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IN PUBLIC SERVICE: State Assembly majority whip, Kings County dems leader, Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn shares vision for Brooklyn

Based in assembly District 42, County Leader speaks for a borough-wide constituency

March 13, 2023 Special to In Public Service
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Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn appeared on campus at Brooklyn College — a great institution in her 42nd Assembly District — to host her 8th Annual State of the District Address last week, providing an overview of progress made to “uplift all Brooklynites” in Assembly District 42 and sharing her legislative goals for 2023. 

As newly-appointed Assembly Majority Whip and the Leader of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, Bichotte Hermelyn’s highly-attended event also provided an overarching outlook for Brooklyn, the City and the State — from boosting the economy, combating crime, the upcoming elections, and more.  

Facilitated by community advocates Doriel Inez Larrier and Steven Cohen, well-known Brooklynites spoke in support of Bichotte Hermelyn during the Address, including Councilmembers Farah Louis and Rita Joseph, Pastor Rev. James Thornton, Father Jean-Yvon Pierre; Rabbi Aryeh Ralbag; and Imam Maaz Ali, Brooklyn College President Michelle Anderson, and more. 

Here are some of the highlights…

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‘A stronger fight ahead for a better and brighter future for our District and Brooklynites in 2023’

Bichotte Hermelyn’s State of the District Address began by addressing the “vast inequities” the pandemic exacerbated for her AD 42 (encompassing Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood and Ditmas Park.) She lauded her and fellow legislators’ “significant progress” made toward bridging the gap in vital areas such as economic development, housing, health, maternal care, education and much more. 

The Assemblymember gave an optimistic outlook overall, supporting this lens with robust bills she carried into law in 2022, such as a trio of Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) laws signed by Gov. Hochul to strengthen the nation-leading MWBE program (which awarded nearly $3B in state contracts). 

Councilmember Farah N. Louis speaking.

Her praise was shared with engaged community stakeholders, such as 70th Precinct Commanding Officer- Deputy Inspector Bruce Ceparano and 67th Precinct Commanding Officer- Deputy Inspector Gaby Celiba, while lauding figures on Brooklyn’s drop in homicides and gun violence over the year. 

Bichotte Hermelyn also pointed out grave disparities that she continues to tackle, like the maternal health crisis, where in New York City, Black women are eight times more likely than white women to die from a pregnancy-related cause. 

Bichotte Hermelyn, who is Chair of the Assembly’s Task Force on Women’s Issues, and recently gave birth to a healthy boy (years after losing a son at birth), said “I am fighting for bills to ensure mothers can experience the wonder of childbirth without facing the tragedy I and so many others have undergone.”  

Councilmember Rita Joseph speaking.

Assembly Majority Whip With A Democratic-Controlled Legislature

The Assemblymember then looked towards the remainder of 2023, starting with the fact that “We’re in the midst of a 2023-2024 legislative session with a Democratic-controlled State Senate and Assembly to better advocate for our priorities.” 

That also extends to the Federal Legislature: “We not only have a Democratic-controlled Senate, we also have the Senate and House Democrats led by Brooklynites!,” exulted Bichotte Hermelyn. “We now have Hakeem Jeffries, a longtime ally and personal friend whose Congressional District overlaps ours, as the 1st Black leader of the House,” she said, vowing to work closely alongside Rep. Jeffries and “our neighbor and lifelong Brooklynite Chuck Schumer [who was] re-elected as Senate Majority Leader.”

Also underscored was her recent appointment as Assembly Majority Whip at the start of the 2023 Legislative Session in Albany: “While fighting for our District for the issues most affecting us, including economic development, housing, health, maternal care, education, criminal justice, safety, and voting rights, I am also entrusted in a top leadership position to ensure Democrats align to vote to help our Party’s best interests and yours.” 

Upcoming Elections: ‘Make Brooklyn Count’

Bichotte Hermelyn also stressed the importance that the elections are starting again in June with the 2023 Primaries, including for New York City Council (due to redistricting). “Additionally, we also have judicial elections, with several vacancies on the state Supreme Court in Brooklyn and eight open seats on the Civil Court bench,” said Bichotte Hermelyn, who Chairs the Brooklyn Democratic Party, which just endorsed five Civil Court contenders (read the Eagle’s coverage here)

“As the hotly-contested General Elections showed, every vote counts—you have to have your voice make a difference,” Bichotte Hermelyn said, noting that “Brooklyn had the number one voter turnout on an NYS Democratic Party line for the 2022 General Elections, so it shows just how pivotal your voice is in making a difference in our community.”

The event included a rendition of “It’s The Hard Knock Life” from PS 249 and performances by The Strings Quartet, along with HALEFO members’ processional of colors.

Bichotte Hermelyn thanked nearly two-hundred constituents in attendance “for trusting me to represent you,” along with more tuned in via live stream (watch the entire Address here). 

“I look forward to an improved 42nd District that uplifts all of us while solving and preventing issues that most affect OUR community,” said Bichotte Hermelyn to conclude the event.

(Left to Right) Supporter and community leader Dovi Zeitlin; Detective Nuzzi; Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn with her baby Daniel and husband Edu Hermelyn, NYPD Commanding Officer Bruce P. Ceparano.
Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn with members of the Haitian American Law Enforcement Fraternal Organization (HALEFO).
Brooklyn Democratic Party Executive Director Yamil Speight Miller
Masters of Ceremonies Steven Cohen and Doriel Inez Larrier
Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn with Brooklyn College President Michelle Anderson

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