New York City Council Resolution and Proclamation Passed Recognizing Little Haiti BK

Brooklyn, NY – Thursday, June 28th Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte, Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo, Council Member Mark Treyger, and Council Member Rafael Espinal joined leaders from several community groups for the presentation of Councilmember Williams' Resolution. The Resolution designates Flatbush Brooklyn, within the boundaries of East 16th Street, Parkside Avenue, Brooklyn Avenue, and along Church Avenue between East 16th Street and Albany Avenue, as "Little Haiti".

New Yorkers from the Haitian community represent a significant part of our City's ever-growing cultural landscape. In fact, Brooklyn is home to the largest percentage of foreign-born Haitian residents in New York State, with more than 40% of the foreign-born population residing in Flatbush. According to 2015 data by the Migration Policy Institute, Brooklyn had the second highest concentration of Haitians in the United States with an estimated 156,000 Haitian Americans residing in New York City.

The passage of Council Member Williams' Resolution was the culmination of months of hard work on the part of himself, Assemblymember Bichotte, community leaders, activists, and other elected officials.

Council Speaker Johnson began the ceremony with praise for the Assemblymember noting the months of hard work she had put into making the Resolution a reality.

"The true power behind this was Assemblymember Bichotte," said Council Speaker Johnson.

In addition to the assembled lawmakers, there were several activists and community leaders present all of whom worked incredibly hard to see the Resolution pass.

Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo graciously introduced the Resolution.

"The distinct identity of Haitian culture is rooted in and influential to the American experience, and this allows us to honor the history, culture, and contributions of the Haitian people," the Majority leader said "I am so grateful for how the Haitian community continues to contribute to Brooklyn and our city as a whole, and am thrilled to be able to highlight that with this designation."

Council Member Mark Treyger, a stalwart ally of the Little Haiti BK project, was present as well.

"This signals the beginning of critical investments and quality of life improvements for our Haitian community, which has contributed richly to the fabric of our city," Council Member Treyger noted "I commend Assemblymember Bichotte, Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Council Member Williams, Majority Leader Cumbo, Deputy Mayor Thompson, Borough President Adams and all of the elected officials, advocates, and community members that played an integral role in making this possible."

Council Member Williams spoke passionately about his efforts to shepherd the Resolution through the City Council and the lessons he learned about Haitian culture from his childhood friend who was Haitian.

"Haitian culture has been and continues to be extremely impactful and beneficial- in this community, in this city, and around the country. Particularly as the President and his administration attack Haiti and its people, it is even more vital that that this culture and its people are celebrated," explained Council Member Williams.

The Council Member went on to note the significance of Little Haiti BK.  "This designation is a prominent and important way for New York City to show the world and the nation that Haitians adds cultural, educational and economic significance to this country that cannot be ignored," Council Member Williams said "I have been proud to push this issue in the New York City Council alongside my colleagues, and thank

Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte, the driving force behind this effort on behalf of all in the Haitian community. Vive Haiti!"

Assemblymember Bichotte spoke briefly after the Resolution was read aloud. She began by thanking everyone involved in the effort. She also noted that the victory at City Hall would be followed by several concrete steps.

"This step, as momentous as it is, is just the first step in a multi stage process that will bring revitalization to our neighborhoods and businesses," the Assemblymember noted.

Assemblymember Bichotte also called out the anti-immigration rhetoric of the current Presidential Administration.

"I view this move by the City Council as a direct challenge to the bigotry emanating out of the White House towards communities such as the Haitian diaspora, and I thank the council for its solidarity," the Assemblymember said.

The ceremony took place in City Council chambers, several Haitian flags were waved as the Resolution was read aloud to all those gathered. Later on, the crowd celebrated jubilantly in the rotunda.

Watch PIX11 coverage of the passage of the Resolution here!


Other Media Coverage

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