Diaspora

Year-in-Review 2022 – Caribbean Life – Caribbean Life

January
Haitian migration increased dramatically in 2021: UN
The United Nations said that the number of Haitians who have tried to migrate by unofficial channels to neighboring countries by boat has increased dramatically in 2021.
The UN said the true scope of the number of people who are leaving Haiti is “difficult to precisely calculate,” but the IOM noted that the Haitian Coast Guard intercepted at least 224 migrants at sea in 2020 and 605 in 2021.
The UN also said that, in October 2021, some 1,194 migrants, mainly men who were trying to reach Miami, Florida, were repatriated to Haiti.
Myrie legislation toughens penalties for consumer fraud amid COVID surge
As the pandemic continued to spike across New York, State Sen. Zellnor Y. Myrie (D-Central Brooklyn) saif legislation he has table would sharply increase civil financial penalties for white-collar crime committed in connection with COVID-19, imposing a civil penalty of three times the amount of any unlawful gain, or $25,000, whichever is greater.
“Demand for PCR and at-home rapid COVID tests is at an all-time high, and some bad actors are exploiting the current surge to seek ill-gotten profit from New Yorkers,” said Myrie, who represents the 20th Senate District in Brooklyn.
“From false promises of 48-hour results turnaround times to sudden price increases on at-home test kits, companies are preying on us during this already-difficult time,” added Myrie, whose grandmother hailed from Jamaica. “My bill would dramatically increase the cost of doing business for these white-collar fraudsters and scammers.”
He said the COVID-19 Fraud Accountability Act, (S.4954), would sharply increase civil financial penalties for white-collar crime committed in connection with COVID-19.
Hochul grants clemency to convicted Jamaican drug deader
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul granted clemency to a convicted Jamaican-born drug dealer among 10 immigrants who have “showed remorse and exemplified rehabilitation.”
In commuting the sentence of Roger Cole, 55, Hochul noted that he was originally sentenced to 125 years to life in prison, “having been put on trial during the Rockefeller Drug Law era during which extremely lengthy prison sentences were handed down for drug-related convictions.”
In 1989 and 1992, Cole was convicted of five counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, and one count each of Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree.
Cole’s sentence was subsequently reduced on appeal to 85 to 100 years, of which Cole has now served more than 30 years.
Adams, prominent community leaders laud Brooklyn Dem Party chair
Mayor-elect Eric Adams and over 250 prominent Brooklyn Democratic lawmakers, district leaders, community activists and leaders released a letter reflecting on what they described as Party Chair Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn’s “unifying leadership” and recognizing the groundbreaking accomplishments that the Brooklyn Democratic Party has achieved under her tenure.
“We recognize and thank you for your dedicated hard work unifying and supporting Democrats – not only candidates and office-holders – but people of all ages, laborers, blue-collar citizens, and those in need of hope,” the letter addressed to the party chair states.
The letter states that while voting rights are being restricted nationwide, Bichotte Hermelyn, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn, “helped us lead Brooklyn forward, calling on the Board of Elections to explain the board’s role and enacting solutions to meet the demand for absentee ballots.”
Adams, Barbados PM named Persons of the Year
The Brooklyn-based Everybody’s Magazine named New York City Mayor-Elect Eric Adams and Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley as Persons of the Year for 2021.
“Although we did not count nominations sent to us between January and October 2021, readers suggested Prime Minister Mia Mottley for the 2021 Person of the Year almost every month,” said Everybody’s Grenadian-born publisher Herman Hall. “However, as soon as nominations became official, the prime minister and Brooklyn’s Borough President Eric Adams received the lion’s share.
“Gone are the days when readers nominated their parents, siblings, countryperson, and prime minister,” he added. “Judging from emails received, Prime Minister Mottley was the unanimous choice from people of various Caribbean heritage and from different nations.
“No nominations came in for any other Caribbean head of government, which could indicate that the region needs more leaders like Mottley,” Hall continued.
Caribbean pols pay tribute to Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Two Democratic Caribbean legislators in Brooklyn paid tribute to the late Nobel Peace Prize-winning Anglican cleric of South Africa, Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu, whose civil and human rights work helped to end apartheid, or the system of racial separateness, in South Africa.
In describing Archbishop Tutu as “a patriot without equal,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed his death. Archbishop Tutu was 90.
Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, said Tutu was “the global ambassador of humanity and human rights.”
And New York City Councilman Haitian-born Dr. Mathieu Eugene described Tutu as “a true spiritual icon.”
Williams, Narcisse hail Adrienne Adams as City Council Speaker
New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Council Member Mercedes Narcisse welcomed Adrienne Adams as the new Speaker of the New York City Council, the first African-American Council Member to become Speaker of the City’s 51-member legislative body.
“Congratulations to Speaker Adrienne Adams on being officially selected to serve as the leader of the City Council,” said Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants. “Achieving this position requires earning the trust of your colleagues in government and the people of the City. I know from our years of partnership that she will be a strong steward of both, advancing justice and equity in our city’s laws and systems.”
“I congratulate our new Speaker, Councilwoman Adrienne E. Adams and look forward to working with her to create an equitable City government that serves all New Yorkers,” said Narcisse, who represents the 46th Council District in Brooklyn, which includes the neighborhoods of Canarsie and Flatlands.
Narcisse described Speaker Adams, just like the late Councilwoman Pickett, as “a history maker.”
Clarke condemns assassination attempt on Haiti PM
Caribbean American Democratic Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke condemned an attempt to assassinate Haiti Prime Minister Ariel Henry during an official event commemorating the French-speaking Caribbean country’s independence.
“It is with a heavy heart to learn that over the weekend, as Haiti commemorated its 218th Independence Day, gunmen attempted to assassinate Prime Minister Ariel Henry during an event at a church in the northern city of Gonaïves,” Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, told Caribbean Life.
“As Haiti marks its 218th year of independence, we must remember the spirit of the ancestors who fought to unite all Haitians for the just and successful fight for freedom and human rights,” added Clarke, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn and who also co-chairs the US House of Representatives Haiti Caucus.
