Haitian-born, Canarsie, Brooklyn resident Mercedes Narcisse, a registered nurse and leading candidate in the 46th Council District in Brooklyn, has picked up an early and influential endorsement, as the 21 in ’21 Initiative strongly endorsed her candidacy.
The 21 in ’21 Initiative is a nonpartisan, citywide effort formed in 2018, which endeavors to increase the number of women elected to the New York City Council.
In releasing its endorsements for the 2021 New York City Council elections, the 21 in ’21 Initiative endorsed Narcisse over at least three other women currently in the race to fill the term-limited seat currently held by Councilman Alan Maisel.
The 46th Council District comprises the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Canarsie, Flatlands, Bergen Beach, Mill Basin, Mill Island, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach and Sheepshead Bay.
“I am so very proud and honored to accept the endorsement of the dynamic women of 21 in ’21,” Narcisse, also a Canarsie community advocate, told Caribbean Life.
“I look forward to being part of their movement to create more opportunities for women in government, and championing issues that will be fundamental to creating gender parity, as the next council member representing the 46th District,” she added.
Narcisse, also an entrepreneur and mother of four, has long been a fixture in the community due to her unrelenting advocacy.
As a healthcare professional running during a deadly pandemic, Narcisse said she has made the overall health of her community a paramount issue in her campaign.
“As a frontline healthcare worker, I have decided to make community health and housing my priorities,” she said. “During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I continued to serve. I was on the street, serving seniors and anyone else who needed my help.
“If we, as individuals, are not healthy, our community is not healthy, and we run the risk of becoming extinct,” she added. “If there is any silver lining that can be found as a result of COVID, I think we all appreciate our health a bit more. And moving forward, I anticipate we will all focus on this important issue together.”
Narcisse — who will contest the Democratic Primary on June 22, 2021 — is considered a “dynamic, educated and caring working mother”, stating that she has dedicated her “entire adult life in improving the quality of life for all residents of Brooklyn.”
She said her commitment to family and community is based on “a strong set of values” passed on to her by her Haitian immigrant parents.
Narcisse said she has sought to bring all people — regardless of class, racial background, economic status, sexual orientation or social position — into what she calls “the Family of People.”
As an advocate for her community, Narcisse said she has worked tirelessly to empower her neighborhood holistically.
In order to excel on all levels, Narcisse said she works to support all families in her community, helping them understand how local government can work for them and what they can do together to improve the quality of lives of all in the neighborhoods.
For decades, she said much of her focus has been on connecting with different groups of young people, encouraging them to get involved by giving back to the community “as young leaders in various aspects.”
Most recently, Narcisse partnered with young people at marches for social justice, census outreach, and food and face mask giveaways during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a registered nurse for over 30 years, she said she has “fiercely worked” to improve the quality of healthcare and its delivery, not only in Brooklyn but overseas, as well.
Currently, Narcisse works as a re-entry nurse at Paul J. Cooper Center for Human Services, Inc., where she provides and addresses outpatient chemical dependency treatment for adult alcohol and drug abusers.
She has also served as the general administrator of two private clinics, MJC & Brooklyn Gastro.
Considered a consensus builder, Narcisse said she has worked and partnered with several local elected leaders to bring much-needed resources to the district.
She said her interest in local politics started when she joined the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club in the early 1990s, at a time when few women were admitted.
She then proceeded to serve as president of the 41st Assembly District Democratic Club, founded by the late New York City Council Member, Lew Fidler.
Narcisse’s well-rounded personality lends itself to community leadership and public service. She sits on the boards of a number of community organizations.
Narcisse has been recognized and honored by many organizations and associations for her long record and history of outstanding community service.
In 2008, she was the sole recipient of the “Corporate Award” presented by the New York State Association of Black & Puerto Rican Legislators, Inc. This award recognized her vast contributions to the growth and development of minority and women-owned businesses in New York State.
She also received the “Corporate Award Marcus Garvey,” presented in 2015 by the New York Carib News and Marcus Garvey, Jr., for her contribution to the growth and development of minorities.
Three years later, she received the CNG Community Services Award.
Today, as the driving force behind her successful medical supplies business, Narcisse said she continues to lead by example, and is an inspiration and role model to people of all ages.
A consummate professional, Narcisse said “a focused combination of hard work, honesty, integrity and a sense of community buy-in is the formula for achieving success,” confident that that formula will ensure victory in next June’s Democratic Primary.