Bichotte likely to become a Democratic County leader

Brooklyn Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte-Hermelyn.
Brooklyn Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn.

Haitian American Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte is highly likely this week to become the first woman and Caribbean-American Brooklyn Democratic County Leader.

Bichotte, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn, has received the blessings of retired Brooklyn Democratic Party chair Frank Seddio.

Seddio, 74, made his retirement official last week at a meeting of Brooklyn Democratic district leaders.

The party will vote on naming Bichotte as interim leader this week.

“With several of my district leader colleagues expressing their support, I am thankful for their confidence in me and consideration as potentially the next County Leader of Brooklyn’s Democratic Party,” Bichotte told Caribbean Life.

“I worked to help elect our mayor, two public advocates, our city comptroller, various assembly members and council members, because I believed that those candidates would serve our communities well,” added Bichotte, the first Haitian American from New York City to be elected to New York State Assembly. “I had no plans or desire at the time to become County Leader.

“However, those experiences demonstrated the work that needed to be done to make our Democratic organization stronger, and how to bring different people together for a common cause,” she continued. “I look forward to the opportunity to serve. I see this historic vote as an incredible milestone for women and people of color across the city.”

In a tweet, Bichotte said Brooklyn Democrats were “grateful to Chairman Seddio for his distinguished service, building the most unified county party organization in the city.”

Bichotte — who is also a State Committee Woman/District Leader for New York State’s 42nd Assembly District, representing the Brooklyn districts of Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood and Ditmas Park — was born and raised in Brooklyn.

Bichotte is the chair of the New York State Assembly’s Subcommittee on Oversight of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs), and serves on the following committees: Banks; Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce & Industry; Governmental Operations; Health; Higher Education; and Housing.

She is also a member of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus and the Legislative Women’s Caucus.

In addition, Bichotte sits on the Task Force on Women’s Issues.

She has been appointed to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Advisory Council on Domestic Violence, and appointed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to New York City’s Advisory Council on Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise.

Since Bichotte became a legislator in 2015, she said she has introduced over 100 pieces of legislation, nine of which became law, and co-sponsored over 250 others.

Bichotte said a crowning achievement of her first term, and a dream come true, has been the establishment of the Haitian Studies Institute at Brooklyn College, “making it a historic win for the state of New York.”

In 2018, she debuted on CNN in addressing United States President Donald J. Trump’s disparaging remarks about Haitians and Africans.

Working with community organizations and fellow elected officials, Bichotte co-hosted a press conference announcing a Little Haiti Cultural and Business District in Flatbush, Brooklyn.

She unveiled a street in Brooklyn co-naming Rogers Avenue Jean-Jacques Dessalines Blvd in honor of the Haitian revolutionary leader, and rededicated of the co-naming of Nostrand Avenue at Newkirk Avenue in Brooklyn to Toussaint L’Ouverture Blvd in honor of another Haitian revolutionary leader.

Bichotte said public service has been her lifelong commitment, stating that, since 2010, she has facilitated and sponsored a number of community events in Flatbush, such as the first voter’s forum, which promoted fair elections, voters rights and voting demonstrations with the Board of Elections; the largest candidate forum in Brooklyn; annual senior luncheons; safe streets initiatives; and the largest Brooklyn funding forum to help non-profits learn how to access government funding.

The assemblywoman said she was a board member of Habitat for Humanity, where she joined hands with former US President Jimmy Carter in building over 300 homes in Léogâne, Haiti in 2011 after the devastating Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake.

Professionally, Bichotte said she has worked in a number of different capacities, such as a New York math teacher in the public school education system; an engineer in the telecommunications industry, where she traveled to Japan and China on assignments; and an investment banker in the financial services industry, structuring corporate finance deals.

Bichotte was an MIT Fellow: Mel King Co-Lab Project.

She holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management; a Master of Science (MS) in Electrical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology; a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Electrical Engineering from State University of New York (SUNY) Buffalo; and a BS in Mathematics in Secondary Education and a Bachelor of Technology (BT) in Electrical Engineering from Buffalo State College in New York.

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