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) said that a Colombian national was arrested, in connection with a plot to kill Haitian President Jovenel Moise in July 2021, based on a criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of Florida.
The DOJ said Mario Antonio Palacios, 43, is “charged with conspiracy to commit murder or kidnapping outside the United States and providing material support resulting in death, knowing or intending that such material support would be used to prepare for or carry out the conspiracy to kill or kidnap.”
Richards sworn in for full term as Queens Borough Prez
During a small, private ceremony on the steps of Queens Borough Hall, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr. was sworn-in for his first full-term as Queens Borough President on Friday.
As the Borough President’s wife, Tameeka, and son, Donovan III, looked on, New York City Clerk Michael McSweeney administered the City Charter-mandated oath of office to Borough President Richards, who had his hand placed on a Bible when taking the oath.
Also in attendance was newly appointed Queens Deputy Borough President Ebony Young.
First elected in a special election on Nov. 3, 2020 to fill out the remainder of the term of former Borough President Melinda Katz, Richards, who traces his roots to Jamaica, was elected to a full four-year term on Nov. 2, 2021.
Caribbean pols blame Trump on first anniversary of insurrection
On the first anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection on the United States Capitol complex in Washington, D.C., Caribbean American legislators in New York squarely blamed former US President Donald J. Trump for the event and the unsuccessful attempt to overturn the 2020 US Presidential Election.
“In hindsight the January 6th riot was a natural progression of the violence that was influenced by Donald Trump and his administration using deliberate disinformation campaigns to attack our freedom to vote,” Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who represents the primarily Caribbean 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, told Caribbean Life.
New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, noted that “A year ago, a violent mob attempted a coup in the very seat of American democracy.
“Egged on by the former president and enabled by congressional representatives who valued the idea of authoritarian rule devoid of objective truth more than our democracy, they breached our Capitol and came closer to succeeding than many initially realized or are willing to contend with,” said Williams, a candidate for Governor of New York in June’s Democratic Primary.
Adams appoints prominent Caribbean jurist as City’s Corporation Counsel
Newly-elected New York City Mayor Eric Adams appointed Barbadian-born Justice Sylvia O. Hinds-Radix as the City’s Corporation Counsel, becoming the first Caribbean-born woman to serve in that capacity in the City’s history.
As Corporation Counsel, Justice Hinds-Radix will lead the City’s Law Department, which is primarily responsible for providing legal representation to the City, the Mayor, other elected officials, and City agencies in all affirmative and defensive civil litigation.
The eminent jurist, who, in 2020, was designated a member of the New York State Constitutional Bench, was confirmed as Corporation Counsel by the 51-member New York City Council.
Sidney Poitier ‘shaped entertainment landscape of America’: Clarke
Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke added her voice to glowing tributes to Sir Sidney Poitier, the first Black man to win the Academy Award for Best Actor.
Bahamian American Poitier, who won the Academy Award for the 1963 film “Lilies of the Field”, died at his home in Los Angeles. He was 94.
Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, told Caribbean Life exclusively that Poitier, who appeared in over 50 films, “shaped the entertainment landscape of America, as well as the Caribbean community through his talent, achievements and dedication to the Arts.
“He lived a life exemplary of honor, devotion to one’s craft and grace in the face of intolerance during an inhospitable era in American history,” said the congresswoman, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Borough Prez Antonio Reynoso taps Richardson for Deputy BP
Newly-elected Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso 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 had served the 43rd Assembly District in Central Brooklyn that comprises the neighborhoods of Crown Heights, Flatbush, Wingate, and Prospect Lefferts Gardens.
Prominent Caribbean attorney, political activist Colin Moore passes
Prominent Caribbean attorney, civil rights advocate, and political and community activist Colin A. Moore died in New York, close friends and colleagues said.
Patricia Jordon-Langford – a close family friend, president of the Brooklyn-based Guyana Tri-State Alliance, Inc. and Board Member of the Guyana Cultural Association of New York – said that Guyanese-born, Brooklyn resident Moore “passed away quietly.”
Another close friend, Grenadian Gerry Hopkins, a community activist and publicist in Brooklyn, described Moore as “a stalwart Caribbean-American father, husband, activist, lawyer, lecturer, politician, analyst and community organizer.”
He said Moore, who was born in Auchlyne Village, Corentyne Coast, Berbice, Guyana, on April 24, 1941, “sadly died of natural causes at the age of 80 in New York City.”
Adams names Barbadian-Panamanian American Ingrid Lewis-Martin as Chief Advisor
Mayor Eric Adams named Chaplain Ingrid Lewis-Martin, the daughter of Barbadian and Panamanian parents, as Chief advisor to the Mayor.
In that a role, Adams said Lewis-Martin, who was Deputy Brooklyn Borough President, when Adams was president, will work in partnership with the first deputy mayor, chief of staff and all direct reports to the mayor “to support operations at City Hall and advance the administration’s strategic policies and priorities.”
Dr. Waldaba Stewart, Panamanian-born former New York State senator, community activist and educator, dies at 85
Dr. Waldaba Stewart, a Panamanian-born former New York State senator, community activist and educator, died on Jan. 1 in Manhattan, according to Rey Allen, president of the Brooklyn-based Southern Diaspora Research and Development Coalition (SDRDC), of which Dr. Stewart was co-founder.
Allen said Dr. Stewart – who worked closely with the late Dr. George Irish at the Caribbean Research Center at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College and who was also an adjunct professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Science at the college in Crown Heights – died in Manhattan of natural causes. He was 85.
Caribbean pols appointed to top posts on NYC Council
Newly-elected New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams appointed a number of Caribbean American legislators in Brooklyn to top leadership positions on the Council.
Adams appointed Council Member Crystal Hudson, the granddaughter of Jamaican immigrants to chair the Committee on Aging; Haitian-born Council Member Rita Joseph, a former public school teacher in Brooklyn, to chair the Committee on Education; Haitian-born Council Member Mercedes Narcisse, a registered nurse by training, to chair the Committee on Hospitals; and Haitian American Council Member Farah N. Louis to chair the Committee on Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses.
