Dr. Mathieu Eugene Elected to NY City Council

Dr. Mathieu Eugene won the 40th Council District seat to the NY City Council, becoming the first Haitian elected to the Council. This is great news for the Haitian community in NYC which has had a hard time getting it together politically in the past couple of decades.

Now though, let's hope that Dr. Eugene tackles issues important to his district and constituents and that he depart from local machine politics. That means, let's hope that he does more than simply rename streets after Caribbean figures. That of course is not just his burden to bear as those who got him elected must stand by him to support him while also holding him accountable.

According to the New York Sun, Dr. Eugene's main priority will be quality healthcare. That is a good start. Beyond that, the main point made by media about his track record is that he created a sports organization for youth. Hopefully there'll be more over time.

More about his personal background from the NYSun:

Dr. Eugene, 54, is the 14th of 17 children, a brother, Maxi Eugene, said. When the Eugene family began leaving Haiti, it split along gender lines — the women moved to Montreal and the men moved to Brooklyn. After attending medical school in Belgium, Dr. Eugene joined Maxi in New York in 1978, his brother said. Dr. Eugene's wife is a nurse; they have a 17-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter.

Also of interest, what this means for the future of the Haitian constituency in NY:

"You should see Haitians getting together more and more," Mr. Joseph, the co-founder and former publisher of Haiti Observateur, a French-and-English language newspaper published in Brooklyn, said. "They will find out when they get together they can have victory."

See full New York Sun article.

Other links:
  • New York Times article (Has great stats about Haitian community in NY, among other campaign and Eugene-related goodies.)

Photo: Haitian Store in Flatblush, in Brooklyn's 40th Council Disctrict. By satyadasa.

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