With just a few days remaining before the crucial special election on Wednesday for a representative to replace Jumaane Williams in the 45th Council District in Brooklyn, candidates in the crowded field are pulling out all the stops to capture the coveted seat.
“We’re in the final days leading up to the special election on May 14. If you believe in the strength, experience and commitment to change that Xamayla Rose will bring to District 45, then we need your help to Get Out the Vote (GOTV),” said Rose in an email message to “neighbors.”
“Unlike other candidates in the race, we’re a campaign powered by the people, which means we need you to help us door knock, make calls and get the word out about the experience Xamayla Rose can bring to our community,” added Rose, who dubs her campaign, “Xamayla For Progress Campaign Team.”
Rose said among her plans are to fight to bring job training programs to District 45, to work with schools to provide early work experiences for youth, to work in the Legislature to ensure pay equity for women and to work with businesses and government to bring living wage jobs to District 45.
In an exclusive interview with Caribbean Life, another candidate, lawyer Jovia Radix, the daughter of Grenadian-born dentist, Dr. Joseph Radix, and Barbadian-born Justice Sylvia Hinds-Radix, invoked the legacy of her late great-uncle, former Grenadian diplomat, Dr. Lamuel Stanislaus, into her campaign.
Radix, whose father is the nephew of Dr. Stanislaus, said that she is following in the footsteps of Dr. Stanislaus, a former Grenada Ambassador to the United Nations, who died on Sept. 18, 2016. He was 95.
“I am grateful for those who paved the way to make it possible for me to run like my great uncle Dr. Lamuel Stanislaus,” added Radix, who is among nine candidates contesting the seat that became vacant when Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, recently won the seat for New York City Public Advocate.
“Uncle Lam, as I knew him, served both the Grenadian and US governments but never lost his sense of family or community,” Radix added. “I only hope to continue that legacy.”
Last month, Williams joined city and state elected officials and community leaders in endorsing Caribbean American Monique Chandler-Waterman.
“Monique is an accomplished community organizer and activist who has worked alongside me for the past decade fighting for justice, fairness and equity for all,” said Williams in endorsing Chandler-Waterman, the daughter of Jamaican and Barbadian immigrants, during a press conference.
“And while there are many good candidates running in this race, particularly women of more color, there, unfortunately, is only one seat available, and Monique is the best person for the job,” he added.
Chandler-Waterman, who is running on the on the Vital Voice Party line, is a longtime community organizer who previously served as Williams’s Director of Community Outreach when he was first elected to office in 2012.
She is the founder of a neighborhood nonprofit, East Flatbush Village, Inc., in Brooklyn, which provides after-school programming and resources to underserved individuals throughout the community.
“I’m honored to have the endorsement of my friend, Jumaane Williams, and so many of important elected officials and community leaders who have come together to support our grassroots bid to be Council Member of the 45th District,” Chandler-Waterman told the press conference.
City and state elected officials, who joined Williams in endorsing Chandler-Waterman, include New York State Senators Kevin Parker and Zellnor Myrie; State Assembly Member N. Nick Perry; New York City Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo; and Council Member Antonio Reynoso.
Meantime, another Caribbean American said that a major union, Professional Staff Congress (PSC) CUNY has endorsed her.
Farah Louis, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, said in an email message to supporters that she was “so excited” to be endorsed by the Professional Staff Congress (PSC), which represents 30,000 faculty and staff at the City University of New York (CUNY) and the CUNY Research Foundation.
“PSC knows that Farah is the best candidate to advocate for CUNY for quality education and the removal of financial barriers to low-income students’ ability to attend college and to increase CUNY funding to hire more faculty and compensate adjunct faculty fairly,” Louis said.
She also said that she has been endorsed by a host of Brooklyn elected officials, including Borough President Eric Adams; Kings County Democratic Leader Frank Seddio; Haitian American New York State Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte; Assembly Members Helene Weinstein and Jaime Williams; and New York City Council Members Justin Brannan and Helen Rosenthal.
“I am confident that the unwavering and growing support, our campaign efforts and our momentum will lead us to victory on May 14,” said Louis, Williams’s former deputy chief-of-staff and budget director.
The candidates contesting the May 14 poll include a significant number of Caribbean-born and Caribbean Americans, who all claimed that they are best suited to represent the district that comprises East Flatbush, Flatbush, Flatlands, Marine Park and Midwood.
More than 188,000 people live in the district, of which about 61 percent are either Caribbean American or African American, according to reports.
Besides Rose, Radix, Chandler-Waterman and Louis, the other candidates are: Jamaican-born Rickie Tulloch; Trinidad and Tobago-born Anthony Alexis; Louis Cespedes Fernadez, the son of Cuban immigrants; and Adina Sash.