Caribbean American jurist in contention for Supreme Court justice
A Caribbean American jurist had emerged among the top contenders for nomination to the United States Supreme Court.
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California Leondra Reid Kruger, the daughter of a Jamaican mother and a Jewish father, was one of the top candidates for the Supreme Court Justice seat.
If she was appointed, Justice Kruger, who was born on July 28, 1976, would become the first Black female justice to the highest court in the United States, replacing Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.
Clarke’s long-time partner passes suddenly
Caribbean American Democratic Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke announced that her “life partner of 30 years,” Charles B. Durham, died suddenly in Brooklyn. He was 62.
“It is with a heavy heart that I must announce the sudden and unexpected passing of my life partner and best friend, Mr. Charles B. Durham over the weekend,” said Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, in a statement.
Earlier, Clarke told Caribbean Life exclusively that firefighters, from the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), found Durham, an Ohio native, in a chair at her campaign headquarters on Nostrand Avenue, between Maple and Midwood streets, in East Flatbush, near the popular Caribbean bakery, Allan’s.
The congresswoman said her “forever fiancé” had a “major cardiac event” after shoveling snow earlier at the couple’s residence on Midwood Street.
She said Durham had also shoveled snow from the major Nor’easter, which blanketed the northeast United States on Saturday, at Clarke’s parents’ residence, also on Midwood Street, as well as reportedly at other neighbors’ on the block.
Schumer introduces Perry as nominee for US Ambassador to Jamaica
United States Senate Majority Leader Charles “Chuck Schumer” introduced Jamaican-born New York City Assemblyman Nick Perry to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee as nominee for US Ambassador to Jamaica.
“It is my honor to introduce a proud New Yorker, a dear and longtime friend, we’ve known each other for 30 years, and fellow Brooklynite, Nick Perry to serve as the next US Ambassador to Jamaica,” said Democrat Schumer, who, in October last year, initially announced his support for Perry for the position.
Following Schumer’s push and continued support, US President Joe Biden on November 3 announced his nomination of Perry to be the next United States Ambassador to Jamaica.
Benjamin accepts nomination of lieutenant governor
Caribbean American New York State Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin on Thursday accepted the nomination of the New York State Democratic Party for lieutenant governor.
The State Party voted unanimously at the New York State Democratic Convention, at the Sheridan Hotel in midtown Manhattan, to nominate Benjamin, 44, the son of a Guyanese mother and Jamaican father, as the party’s choice for Lieutenant Governor in this year’s election.
“I am honored to be endorsed by the New York State Democratic Party as their choice for Lieutenant Governor,” Benjamin, who was sworn-in in September as second-in-command to newly-installed New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, told Caribbean Life afterwards.
Caribbean American Brian Cunningham wins Dems AD 43 nomination in massive landslide
Caribbean American Brian A. Cunningham won the Democratic Party nomination for the 43rd Assembly District in Brooklyn in a massive landslide by securing 90 percent of the votes among four other candidates.
Cunningham, who was born in Flatbush and raised by a single Jamaican-born mother, was endeavoring to succeed former New York State Assembly Member Diana Richardson, the daughter of Aruban and St. Martin immigrants, as representative for the district that comprises Prospect Lefferts Gardens, along with parts of Crown Heights and Flatbush.
Richardson was serving as Deputy Brooklyn Borough President.
With the Democratic Party’s nomination, Cunningham contested the Special Election, ordered by New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul, for Mar. 22.
March
NYC Council votes unanimously to confirm Caribbean jurist as City’s Corporation Council
In an historic vote, New York City Council voted unanimously to confirm Caribbean-born jurist Sylvia O. Hinds-Radix as the City’s new Corporation Counsel.
By voting 51-0, the Council created history in making Barbadian Hinds-Radix the first Caribbean-born woman to serve in that capacity in New York City’s history.
As Corporation Counsel, Hinds-Radix, whose last position was Associate Justice of the New York State Appellate Division, Second Department, will lead the City’s Law Department, which is primarily responsible for providing legal representation to the City, the Mayor, other elected officials, and City agencies in all affirmative and defensive civil litigation.
In early January, newly-elected New York City Mayor Eric Adams appointed Justice Sylvia O. Hinds-Radix as the City’s Corporation Counsel.
Justice Hinds-Radix, who was appointed Associate Justice of the New York State Appellate Division, Second Department in 2012, conducted the Mayor’s swearing-in ceremony, on January 2, 2022, at the Times Square New Year’s Celebration in midtown Manhattan.
Caribbean American pols welcome nomination of first Black woman to US Supreme Court
Caribbean American Democratic legislators in New York welcomed United States President Joe Biden’s nomination of the first Black woman to the US Supreme Court.
In honoring a campaign pledge to nominate a Black woman to the highest court in America, Biden nominated DC Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve as the next Justice on the Supreme Court.
“These are the moments that make history. President Biden’s nomination of DC Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the US Supreme Court is not just timely and necessary, it is crucial to a healthy democracy,” Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, told Caribbean Life. “This historic nomination is a renewed promise of America in pursuit of a more just society, and I am deeply grateful to be a witness to this change in the winds toward a more equitable future society.
“Judge Jackson is a shining example of what this nation can be when we come together, in spite of our differences, to create a country for the good and understanding of all its people,” added Clarke, who represents the predominantly Caribbean 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn. “Judge Jackson is the ‘I Rise’ and the ‘I am’ unfolding on the world stage. What a time to be alive.”
WIADCA ‘deeply saddened’ by death of ‘Carnival Queen’ Joyce Quamina
The Brooklyn-based West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), organizer of the annual massive carnival parade on Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway, says it’s “deeply saddened” over the passing of one of its former stalwart executive members, Trinidadian Joyce Quamina, described as WIADCA’s “Carnival Queen.”
Quamina, a long-time Brooklyn resident, died on Mar. 1 – incidentally, the same day as “Carnival Tuesday” in Trinidad and Tobago – at Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital in Oceanside, Long Is., her only daughter Michelle Quamina told Caribbean Life. Quamina was 85.
