The Brooklyn Woman’s Bar Association, on Feb. 18, honored NYC legislator of the New York State Assembly, Rodneyse Bichotte, at its 2nd Annual Black History Month celebration attended by many judges and lawyers, at its headquarters on Remsen Street in Brooklyn.
Bichotte, the first African-American woman, and first woman, to be nominated as Kings County Democratic Party Leader — dubbed ‘party boss’ was celebrated for her excellent achievements and outstanding community service, and presented with a plaque by President, Meryl Schwartz, Esq., and in-coming President, Natoya McGhie, Esq. who also, read Bichotte’s remarkable biography.
Brooklyn District Attorney, Eric Gonzalez honored and paid tribute to Bichotte applauding her for paying a pivotal role by helping to shape the judiciary.
“Today we honor and acknowledge her achievements as the first African-American, and the first woman to be nominated as county leader. I have known Rodneyse for many years, I believe in her, and I know her decisions will continue to help Brooklyn, in terms of public safety and fairness.
“I will work closely with her to make sure the message of fairness, and judges rights to speak out. I will continue to fight for the belief that judges can be fair,” said Gonzales.
“I am super happy and proud of you, Rodneyse,” said Gonzalez, who recalled while campaigning for the DA’s office, asked Bichotte to share her thoughts about what the justice system needed to look like, and admits, that many of the reforms that his office have implemented over the last three years, came from conversations he had with the assemblywoman.
“I am proud to acknowledge her in Black History Month. She fights for the underdog, and will be to a great county leader, she is a groundbreaking person for a lot of reasons,” he concluded.
In addressing the gathering, emceed by Sylvia O. Hinds-Radix and officiated by Sylvia Ash, Bichotte spoke of her trials and tribulations growing up in a Haitian household in Brooklyn, where her parents’ dreams were for her to aspire to the medical field.
She, however, loved calculus, thus becoming a mathematics and engineering professional, never wavering in her quest to succeed, going on to become, one of the Borough’s most powerful advocates, who used her many unfortunate situations and trauma of being raped, losing a child, and a father to cancer of the throat, to enact reform and change the system, while serving in many capacities.
As assemblywoman in the 45th District, Bichotte introduced Jeremiah’s Law to protect minors against false reporting after Jeremiah, a 9-year-old African-American boy, was wrongfully accused. She also introduced legislation to protect minors from false reports against them.
Bichotte, who was appointed to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Advisory Council on Domestic Violence said there were more women than ever in the judiciary, thanks to her mentorship. She is passionate about voter reform and listed many instances that would help LGBTQ, women, minority and the poor to be treated fairly, driving home the fact that women were not limited to doing just one thing.
As such she recited Sojourner Truth’s poem “Ain ‘T I A Woman – Look at me! Look at my arm!”
“I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ar’n’t I a woman,” she asked, to drive home her point.
“I encourage each one of us to work and continue the struggle, and not despair, or give up. We will fight oppression and hate, wherever we see it, open doors for women, immigrants and others to realize the American dream,” said the former mathematics teacher, in a lengthy speech on many reforms that showed her determination and drive to bring about change. The Brooklyn-born politician has facilitated and sponsored several community events in Flabush, such as the first voter’s forum, which promoted fair elections, voter rights and voting demonstrations with the Board of Elections.
“I told my mother, even though I am not the health care provider she wanted me to be, I am helping to bring about change in the way doctors care for the community, with affordable prescriptions for seniors, with a two-tier health care system, so there is no threat to patients,” said Bichotte, chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight of Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise (MWBEs).
“I am helping to change the law that practice discrimination against people like me. We do this by voting. This is how it changes lives,” she said, quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Judges Derefim Neckles, Sylvia Ash, and Genine D. Edwards honored Assemblywoman, Bichotte, with the same poem – “Ain ‘T I A Woman,” to show support for the lawmaker, during the informed and celebratory occasion, that ended with a vote of thanks by Jovia Radix Esq.