(L to R) Newly Elected Kings County Democratic Party Chair, Rodneyse Bichotte, Vice Chair, Annette Robinson and Chair Emeritus Frank Seddio – Photo Credit Hassan Bakriddin
BROOKLYN, NY – Rodneyse Bichotte, the New York State Assembly Member and Democratic State Committeewoman for the 42nd District, made history today, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, as the first-ever woman elected to lead the Kings County Democratic Party, one of the largest in the country. With a new decade comes the need for a fresh perspective and a commitment to transparency as Brooklyn’s diverse group of District Leaders gathered to determine who would best unify and strengthen the Democratic stronghold in upcoming election cycles.
“I thank Frank Seddio for his leadership, service, and effort to unify the party. Over the last few years, we have developed mutual respect as colleagues and friends. Although we did not agree on every issue, we never lost sight of what matters most – working together to advance the Democratic Party agenda,” said Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte, chairperson of the Kings County Democratic Executive Committee. The historic vote, proving that the future of the burgeoning political party is female, will help increase the number of women – especially women of color – running for and elected to public office across the City and State of New York.
“Brooklyn’s democratic party is made up of people of all backgrounds and all walks of life. It is more important than ever that our leadership reflects the diverse communities that have kept Brooklyn and our Democratic party going for decades. More women of color and descendants of immigrants, like myself, are running for public office to amplify the voices of their local communities and add to the public discourse. Moreover, community and grassroots engagement are necessary to increase civic engagement across the borough,” continued Bichotte.
From the judicial bench to Gracie Mansion, she has weighed in on local and citywide races, providing critical support in organizing, petitioning, fundraising, canvassing, and community outreach. Although Bichotte has helped elect a number of male candidates to higher office, most notably Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Scott Stringer, and Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams, she has made it a point to support qualified female candidates such as Attorney General Letitia “Tish” James; Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke; State Senator Roxanne Persaud; Council Members Laurie Cumbo, Farah N. Louis; Assembly Members Latrice Walker, Tremaine Wright, Mathylde Frontus, Diana Richardson; Judges Caroline Cohen, Derefim Neckles, Margarita Lopez; and many more candidates in tough races.
Although Brooklyn is her home, she has helped a number of candidates beyond the county lines of Kings including in New York, Queens, and Nassau. Bichotte, a three-term incumbent in the Assembly who has also served as district leader for ten years, has a record of helping secure campaign victories for progressive candidates and promoting civic engagement in her local community through voting rights forums and voter registration initiatives. Last year, she was named among City & State’s Brooklyn Power 100 and Black 100 lists for her effectiveness.
“Given the importance of this year’s presidential election and next year’s municipal elections, I am honored to have been elected as the first female Democratic County Leader in New York City at such a pivotal time. I want to thank the Kings County Democratic District Leaders for their confidence and partnership as we move forward into a new decade of opportunities to truly transform New York City’s political landscape,” noted Bichotte. Her uncontested election is a milestone for women and people of color across this city, coinciding with a national holiday that commemorates the legacy of civil rights activist Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This is the fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream – equality in the United States – paving the way for all people, regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, or religion to work together towards one common cause.
In the coming weeks, the executive committee and District Leaders will be convened to discuss the future outlook for the Democratic Party in Brooklyn and effective strategies to win more seats, build up the financial treasury, enact transparency and accountability, and bring about civic engagement throughout the county. “Women in Brooklyn have always played a critical role as informed voters in Brooklyn and propelled many into leadership. We can lead as well, and it is time for the Brooklyn Democratic Party to lead by example. I thank Frank Seddio for believing in that vision and believing in me,” stated Bichotte. This milestone was celebrated by Kings County’s Female District Leaders and women across New York City and State government.
“I want to congratulate Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte on this incredible accomplishment and for her new role at the helm of the Brooklyn Democratic Party. For years, I have worked with Rodneyse and witnessed firsthand her commitment to public service and work to uplift communities across Brooklyn. As the first woman to be elected to this post, we are sending an important message to all of our communities and encouraging them to become engaged in our civic process and have a voice in the issues that impact us every day,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “I have worked with Rodneyse in the Assembly and as District Leader, and she has consistently been one of the hardest-working elected officials I know. She has been instrumental in helping to elect a number of Democrats in Brooklyn. As Vice Chair of the Kings County Executive Committee, I look forward to working with Rodneyse as our Chairperson,” said Annette Robinson, Female District Leader (AD56) and Vice Chair of the Kings County Executive Committee.