“A true community stalwart and lead on our Pan Committee, Auntie Joyce steered our organization through some rough days where she served in many other areas,” said WIADCA in a statement about Quamina, who, for over 40 years, was affiliated with the carnival group, more than 20 of which she served as business manager.
US Senate confirms Jamaican-born legislator as US ambassador to Jamaica
Following United States Senate Majority Leader Senator Charles “Chuck” Schumer’s push and continued support, the US Senate confirmed Jamaican-born New York State Assemblymember Nick Perry to be the next United States Ambassador to Jamaica.
Nick Perry – a veteran New York State Assemblymember, who represents the predominantly Caribbean 58th Assembly District in Brooklyn, including the neighborhoods of East Flatbush, Canarsie and Brownsville – will be the first US Ambassador to Jamaica who was born in Jamaica.
“I’m proud to announce that New York State Assemblymember Nick Perry has been confirmed as the next US Ambassador to Jamaica,” Schumer, the senior US senator from New York, told Caribbean Life.
“Assemblymember Perry has dedicated his life’s work to serving his constituents in the 58th district, and has fostered many deep and lasting cultural, economic and political connections between the United States and Jamaica – and that experience will make him an outstanding ambassador,” he added.
April
Warning: Russian invasion of Ukraine likely to reduce growth in the Caribbean
A new report by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has warned that the Russian invasion of Ukraine, together with interest rate hikes, is likely to reduce growth in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2022-2024.
The IDB’s 2022 Macroeconomic Report, “From Recovery to Renaissance: Turning Crisis into Opportunity”, released on Friday, underscores the urgency of enacting policies to unlock higher and more inclusive growth.
According to the Washington-based financial institution, the report analyzes the impacts of the war and provides a policy framework to improve the region’s labor and fiscal architecture to complement other efforts to strengthen the region’s economic and social institutions.
“Growth scenarios for individual countries depend on a variety of factors, from trade links to Russia to debt levels,” the report says. “Overall, however, the combined effect of aggregating global growth, commodity, and financial shocks is to reduce growth in Latin America and the Caribbean compared to a pre-war scenario.”
Williams criticizes Hochul amid Benjamin’s resignation and indictment
Caribbean American New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, a candidate for Governor of New York in June’s Democratic Primary, strongly criticized Gov. Kathy Hochul after she accepted the resignation of Lieutenant Gov. Brian Benjamin on indictment of bribery and related offenses.
Damian Williams, another Caribbean American, who is the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Benjamin, the son of a Guyanese mother and Jamaican father, was charged with bribery, honest services wire fraud and conspiracy to commit those offenses, “based on his use of his official authority while a New York state senator to direct a state-funded grant to an organization controlled by a real estate developer (‘CC-1’) in exchange for campaign contributions made and procured by CC-1”.
Benjamin, 45, who resigned shortly after prosecutors unsealed the indictment, pleaded not guilty at a short appearance in Federal District Court in Lower Manhattan. He was released on a US$250,000 bond.
“As Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul denied knowledge or awareness of Andrew Cuomo’s (former New York Governor wrongdoing,” said Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants. “Now, she’s repeating the same posture and strategy with her own Lieutenant.
“Either she’s consistently shamefully out of the loop, or shamefully enabling through her inaction,” he added. “And, either way, it’s clear that, unless we elect leadership outside of the old ways of Albany, these patterns of scandal and corruption will keep repeating.”
Brooklyn Borough Prez celebrates inauguration in public ceremony
Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso celebrated his inauguration with hundreds of constituents, supporters, family, friends, mentors, and federal, state, and city elected officials.
As the first Latino to be elected to this office, Reynoso also celebrated Brooklyn’s rich diversity through cultural performances, including Nieves Latin Dance Studio, based in Williamsburg, and the West Indian American Day Carnival Association from Crown Heights.
“It’s an honor of a lifetime to not only serve as the Borough President for the greatest place in the world, Brooklyn, but also to bear the responsibility of its future,” Reynoso said.
The ceremony featured remarks from a long list of supporters, mentors, and colleagues, including former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, US Sen. Chuck Schumer, NY Attorney General Letitia James, NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, NYC Comptroller Brad Lander, NYS Director of Operations Kathryn Garcia, District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and US Representatives Adriano Espaillat and Nydia Velázquez.
May
Caribbean pols disheartened by draft SCOTUS opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade
Two Caribbean American legislators expressed deep dismay over a reported draft US Supreme Court opinion that world overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case, giving women their constitutional right to have an abortion.
Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair Asseombywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, who traces his roots to Jamaica, told Caribbean Life that they were very disheartened over the news.
According to Politico, the Supreme Court majority has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, which published an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito.
“The Supreme Court majority decision draft is confirmation of our worst fears come true,” said Bichotte Hermelyn, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn. “This will reverse all of the progress of the last five decades on abortion rights.”
Richards said “the heartless cruelty of this draft ruling is equal parts vicious, hateful, sexist, racist and anti-American.”
Harris swears in Perry as first Jamaican-born US Ambassador to Jamaica
United States Vice President Kamala Harris, the daughter of a Jamaican father, swore in former New York State Assembly Member N. Nick Perry as the first Jamaican-born US Ambassador to Jamaica.
According to Senate Majority Leader Charles “Chuck” Schumer, who had pushed President Joe Biden to appoint Perry to the position, Harris administered the oath in her ceremonial office, flanked by Schumer, Perry’s wife, Joyce; their children Nickolas and Novalie; and Perry’s sister, Pauline Perry.
“I’m proud to announce that former New York State Assembly Member Nick Perry has been sworn in as US Ambassador to Jamaica,” Schumer told Caribbean Life on Tuesday. “Perry has dedicated his life’s work to serving his constituents in the 58th District (in Brooklyn), and has fostered many deep and lasting cultural, economic and political connections between the United States and Jamaica. And that experience will make him an outstanding ambassador.
