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On Haitian Americans and the Brooklyn Special Election

On May 14, voters in the 45th City Council District (Flatbush, East Flatbush, Flatlands, Midwood, Canarsie) decide who will take over Public Advocate Jumaane Williams’ former seat. The ballot includes Monique Chandler-Waterman, Farah Louis, Jovia Radix, Xamayla Rose, Adina Sash and Rickie Tulloch.

To the ire of the district’s large Haitian community, Williams endorsed activist Chandler-Waterman over Louis, his former deputy chief of staff, and did so in Little Haiti on Toussaint L’Ouverture Boulevard. Louis received endorsements from Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte, who like Louis is Haitian American, and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

The Haitian Times‘ Jonathan Greig speaks to Francois Pierre-Louis, a political science professor at Queens College, about the close race between the leading candidates.

“I think the fact that Jumaane Williams [endorsed Chandler-Waterman] has made her a very important candidate and a real contender. Farah Louis is a strong candidate who has been endorsed by Rodneyse Bichotte,” he told The Haitian Times.

“The question that we have to ask is about the role of the Haitian community in these elections. The 45th has many Haitians. What percentage will vote for Louis or Chandler-Waterman? I don’t know. Any of those two candidates can easily win the race. It will depend on which of them obtains the most votes from the Haitian community.”

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