Before he was 30, Carl Achille had served America in two profound ways. A native New Yorker with Haitian roots, Achille, served in the United States Army following the attacks on New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. By 19 years old, he was already a war veteran. In 2008, he joined the New York City Police Department, serving in the communities of Brooklyn North and quickly rose to the Street Narcotics Unit in East Harlem. He was also selected to the elite Organized Crime Control Bureau in the Gang Division, earning the Gold Detective Shield.
Since then he’s developed a passion for community service and advocacy that he plans on taking to the next level as an elected official.
When did you discover your interests in advocacy?
I discovered my interest in advocacy early in high school where I excelled in social studies, learning about the government, the law, our history and the past injustices of our own government against its own American people.
Wanting to right the wrongs of our nation’s history, I found myself becoming civically
involved. Soon after my military service in Iraq in 2004, I was appointed as Vice President of Membership of a local Elmont Civic Association. In 2012, I was appointed to Vice President of the Elmont Chamber of Commerce, serving for 4 years, and in 2016 was elected to Civic Association President.
What has your journey been as a Haitian-American advocate?
In 2018, I threw my hat in the ring for elected office. Running for the United States House of Representatives in Congress for the 5th Congressional District which has if not the largest, then the second largest concentrated area of Haitian and Haitian Americans in the state of New York.
l campaigned vigorously throughout the 5th Congressional District, which includes the heavy Haitian-majority communities of Cambria Heights and Elmont. Garnering 10 percent of the vote and coming in second place in a three person race, where I was outspent 20 to 1 by the incumbent who raised over $1.6 million in the race compared to my $13,000.
Knowing everything you know now, what advice would give your younger self?
I believe that all of our communities need to become more involved in the process of
politics, civic engagement and government.
“Until we get up, get out and get involved, our votes will absolutely be taken for granted. We need to put muscle behind our voice and our votes.” Knowing what I know now, I believe that I will focus my energies towards voter registration, community outreach, and civic education especially in the Haitian-American community.
How has your work improved your life?
I am currently in the middle of finishing my Master’s Degree in Criminal Law & Procedure from John Jay College. In addition to my Bachelor’s Degree, I hold a certificate in police leadership.
Also, I am a member of the American Academy for Professional Law Enforcement, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Spartan Lodge 956 of Free and Accepted Masons.
What’s next for Carl Achille?
As far as the future, this is just the beginning, stay tuned.