Chandler-Waterman wins Special Election by landslide
Caribbean American community activist Monique Chandler-Waterman, the daughter of Jamaican and Barbadian immigrants, won by a landslide the Special Election for the seat vacated by former New York State Assembly Member N. Nick Perry, who, earlier this month, was sworn-in as the new United States Ambassador to Jamaica.
Perry, who had represented the 58th New York State Assembly District in Brooklyn for about three decades, along with Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, had thrown their full support behind Chandler-Waterman.
According to preliminary results, released by New York City’s Board of Elections, Chandler-Waterman convincingly beat two challengers in the very low voter-turnout poll of 72,865 registered voters. A total of 2,401 ballots were cast in Tuesday’s vote.
With all 86 of the Election Districts reporting, Chandler-Waterman, who contested the elections on the Democratic Party and Working Families Party’s lines, received 1, 896 votes, or 78.97 percent.
Her strongest opponent, Hercules E. Reid – another community activist and son of Jamaican immigrants, running on the Education is Key line – was a very distant second, receiving only 431 votes, or 17.95 percent.
Monique Allen-Davy, running on the Republican Party and Conservative Party’s line, received only 55 votes, or 2.29 percent.
The Board of Elections said there were two write-in ballots, and 17 ballots were voided.
June
Hochul signs landmark legislative package to strengthen gun laws, protect New Yorkers
Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a landmark legislative package to immediately strengthen the state’s gun laws, close critical loopholes exposed by shooters in Buffalo and Uvalde and protect New Yorkers from the scourge of gun violence that continues to infect the nation and endanger communities.
Hochul signed the bills at the Northeast Bronx YMCA flanked by Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Carl Heastie, partners in the legislature, Attorney General Letitia James and victims and survivors of gun violence.
“Gun violence is an epidemic that is tearing our country apart. Thoughts and prayers won’t fix this, but taking strong action will,” Gov. Hochul said.
Williams expresses gratitude for vote for NY governor
A day after resoundingly losing his bid to unseat incumbent New York Gov. Kathy Hochul in the New York Democratic Primary, Caribbean American candidate for Governor of New York Jumaane D. Williams expressed gratitude to voters, saying that he cannot thank them enough for “this privilege to be your voice and vessel for change through public service.”
Williams, New York City’s Public Advocate and son of Grenadian immigrants, ran a spirited campaign as a left-leaning candidate, but was unable to unseat Hochul in a three-way race that also involved US Congressman Thomas R. Suozzi, a centrist from Long Island, a New York City suburb.
Hochul, New York’s first female governor, won the Primary in a landslide, receiving 574, 608 votes, or 67.6 percent, according to preliminary results.
Williams was a distant second, receiving 164,337 votes, or 19.3 percent, while Suozzi garnered 110,888, or 13 percent.
“No matter how many times I step to the podium or go to the voting booth, I never take it for granted the office I hold, the people who have helped me to get there, who put their faith and their love and their time and their effort into changing New York for the better,” said Williams in a statement. “My pride and gratitude at all we’ve accomplished together so far is matched only by my excitement and determination toward what we can, and must and will, do moving forward.”
Brooklyn Dem boss congratulates winners, respects losers
Brooklyn Democratic Party Leader New York State Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn has congratulated the winners across Brooklyn in the Democratic Primary and expressed her “respect for those who may have fallen short but took part in the electoral process that underpins our democracy.”
“We’re all Democrats, and I look forward to working with our new and returning incumbents in the federal, state and city Legislatures, and the State Committee members and district leaders on the Brooklyn Democratic Party Executive Committee,” said Bichotte Hermelyn, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn.
Bichotte Hermelyn congratulated, among others, the following winners in the Primary: Gov. Kathy Hochul; Lt. Gov; Antonio Delgado; Civil Court Judge, Kings County, Pat Hayes Torres; 43rd Assembly District
Brian Cunningham; 46th Assembly District Mathylde Frontus; 50th Assembly District Emily E. Gallagher; 51st Assembly District Marcela Mitaynes; and 54th Assembly District Erik Martin Dilan.
Others Bichotte Hermelyn congratulated were: 55th Assembly District Latrice Monique Walker; 57th Assembly District Phara Souffrant Forrest; 58th Assembly District Monique Chandler-Waterman; 60th Assembly District Nikki Lucas; and 61st Assembly District Charles D. Fall.
Kings County Courts Caribbean-American Heritage Month Committee honors outstanding Caribbean legal luminaries
In its first in-person celebration since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kings County Courts Caribbean-American Heritage Month Committee honored three outstanding Caribbean-born and Caribbean American legal luminaries during a spectacular lunch-hour ceremony in a large Jury Room at Kings County Supreme Court, downtown Brooklyn.
The honorees were: New York City Corporation Counsel and retired 2nd Department Appellate Division Justice, Barbadian-born Sylvia Hinds-Radix; 2nd Department Appellate Term Justice Michelle Weston, whose parents migrated from Trinidad and Tobago; and Haitian-born Kings County Deputy County Clerk James Blain.
July
Jamaican-born nurse receives US Presidential Medal of Freedom
United States President Joseph Biden bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom honor on a Jamaican-born nurse, the first in the United States to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and a first-responder in New York City.
Biden said Sandra Lindsay is a New York critical care nurse, who served on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic response.
He said she was the first American to receive a COVID-19 vaccine outside of clinical trials and is “a prominent advocate for vaccines and mental health for health care workers.”
“If there’s any angels in Heaven, they’re all nurses, male and female,” said the US President in conferring the Medal on Lindsay in the East Room of the White House, stating that Lindsay’s vaccination card and badge are part of a Smithsonian exhibit on the coronavirus pandemic.
Lindsay was among 17 individuals who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the first recipients of America’s highest civilian honor since Biden assumed office.
Mighty Sparrow celebrates 87th Birthday
The Calypso King of the World, the legendary Mighty Sparrow, feels “wonderful” about his 87th birthday, according to the Trinidad Express.
The publication said Sparrow, whose real name is Slinger Francisco, was expected to spend his special day listening to a radio i95.5 FM tribute, dubbed “Sparrow Day”.
