Assemblymember Diana Richardson has been named the deputy Brooklyn Borough President.

Newly-elected Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso made the announcement Monday, saying in her new role Richardson would 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.

“For years, Assemblymember Richardson has been an unwavering progressive voice and a powerful advocate for her community in Central Brooklyn. 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,” Reynoso said.

He added that Richardson has consistently shown she was committed to standing up for the borough’s most vulnerable residents, “and I know that she shares our vision of creating a Brooklyn that works for all of us.”

Richardson is a lifelong Brooklyn resident who has served the neighborhoods of Crown Heights, Flatbush, Wingate and Prospect Lefferts Gardens in the State Assembly since 2015.

She will be leaving that role for the new position, telling Brooklyn Paper she will now be able to work with people more closely on the ground. Her Assembly seat will be filled in a special election held by the County Committee rather than in a competitive primary. Richardson told Brooklyn Paper she, Myrie and Rep. Yvette Clarke are backing Jelanie DeShong, who currently serves as Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs in the governor’s office, to fill the seat.

During her tenure at an Assembly member, Richardson has championed progressive change in the areas of housing, criminal justice reform, education and healthcare, Reynoso said, leading the fight on gun violence in the New York State Legislature and recently passing the Community Violence Intervention Act.

He added that she led the fight to pass New York States Police Reform Act and the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act, as well as delivering millions of dollars in aid to the public schools in her district — funding capital and technology improvements, and advocating for civic education.

Following the announcement, Richardson said she had dedicated her life to serving the community that raised her in Brooklyn and she was honored to be able to continue that service in Borough Hall.

 “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.”

Brooklyn leaders, including Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, State Sen. Zellnor Myrie, Former Councilmember Una Clarke, Rabbi Eli Cohen and Working Families Party New York Director Sochie Nnaemeka, congratulated Richardson in a press release announcing her new role, saying she was an “excellent choice” for the role.

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Anna Bradley-Smith

Anna Bradley-Smith is Brooklyn-based reporter with bylines in NBC, VICE, Slate and others. Follow her on Twitter @annabradsmith.

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    1. She is leaving her job as an elected official. The party’s County Committee will decide her successor in a special election.

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