Meet David Richardson
More than seven years ago, on August 14, 2012, former State Representative David Richardson made history in Florida when he became the first openly gay person to win a seat in the Florida Legislature. While it was his first campaign ever, Richardson mounted a true grassroots campaign that brought people together across House District 113, which covers Miami Beach, North Bay Village, parts of Downtown Miami and Little Havana.
A native of Houston, Texas, Richardson moved to Florida more than 50 years ago, where he attended Lyman High School and later studied at the University of Central Florida, graduating with degrees in Accountancy and Biology. After graduating from the University of Central Florida, he attended the University of Tampa earning his Master of Business Administration degree.
From there, he began his successful career in accounting and auditing. He first worked as an auditor for the US Department of Defense, after which he joined Ernst and Young, an international accounting and consulting firm. In 1993, he opened his own small business focused on forensic auditing of government contracts. For the last 34 years, Richardson has been a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Florida. Since 2012 he has put his more than three decades of experience to work on behalf of the community he represents.
While serving in the state legislature, Richardson was a voice for the LGBT community, working tirelessly to end discrimination and promoting LGBT rights and equality. In the 2015 legislative session, Representative Richardson fought to kill the bigoted ‘Bathroom Bill’ that would have allowed harassment of transgendered people as well as fighting to kill the ‘Religious Conscious’ Bill that would have been state sanctioned discrimination on the basis of religious reliefs. His legislative accomplishments are expansive and include enacting rule changes within both the Department of Children and Families and the Guardian Ad Litem programs to provide protections to LGBT children in Foster Care and under the care of the state of Florida. Richardson was also a fierce champion for youth homelessness initiatives in South Florida and successfully secured state funding to launch a pilot project to combat LGBT youth homelessness.
Richardson is also known for his deep-rooted commitment to government accountability and transparency and put his forensic auditing skills to work as he rooted out challenges in the Department of Corrections. Richardson exposed the Department’s inhumane treatments of inmates and discovered the state was losing millions of dollars in private prison contracts. One article summed Richardson’s extensive work best. “Richardson, a retired forensic auditor, has used his legislative authority to enter state prisons unannounced to view conditions without the “dog and pony show” typically provided to official guests. He presented his findings to his colleagues in the state House in April 2017 and urged them to require more accountability over Florida’s private prison contracts, offering a level of scrutiny not often seen on the floor of a legislative chamber.”
Today, Richardson is running for Miami Beach City Commissioner to continue his dedication to public service and to continue putting his more than three decades of forensic auditing experience to work on behalf of the residents of Miami Beach.