Donald has been a Councillor in Edinburgh since 1999, previously representing the Shandon Ward and then the Sighthill Gorgie Ward since 2007. He has served as a Bailie and then as Lord Provost of the City till 2017. He is presently the Convener of the Culture and Communities Committee.
He has fought for local people as Chair of the South West Neighbourhood Partnership and on numerous Boards and Advisory Groups such as the Friends of Westfield Park and the Broomhouse Centre. Donald has lead many successful campaigns such as to save the Gorgie War Memorial Hall, the Longstone Prison Officers Club (now in McLeod Street), the Dalry Baths, The Gorgie City Farm and for surface crossings for Calder Rd. to replace the underpasses. A frequent visitor to Planning representing constituent’s views he has fought both in favour and against developments reflecting local opinion.
As Lord Provost he has raised hundreds of thousands for Edinburgh Charities such as the One City Trust through events such as running the London Marathon twice (and is in training for London and Edinburgh Marathons this year). He has been a ‘people’s Lord Provost’ making the post more accessible through events such as Community Garden Parties and getting out and about to groups and organisations throughout the city.