The Express said the musical buffet, hosted by presenters John Gill and John Wayne, featured “a slew of classics” like “Jean and Dinah”, “Sa Sa Yea”, “Both Of Them”, “Drunk and Disorderly”, “Survival, Capitalism Gone Mad” and “Education”.
It said Grenada-born, and now New York-based, Sparrow had also planned to spend the day with his daughter, Michelle, grandchildren and relatives.
Jamaican-American heads Metropolitan Black Bar Association
The Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA) has announced the commencement of the term of its Jamaican-American President Carl Forbes, Jr. and its 2022-2023 Officers and Directors.
Forbes, a Brooklyn resident, has been a member of MBBA since 2011 and has served on the MBBA’s Board for the past five years.
Most recently, Forbes held the position of president-elect under the tenure of the Immediate Past President Anta Cissé-Green, in addition to serving as co-chair of the Solo and Small Firm Division, from July 2020 to June 2022.
Previously, Forbes served as a director from July 2017 to June 2020 under the tenures of past Presidents Paula T. Edgar and Jason M. Clark.
Forbes is the founder and principal attorney of Carl Forbes Jr. Law Firm PLLC, a boutique New York City firm focused on real estate, estate planning, probate and estate administration, and estate litigation. He is also an experienced real estate investor and licensed real estate broker.
Forbes also serves Of Counsel to Hamilton Clarke, LLP, a boutique litigation firm in New York City.
August
Brooklyn Dems nominate 12 candidates for Kings County Supreme Court Justice
The Kings County (Brooklyn) Democratic County Party’s Judicial Convention convened successfully to officially nominate 12 judges to run on the party’s line in the 2022 election for open bench seats in Kings County’s New York State Supreme Court.
The party said in a statement on Friday that the Judicial Convention, which took place at Marine Park Golf Course in southern Brooklyn, was “a success, with delegates civically engaged in a fair and transparent process.”
The convention followed the executive committee meeting, where the District Leaders met and endorsed the party’s slate.
The Democratic nominees were: Patria Frias-Colón, Cenceria P. Edwards, Cheryl Gonzales, Lorna J. McAllister, Aaron D. Maslow, Dweynie E. Paul, Susan Quirk, Robin K. Sheares, Ellen Spodek, Richard Velasquez, Anne Swern and Craig S. Walker.
New SVG Consul General wants ‘open, frank’ discussion with nationals in US Diaspora
New-appointed St. Vincent and Grenadines Consul General to the United States Rondy “Luta” McIntosh says he wants to have “open and frank” discussions with his compatriots in the US Diaspora.
McIntosh, who assumed office on Aug. 1, replacing Howie Prince, told a reception in his honor, at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in Brooklyn, that the reports he had received about Vincentians in the Diaspora was “painful”.
“We are one people and one common homeland, and we should be looking out for each other more,” said McIntosh, a former sales manager at the state-owned National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC). “I want to socialize with my people,” he added. “I want to go out from the Consulate General and meet my people. I want to be who I am with a little control. I want to walk with you. I am here to work with you. Call on me. I’m out-going.”
Parker wins heated Democratic Primary
State Sen. Kevin Parker won the Democratic Primary in the 21st Senate District in the heart of the Caribbean community in Central Brooklyn, beating back a stiff challenge from David Alexis.
With 95 percent of the precincts reporting, Parker, who has represented the district since 2003, garnered 8,061 votes, or 46 percent, to Alexis’s 6,626 votes, or 38 percent.
The other contender, Kaegan Mays-Williams, received 2,844 votes, or 16 percent.
September
Picture-Perfect return of in-person NY Caribbean Carnival
Thousands of masqueraders and revelers converged on Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway on Labor Day, Monday, as the West Indian American Day Carnival Parade returned after a two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Millions more watched the pageantry from ubiquitous police barricades, as humongous speakers mounted atop flatbed trucks blasted soca, reggae, kompa, zouk and other Caribbean music on a picture-perfect day.
Though rain was predicted, the weather held steady, with warm temperatures throughout the 4 ½ mile-long parade, which started at Buffalo Avenue and Eastern Parkway, and ended at Grand Army Plaza, near Flatbush Avenue.
The parade was the culmination of five days of spectacular carnival.
St. Lucian crowned Miss Caribbean Woman 50 and Over
A 58-year-old St. Lucian-born Clinical Technician in the Emergency Room at Mt. Sinai Medical Center on 5th Avenue in Manhattan snatched the inaugural Miss Caribbean Woman 50 and Over crown in a Beauty Pageant that comprised six other Caribbean contenders at the Mahalia Jackson Intermediate School in East Flatbush, Brooklyn.
Miss St. Lucia, Sharon Eutrice Willie not only won the coveted crown but also swept all the other categories in the four-hour-long contest organized by the Brooklyn-based Grenada-American Ex-Teachers’ Association, Inc.
In addition to being awarded a trophy, along with the other contestants, for her participation in the pageant, Willie walked home with trophies for Best Performing Talent, Best Evening Gown, Best Introduction and Best Congeniality.
Miss Jamaica, Audrey Evans-Bubb, was first runner-up; Miss Trinidad and Tobago, Donna Douglas, second runner-up; and Miss Haiti, Adly Casseus, third runner-up.
The other contenders were: Miss Grenada, Jennifer Adams; Miss Guyana, Lesia Davidson; and Miss Barbados, Judy Newton.
Community pays tribute to Kenton Kirby
The Caribbean community in Brooklyn paid their last respects, during a funeral service, for Kenton K. Kirby, editor emeritus of Caribbean Life, who died on Sept. 6 at NYC Health + Hospitals/McKinney, a nursing rehabilitation center on Albany Avenue in Brooklyn, where he was a resident for some time. He was 76.
Mourners at Frank J. Barone Hall, on Ave. D in Brooklyn, remembered Kirby as a kind and loving person, who was always willing to help others, and contributed immensely to journalism and the musical genre in which he was a masterful trumpeter.
In eulogizing Kirby, his daughter Kamla Millwood, said her dad was “a charismatic man who literally lit up every room he entered.”
