NEW YORK, BROOKLYN — Attorney Dweynie Esther Paul made history Tuesday, Nov. 4, by becoming the first Haitian American to be elected as a New York State civil court judge, leaving many Haitian Americans beaming with excitement.
Paul, who was born to Haitian parents in Queens, New York, will now represent the 2nd Municipal District as a civil court judge that encompasses the Bedford-Stuyvesant, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights and Ocean Hill neighborhoods of Brooklyn.
“To God be the Glory for the very great thing he has done! By his grace and all of those he has put along side me to walk with me during this journey to the Kings County Civil Court, I am excited to announce that ‘We’ as a Family, as a Team, as a community have the victory in electing the first Haitian-American judge to the bench in the State of New York!,” Judge-elect Dweynie Paul wrote on her Facebook profile. “To whom much is given, much is required – So the work continues… With compassion, integrity and fairness I will serve the people.”
Paul has been a community advocate for years, Samuel M. Pierre, executive director of the Haitian American Caucus says. “Although to many, it may seem like she came out of nowhere but Dweynie has been here since day one.”
Paul is an active member of Vanguard Independent Democrat Association (VIDA), a member of Community Board 3 and a board member of the Metropolitan of Black Bar Association.
“In her new role as a Civil Court Judge, Dweynie will see cases of Brooklynites in family court and/or criminal cases where she will be able to use her judgement and life experiences to not only offer fair judgement, but also prioritize redemption and give people second chances at life,” Pierre said.
Pierre, an ex-state senate candidate, who stepped down in this year’s November special election, after past allegation of misconduct surfaced says the Haitian community is enjoying their “turn at the hand of power.” Though Pierre plans to run again for next year’s election for the 19th Senatorial District in Brooklyn, he stressed that, “there is so much more work to be done and having Dweynie on the bench is just the right beginning of the era of new leadership.”
Paul, who has won the endorsement of everyone, said to be sharing her victory with all of the Haitian community and the greater Black Pan- African community.
“Today, we have made history together,” the George Washington University Law graduate and experienced litigator said at Kinanm’s Lounge on Tuesday. “This victory is a result of the coming together of our communities, our talents and our resources . It also comes from a strong desire to see a just and equitable judicial system. I hope to live up to the values and aspiration of this community as I carry out my duties. I want to thank all those who supported me, my family, my parents and God!”
Paul, who ran unopposed, is among a growing network of politicians emerging from Haitian-American communities across the United States and Canada.