haitian elected officials
Florida Rep. Marie Woodson (left) and North Miami Vice Mayor Alix Desulme (right) address media after a trip to Haiti. Courtesy of Johania Charles, The Miami Times

James Honoré's face instantly fell when he heard the words "Haitian-American politicians," as he sat outside a laundromat in North Miami. Echoing a sentiment heard over the past several months, Honoré said Haitian-American elected officials have largely failed him and compatriots in Haiti during the dire times experienced this year.

“They haven’t been doing anything for us and Haiti,” said Honoré, 50, who owns a small export company. “But when something big happens, you hear of them so they can collect votes. They’re not really looking out for people.”

In response, many Haitian-American elected officials have rejected the perception outright, saying that they have been present during Haiti’s multiple crises: Jovenel Moïse’s assassination, the Aug. 14 earthquake and the influx of Haitian asylum seekers at the Mexico-US border. However, they are limited when it comes to helping Haiti, said Alix Desulme, chairman of the National Haitian American Elected Officials Network (NHAEON) and vice mayor of North Miami. 

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Sam is a reporter for The Haitian Times and a 2020 Report for America corps member. He has covered Haiti and its diaspora since 2018. His work has also appeared in USA Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Haiti Liberte. Sam can be reached at sam@haitiantimes.com or on Twitter @sambojarski.

Email me at onz@haitiantimes.com
Onz Chery started his journalism career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He later wrote for First Touch, local soccer leagues in New York and ESNY before joining The Haitian Times. Onz is also a Report for America corps member.