Newly-elected Haitian American legislator New York State Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte has expressed sadness over the passing of former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo.
“I’m saddened to learn of the death of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo,” said Bichotte, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn.
“He was a strong, passionate, thoughtful, and outspoken advocate for all New Yorkers,” said Bichotte, who last year became the first Haitian American to to gain a seat in the New York Legislature. “Additionally, Governor Mario Cuomo restored trust in the efficacy of the state legislature and our political system.”
Mario M. Cuomo — the three-term governor of New York, whose son, Andrew, is the incumbent governor of the state – died on Thursday at his home in Manhattan. He was 82.
The Cuomo family confirmed the death, which occurred only hours after Andrew Cuomo was inaugurated in Manhattan for a second term as governor.
Bichotte said Mario Cuomo was “a man who never minced words,” adding that “he reminded Democrats, during a time when few in our party articulated a concrete vision for this state and country, that we must hold true to our party’s core values.
“As he said in 1984, we must strive to guarantee equal and affordable access for everyone to those services that protect families, that allow for social mobility, and that give each and every child born in this city, regardless of neighborhood and family, the same chance to pursue happiness,” Bichotte said.
She said she hopes, with her colleagues, to honor Cuomo’s memory in the state assembly in the current legislative session by passing “common sense bills that advance and uplift our community and entire state.”
Mario Cuomo was the honorary chairperson, and cut the ribbon at the opening, of the first Caribbean American exposition for New York trade on Aug. 20, 1993.
The four-day “Expo ‘93 Trade and Culture,” held at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College, was sponsored by the Brooklyn-based Caribbean-American Community Comprehensive Center, Inc.
The Expo was aimed at presenting a cultural and economic showcase of Caribbean contributions to New York’s life, said the Jamaica Sunday Gleaner at the time.
Roy Hastick, the Grenadian-born chairman of the organizing committee and president and founder of the Brooklyn-based Caribbean-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI), told the paper then that members of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus were also invited to take part in discussions on the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) and its impact on the region, as well as the proposed North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Funeral services for Mario Cuomo were being planned for Tuesday at the Saint Ignatius Loyola Church on Park Avenue in Manhattan, church officials told the New York Daily News.
The funeral has caused a week’s postponement of the “State of the Address” on New York’s economy, which was planned for Wednesday, to be delivered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, officials said.