October
Adams declares state of emergency to support Caribbean asylum seekers
As New York City anticipates surpassing the highest recorded shelter census in recorded history, New York City Mayor Eric Adams Emergency Executive Order 224, formally directing all relevant city agencies to coordinate their efforts to support hundreds of asylum seekers, including Caribbean nationals, primarily Haitians, arriving in the city each day from Texas and other border states.
In an address, Adams also called for emergency federal and state aid to handle the continued influx of asylum seekers, as the city projects costs of more than US$1 billion related to asylum seekers in this fiscal year alone, as well as expedited work permits, a national decompression strategy and a resettlement strategy.
With more than 17,000 asylum seekers bussed to the city since the spring, the Adams administration estimates that once the asylum seekers from Friday’s buses are provided shelter, the city will surpass the highest number of people in recorded history in its shelter system.
Adams said that, if the pace continues, the city’s shelter census will surpass 100,000 in the coming year.
Brooklyn Democratic Party appoints Yamil Speight-Miller as executive director
In ushering in a new Era of Transformative Leadership, the Brooklyn Democratic Party appointed Yamil Speight-Miller as the party’s new executive director.
Party Chair Assemblywoman Rodneyse, the daughter of Haitian immigrants said, “We are honored to have Yamil Speight-Miller serve as executive director as I begin another term as party chair.
“Our executive director has proven himself to be an effective and unifying leader, both within his years of dedicated service in the party and in the public service sector,” added the representative for the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn.
Bichotte Hermelyn said Speight-Miller has over 20 years of experience in public service, with vast experience in managerial roles, most recently through the New York State Department of Health amidst the pandemic, “serving New Yorkers through crucial leadership of the administration of +300,000 vaccines, tracing COVID-19 hotspots, and more.”
Brooklyn church celebrates 133rd anniversary
Fenimore Street United Methodist Church, on the corner of Fenimore Street and Rogers Avenue in Brooklyn, celebrated its 133rd anniversary in grand style, during its Worship Service, on Sunday, Oct. 23.
According to Shanae Als, the daughter of Barbadian immigrants, who’s a member of the church’s Media Ministry, the celebratory worship began with the triumphant hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness”, and welcomed “back home” the Rev. Dr. Ian Straker – son of Jamaican-born, the late C. Yvonne Straker – who delivered the sermon.
The Anniversary Service, part of a month-long cerebration, was preceded by a “Grab & Go” Luncheon and Anniversary Hour of Praise.
Staying true the church’s motto, “Loving God and Loving People,” Als said extant pastor, the Rev. Roger Jackson, a native African American New Yorker, who grew up in Queens, led the congregation in the litany, “proclaiming that, for 133 years God has nurtured and fed us, shown us His grace, given Himself in word and sacrament, empowered us with His holy spirit and placed us in loving fellowship with one another.”
November
Historic raising of Vincy flag, lighting of national colors on Empire State Building
Vincentians in the New York Tri-State area and globally have been beaming with overwhelming joy and pride with the historic raising of the national flag of St. Vincent and the Grenadines at Bowling Green in the Wall Street Financial District in lower Manhattan and the lighting of the Empire State Building, also in lower Manhattan, in the Vincentian national colors.
Earlier, the national flag of St. Vincent and the Grenadines was raised, for the first time, in Newark, NJ.
“On Thursday, something happened in New York City that went across the globe, when we raised our flag at the historic site at Bowling Green and the Empire State Building (was lit up in the national colors),” said St. Vincent and the Grenadines Consul General to the United States Rondy McIntosh, the architect of the flag-raising and lighting-up ceremonies, in addressing a Gala Independence Anniversary Dinner and Awards Ball at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach, Queens.
McIntosh, who only assumed office less than three months ago, said that groups and/or individuals usually have to apply, to light up the Empire State Building in their desired colors, at least three months in advance, but it was not even a month since the Consulate General submitted its application.
“The good Lord was smiling on us,” he said. “I’m seeing a renewed spirit, a new vibe.”
Caribbean pols victorious in midterm elections
A number of Caribbean American legislators in New York were victorious or ran unopposed during the important US midterm elections.
Running on the Democratic and Working Families Parties’ lines, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, won re-election by a landslide, defeating her Conservative challenger Menachem M. Raitport 70.61 percent to 15.34 percent.
In the adjacent 8th Congressional District, which encompasses parts of Brooklyn and Queens, with also a heavy concentration of Caribbean immigrants, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries also won by a landslide, 69.37 percent to his Republican and Conservative challenger Yuri Dashevsky’s 26.38 percent.
In the 58th Assembly District in Brooklyn, including parts of East Flatbush, Canarsie, Crown Heights and Brownsville, New York State Assemblywoman Monique Chandler-Waterman, the daughter of Jamaican and Barbadian immigrants, won by a hefty landslide.
Chandler-Waterman – who earlier this year succeeded former New York State Assemblyman, Jamaican Nick Perry, now serving as US Ambassador to Jamaica – resoundingly trounced her namesake, Monique Allen-Davy, who ran on the Republican and Conservative Parties’ lines.
With all 64 Election Districts reporting, Chandler-Waterman received 92.07 percent to Allen-Davy’s 4.83 percent.
A number of Caribbean candidates in New York also ran unopposed in Tuesday’s vote.
They included Guyanese-born New York State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud, who represents the 19th Senate District in Brooklyn; New York State Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie, representative for the 20th Senate District in Brooklyn, whose grandmother hailed from Jamaica; and New York State Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, representative for the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn and the daughter of Haitian immigrants, who chairs the Brooklyn Democratic Party.
Others are: New York State Assemblyman Brian A. Cunningham, the son of Jamaican immigrants, who represents the 43rd Assembly District in Brooklyn; New York State Assemblywoman Phara Souffrant Forrest, the daughter of Haitian immigrants and whose husband is Jamaican, who represents the 57th Assembly District in Brooklyn; and New York State Assemblywoman Jaime R. Williams, the Trinidadian-born representative for the 59th Assembly District in Brooklyn.
