are making to the voters during the campaign?

Campaign Promise 1
A visible, knowledgable and reliable constituent office that has a presence across all three areas of the district with staff they will know, or come to know, and trust. I will be personally accessible, present and available for the people of my district.

I have done this as a volunteer district leader and I will do even more in the Assembly.

Campaign Promise 2
I will work to unify the three areas of our district, and make sure our people, views and issues get the attention they deserve, and solutions. I will do this by recognizing our differences and our similarities, and leverage them to work with other electeds, agencies and community organizations. I will foster greater cohesion, collaboration and convene us often.

Campaign Promise 3
I will fight for more funding to support housing, transportation, sustainability, living wage jobs, and education in our district.

Campaign Promise 4
To lead a clean, corruption-free term and push progressive legislation that prioritizes work-class families of color.

Campaign Promise 5
Push for the construction of more senior and youth centers that allow social service, activist, and other nonprofits to operate and serve the people of the district.



Citizens Union believes that all New Yorkers deserve to be represented by officials who work for the public interest and honor the public trust. With the corruption conviction of recent legislative leaders, we seek to endorse a candidate who will demonstrate that she/he will honor the full commitment of the oath of office, and always represent the public interest above all else.

Please tell us how you have and would continue to conduct the political affairs of this office in an upright manner, and maintain the public trust.
I will conduct myself the way I have for the last decade in government, as a board member of several nonprofits, as a former candidate for public office that received matching funds, and as district leader. I will be open, transparent, hire competent and culturally-sensitive staff and support reforms that prioritizes good governance.

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