Assemblymember Vanel serves as Speaker Pro Tempore. Photo from the New York State Assembly.

The Haitian Times is sharing profiles of individuals and groups driving change in their communities throughout Haitian Heritage Month. This installment looks at Clyde Vanel, a New York State assemblymember who is among a growing group of Haitian-Americans holding office in local, state and federal districts across the U.S.

NEW YORK — Clyde Vanel never had a room of his own while growing up in Cambria Heights, the Southeast Queens neighborhood. With his parents and nine siblings in the home, Vanel found activities that allowed him to leave their cramped house often. 

“My parents were really strict and we couldn’t go to parties, so the way that I would go out was by going to work or doing school activities,” Vanel, now 47, said.

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Larisa is a reporter for The Haitian Times covering politics, elections and education primarily. A graduate of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, she has interned at CNBC and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network. She is also a recipient of a 2021 DBEI Fellowship by Investigative Reporters & Editors. Larisa can be reached by email at or on Twitter @larisakarr.