In the special election to fill the New York City Council seat left vacant by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, former Williams staffer Farah Louis emerged victorious, proving that she didn’t need the endorsement of her former boss to win. But Louis’ election also suggested that the political power of Haitian-Americans is steadily growing in New York.
A handful of Haitian-Americans – most of them first or second-generation Americans – have been elected to office in recent years. In 2012, Michaelle Solages was elected to represent New York’s 22nd Assembly District in Long Island, becoming the first Haitian-American to join the state Legislature. Others quickly followed suit, including Assemblywomen Kimberly Jean-Pierre from Babylon, on Long Island, and Rodneyse Bichotte from Flatbush, Brooklyn and Assemblyman Clyde Vanel from southeast Queens. In the New York City Council, Louis will join fellow Haitian-American Mathieu Eugene of Central Brooklyn.