But there were also Caribbean losers in the mid-term elections. With all 76 of the Election Districts reporting in the 46th Assembly District in Brooklyn, incumbent Democrat, Assemblywoman Mathylde Frontus, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, lost to Alec Brook-Krasny, running on the Republican and Conservative Parties’ lines. Frontus received 46.32 percent to Brook-Krasny’s 49.11 per cent.
In the 21st Senate District in Brooklyn, incumbent New York State Senator Kevin Parker, an African American, resoundingly trounced David Alexis, the son of Haitian immigrants, who ran on the Working Families Party’s line. Democrat Parker received 66.39 percent to Alexis’s 16.07 percent.
Brooklyn’s in the House! Caribbean pols hail Jeffries’ elevation
Caribbean American legislators welcomed the election of Brooklyn Congressman Hakeem Jeffries as the successor to US House of Representatives’ Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.
“Congratulations to my dear friend @RepJeffries on his historic victory to become the Democratic Party’s newest leader in Congress!” tweeted Jeffries’ Caribbean American colleague Yvette D. Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn. Jeffries represents the adjacent 8th Congressional District.
Jeffries, 52, whose 8th Congressional District comprises large parts of Brooklyn and a section of Queens, thus created history, becoming the first Black person to hold the top position in the House of Representatives.
“Rep. Hakeem Jeffries is blazing a trail for a remarkable new era of Democratic leadership, and the Brooklyn Democratic Party wholeheartedly congratulates Jeffries for his victory,” an elated Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, told Caribbean Life shortly after Jeffries’ elevation.
In congratulating Jeffries, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, noted that Jeffries is “the first Black person to take on this role.
“This is an historic moment, a well-deserved honor, a solemn responsibility, and an important opportunity to advance a vision and agenda for our nation,” he said. “I know from many years of governing alongside Rep. Jeffries that he cares deeply for our community and country, and look toward his tenure with anticipation.”
Brooklyn Assemblymember Brian A. Cunningham (AD-43), the son of Jamaican immigrants, said: “It’s a special day in central Brooklyn, where the news of Rep. Jeffries’ rise to House Leader carries both the promise and hope that Hakeem will be the first – but not the last – leader reflective of our great community and all its diversity.”
December
Caribbean-Americans elected to top two positions of Congressional Black Caucus
The United States Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has elected two Caribbean American Congressional Representatives to its top positions for the 118th US Congress.
The CBC elected Trinidadian American Steven Horsford, who represents Nevada’s 4th Congressional District, as chair, and Jamaican American Yvette D. Clarke, who represents New York’s 9th Congressional District, as first vice chair.
Horsford’s mother is Trinidadian-born, while Clarke’s parents are Jamaican-born.
Both Caribbean-Americans will be sworn in when the new session of the US Congress begins in January.
They, along with other Black Congressional Representatives, were elected by CBC’s Executive Committee to a two-year term that runs through the entire 118th Congress.
Other top officials elected were: Congressman Troy Carter, second vice-chair; Congresswoman Lucy McBath, secretary; and Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland, Whip.
Horsford, who was elected to serve as CBC’s 28th chair, served as first vice chair during the 117th Congress.
Immigrant advocates, Bichotte Hermelyn applaud extension of TPS for Haiti
The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for more than 200 groups in New York State, and Brooklyn Democratic Party Leader Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn welcomed the Joe Biden administration’s extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti for an additional 18 months.
The administration said that TPS will be extended from Feb. 4, 2023, through Aug. 3, 2024, “due to extraordinary and temporary conditions in Haiti.”
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas also “redesignated Haiti for TPS”, allowing Haitian nationals residing in the United States, as of Nov. 6, 2022, to apply for TPS through Aug. 3, 2024, “so long as they meet all eligibility requirements.”
According to the National Immigration Forum, more than 56,000 Haitians are enrolled in the program, including 5,200 in New York State.
New York City is considered second to Miami for the largest concentration of Haitians in the United States.
Murad Awawdeh, NYIC’s executive director, told Caribbean Life that many Haitians arrived earlier in the US as refugees, escaping violent displacement and climate disaster.
“The extension and redesignation of TPS for Haiti recognizes the ongoing political instability and the continuing crisis in Haiti,” he said. “We applaud the Biden administration for extending and redesignating TPS for Haiti, as Haitian New Yorkers cannot return to a country that continues to be unsafe and in turmoil.”
Bichotte Hermelyn, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn, noted that “Haiti is reeling from multiple crises.”
“The US needs to aid the people of Haiti in their homeland and in our nation as they desperately face these problems,” she told Caribbean Life.
Bichotte Hermelyn said she was also “grateful” to US Senate Majority Leader Charles “Chuck” Schumer for “leading the Senate passage of the sweeping bill, which will extend and predesignate TPS for Haitians in the US, along with measuring the progress of post-disaster recovery and promoting efforts to address corruption, governance, rule of law and media freedoms.”
Brooklyn Dems welcome Sen. Warnock’s victory
Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn applauded Sen. Raphael Warnock’s victory in the Georgia runoff election against Republican Hershel Walker, securing a 51-seat Democratic majority in the US Senate and giving the first Black senator from Georgia a full six-year term.
With greater than 95 percent of the precincts reporting, incumbent Warnock, 53, received 1,817,465 votes, or 51.4 percent to Walker’s 1,719,868 votes, or 48.6 percent.
“The Brooklyn Democratic Party and I congratulate Sen. Warnock on his well-deserved win that will immensely benefit the people of Georgia and all Americans,” Bichotte Hermelyn, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, told Caribbean Life.
“Through decades of steadfast leadership in Georgia on voting rights, health care, gun and criminal justice reform, Rev. Warnock has fought tirelessly for the security, dignity and economic equality of all people,” added the representative for the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn.
She said Warnock’s win also gives Senate Democrats a 51-seat majority next year, “allowing legislation to be passed easier, and has prevented a MAGA Republican with dangerous beliefs from holding office.”
In the last duel of the 2022 midterm elections, Warnock dealt what has been described as another major blow to former President Donald J. Trump, who had handpicked Walker, 60.
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