By Fannie Rosario
These seven politicians, elected and appointed this year, are making their mark in communities across the country.
Jacques Jiha, Ph.D
Jacques Jiha was appointed Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Finance by Mayor Bill de Blasio on April 8, 2014. Jiha has more than 25 years of experience in public finance. In this role he’s tasked with ensuring the “city’s treasury, property tax assessments, audits and collections run efficiently, while simultaneously delivering fair, transparent and accountable processes for New Yorkers when they engage with the department to pay or contest a fine.”
A Democrat from Brooklyn, Rodneyse Bichotte is the first Haitian American from New York City elected to the Assembly. The Bichotte campaign released the announcement late Tuesday evening.
“Today, the voters of the 42nd Assembly District have placed their confidence in me to represent them in the New York State Assembly,” Bichotte said. “It is an honor that I accept with great humility and gratitude.”
Bichotte faced Republican candidate Matthew Williams and Conservative Party candidate Brian Kelly for the 42nd district, which is home to one of the largest Haitian communities in the U.S.
Republican Mia Love narrowly defeated her Democratic rival Doug Owens for an open Democratic seat in Utah, making her the first black Republican woman to be elected to the U.S. House, ABC News reports.Owens reportedly conceded the race to Love late Tuesday.
“Thank you for the trust you have placed in me,” Love said in a statement. “I will work every day to be deserving of it. Regardless of who you voted for today, I hope you know that I am going to Washington to represent everyone in the district and invite you to engage with me in finding real solutions to the challenges we face as a country.”
The 51-year-old former White House lawyer and public defender, is the first elected district attorney for Washington D.C.. Racine, a Democrat, was also the first black managing partner at top corporate law firm, Venable LLP.
This is the first time residents of Washington were able to choose their attorney general. In the past, the city’s mayors have made the choice. Now an elected position, Racine has unprecedented power to challenge the city’s leaders.
Suffolk Democrats have named Kimberly Jean-Pierre, director of Babylon Town’s Wyandanch Community Resource Center, as their Assembly candidate to succeed 26-year Albany veteran Robert Sweeney. Jean-Pierre, 30, of Wheatley Heights, is a first-time candidate for elected office but worked as an aide to Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) and Suffolk Legis. DuWayne Gregory (D-Amityville) before he became presiding officer. Her late entry into the race came after Richard Schaffer, Babylon supervisor and Suffolk Democratic chairman, tried unsuccessfully to enlist Gregory and former County Executive Patrick Halpin and to persuade Sweeney to put off retirement.
Michealle C. Solages
Michaelle C. Solages, 29, a Democrat from Elmont, has emerged as a talented political leader in her first term. Elected in 2012 from a newly redrawn district on the Nassau border, Solages immediately got to work on constituent needs: holding forums to help people facing foreclosure, winning a grant for school science education, extending child care subsidies for parents who work nights, and securing funds for safety fixes along Hempstead Turnpike and Sunrise Highway.
Rosemonde Pierre Louis
The former Manhattan Deputy Borough president was appointed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as the Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence (OCDV) in January 2014.
In 2010 following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Ms. Pierre-Louis was appointed by then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to serve on the five-member delegation representing the United States at the United Nations Haiti Donor Pre-Conference in Martinique, West Indies (2010). Ms. Pierre-Louis has been a leading voice, advocate and mobilizing force on issues impacting the Haitian community.