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Bichotte leads Haitian relief in Brooklyn

Brooklyn's democratic county leader unites key immigrant coalitions here

August 16, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Brooklyn’s Haitian-American leaders and elected officials as well as others on Monday decried the news of the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that recently struck Haiti, further burdening the island nation in the immediate aftermath of the assassination of former President Jovenel Moise. They called for stepped-up relief efforts and humanitarian assistance. 

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn (D-Prospect Park South-Flatbush), who is also the chair of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, said, “The news coming out of Haiti evokes memories of the 2010 quake that shook Haiti and left the world aghast. What’s troubling is that this is only the latest tragedy in what has become a terrible trifecta: the assassination of former President Jovenel Moïse, a worsening COVID-19 epidemic, and now, what is possibly the most powerful earthquake in the nation’s history.

“I pray for the people of Haiti, and for the people in the United States and here in Brooklyn, who are feeling the pain of uncertainty, or deep loss. I remain hopeful for brighter days ahead for our beloved country at the same time,” she said.

Also on Monday, Councilmember Farah Louis (D-Flatbush-East Flatbush-Flatlands), City Council District 40 nominee Rita Joseph, Jackson Rockingster of Little Haiti BK, the Rev. Al Sharpton and others gathered at St. Jerome’s Catholic Church in East Flatbush for a faith vigil. The church serves many immigrants from the Caribbean and Latin America, and holds Mass in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole and French. 

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“We here in New York City stand ready to do whatever we can to help Haiti,” said Joseph, who is running for the term-limited Dr. Mathieu Eugene’s seat. “The people of Haiti are strong and resilient, but we must help them get back on their feet following this latest harrowing event. One thing President Biden can do today to help our friends in Haiti is to raise the refugee admission ceiling from where it currently stands to help accommodate the influx of Haitian applicants.”

Councilmember Farah Louis, a “proud daughter of Haitian immigrants.” Photo courtesy of Louis campaign

“As the proud daughter of Haitian immigrants, I join my community in mourning loved ones lost while the nation struggles to recover from the tragic events that have unfolded in Haiti in recent years including the 2010 earthquake, hurricanes, a deadly cholera outbreak, and near-constant political and economic instability,” said Councilmember Louis.

“Once again Haiti is experiencing a tragedy, we must all synchronize our efforts and bring humanitarian relief to Haiti,” said Rockingster of Little Haiti BK. “Do what you can to assist Haiti, no donation is too small.”

“Saturday’s earthquake in Haiti left a disastrous impact that needs substantial support, not just thoughts and prayers. We also urge the international community to offer support during these challenging times. It is a position of privilege to believe that it doesn’t impact us all when neighboring communities suffer,” said the Rev. Sharpton.

Many state and local leaders, including Bichotte Hermelyn, previously called on President Joseph Biden in a letter dated July 21 to create “an easier pathway for Haitians seeking political asylum by raising the refugee admission ceiling,” to “temporarily halt the deportation of Haitian migrants from the U.S.,” and to “supply the people of Haiti with humanitarian aid in the form of food assistance and additional COVID-19 vaccine doses.”

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