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BWBA honors Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn for Women’s History Month

March 27, 2023 Robert Abruzzese
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BROOKLYN — The Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association (BWBA) held a Women’s History Month Luncheon on Friday, March 17, where it honored Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn.

Assemblymember Bichotte Hermelyn represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn, which includes Ditmas Park, Flatbush, East Flatbush, and Midwood. She is a trailblazer, being the first Haitian American woman elected in New York City, the first engineer elected to the New York State Legislature, and the first woman to chair the Democratic County Party in Brooklyn.

From left: Hon. Derefim Neckles, Hon. Francois Rivera, Hon. Lillian Wan, President Susan Mauro, Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, Hon. Joanne Quinones, Natoya McGhie, Ronald Cosme, and Betsey Jean-Jacque.

BWBA President Susan Mauro admitted at the event that she hasn’t known Bichotte Hermelyn for long; the two met at the Appellate Division’s Black History Month event the month prior. However, Mauro explained that she was so moved when she heard her story that Mauro knew she wanted to honor Bichotte Hermelyn as soon as possible.

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Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn (left) and Hon. Maria Aragona, president of the Catholic Lawyers Guild.

“Assemblymember Bichotte Hermelyn is a role model for women and girls everywhere, demonstrating that anything is possible with hard work, dedication, and perseverance,” Mauro said. “She has faced many obstacles throughout her life and career but has overcome them with grace and determination. She is a true inspiration and a trailblazer for women in law and government, and the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association is proud to honor her during Women’s History Month.”

Bichotte Hermelyn, a new mother and current third-year student at Brooklyn Law School, made history in January 2020 by becoming the first woman and first African-American woman to lead a county party in New York City when she succeeded Hon. Frank Seddio as the Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair.

From left: Hon. Rachel Freier, Hon. Dena Douglas, Hon. Ellen Spodek, Natoya McGhie, Betsey Jean-Jacques, and Hon. Connie Mallafre Melendez.

Since her election in 2015, Assemblymember Bichotte Hermelyn has introduced over 200 pieces of legislation, 34 of which became law, and co-sponsored over 250 others. Her legislative achievements span a wide range of issues, including housing, health, education, criminal justice, safety, and voting rights. She has been an ardent advocate for immigrant rights, education reform, healthcare access, senior citizen centers, affordable housing, school safety, women’s and LGBTQ rights, as well as other issues affecting the quality of life in the community.

Assemblymember Bichotte Hermelyn is also committed to ending the maternal healthcare crisis and addressing maternal mortality disparities disproportionately affecting Black and minority women. She sponsored The Jonah Bichotte Cowan Law (named after her late son), which establishes requirements for treatment when a mother comes to a hospital with concerns about being in preterm labor.

As the Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs), Assemblymember Bichotte Hermelyn has been instrumental in the passage of laws she sponsored to help MWBEs thrive and succeed.

From left: Hon. Connie Mallafre Melendez, Rebecca Ditchek, Hon. Jill Epstein, Danielle Ciraola, Betsey Jean-Jacques, and Jason LaSala.
From left: Hon. Ellen Spodek, Hon. Heela Capell, Hon. Carl Landicino, Betsey Jean-Jacques, President Susan Mauro, Hon. Genine Edwards, Amrita Maitlall, Hon. Keisha Alleyne, Hon. Cheryl Gonzales, and Hon. Francois Rivera.
From left: Priya Vanessa Outar, Hon. Heela Capell, Amrita Maitlall, and Hon. Keisha Alleyne.
Hon. Francois Rivera (left) and Hon. Joanne Quinones.

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