“I have known and worked with Rodneyse for many years. I have found her to be a bridge-builder between our diverse communities of Brooklyn. I look forward to her leadership in the years ahead,” said Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein (AD41), Chairwoman of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee.
“I would like to extend my congratulations to Assemblywoman and District Leader Rodneyse Bichotte on her nomination to be the next Chair of the Kings County Democratic party. As the first woman of color to lead the state’s largest Democratic county party, I hope to work with her to ensure that the voices of my community are reflected in the Democratic policies we push forward as a party,” said Assemblywoman and Female District Leader Martiza Davila (AD53).
“So happy to congratulate my friend and colleague Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte as Brooklyn’s newest Democratic Party Leader! As the first woman to hold this title, I am extremely proud of her leadership and tenacity. Rodneyse’s passion and dedication will continue to keep Brooklyn thriving. Well done!” said City Councilwoman and Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo.
“I could not be more excited to congratulate and celebrate one of the hardest working women in New York State, Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte. She has worked tirelessly to close the gender gap through sound policies and in practice – helping elect and elevate more women in public office. She is an exemplary leader who has always shown her support without reservation, proving time and time again that we are stronger when we uplift each other and work together. I am inspired by this historic vote, progressive direction, and creation of new opportunities to not only unify but strengthen our borough with the first-ever woman elected as Chair of the Brooklyn Democratic Party. Congratulations to a dear sister, friend, mentor, and trailblazer, Rodneyse!” said City Councilwoman Farah Louis.
“I’m very excited to support Rodneyse as the new County Leader and thrilled to finally see a woman at the helm. We have worked together side by side for many years. Rodneyse is very intelligent, has great energy and has been doing an amazing job in the community and Albany. She has the proven ability to run and win races. She has strong progressive credentials and I’m sure her vision for the party will be one of more transparency that will unite all factions of the Kings County Democratic Party to work together,” said Lori Knipel, Female District Leader (AD44).
“I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am to see Rodneyse, a Black Woman of Caribbean descent, take on this leadership role. This was barely a possibility when I first became a district leader — her ascent is a sign of the progress we have made over time,” said Melba Brown, Female District Leader (AD58).
“The transition of leadership for the Kings County Democratic Organization is beyond ceremonial. It’s an opportunity to recommit ourselves to electing fine candidates who will serve their communities with distinction, further promote election reforms and unite around matters of social justice. Congratulations to outgoing leader Frank Seddio and incoming leader Rodneyse Bichotte for their pledge of a seamless transition and to uphold such ideals,” said Olanike Alabi, Female District Leader (AD57).
“Today is a truly historic day as we elect Rodneyse Bichotte, the first woman ever, to assume the Chair of the Kings County Democratic Party on Dr Martin Luther King’s birthday. Dr King stated, ‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others?’ I know Rodneyse will answer in both words and deeds with dignity, respect, and unity for the people of Brooklyn, to make lives better,” said Lori Maslow, Female District Leader (AD41).
“As Frank Seddio is stepping down as the chair of the Kings County Democrats. I believe Rodneyse Bichotte will be an excellent successor for the party. I’ve known her for several years and I am certain she’s the chairperson that represents Brooklyn’s diverse population,” said Nancy Tong, Female District Leader (AD47).
“Welcoming with open arms the next Kings County Democratic Party Chairwoman, Rodneyse Bichotte, is not only an opportunity for women in leadership to demonstrate their worth at the table but also demonstrate that with dedication and commitment, the Democratic Party can continue leading the way,” said Darma Diaz, Female District Leader (AD54).
“I am proud to see Rodneyse Bichotte ascend to the leadership of the Kings County Democratic Committee. This is an important milestone for women in New York City and a tribute to the leadership Rodneyse has demonstrated on issues of importance to our diverse communities,” said Kathryn Wylde, President, and CEO, Partnership for New York City.
“Rodneyse Bichotte is the right leader at this moment of change for the Kings County Democratic Committee. It is exciting that she is breaking new ground for women in our party. I look forward to working together to elect Democratic women up and down the ballot in Brooklyn and beyond,” said Brette McSweeney, President, Eleanor’s Legacy.
“I’m thrilled by Rodneyse Bichotte’s new gig. She deserves it. She is smart. She is talented. She is fierce. And she is hardworking. I hope this means a better day for the Democratic Party in Brooklyn,” said Dorothy Siegel, Brooklyn progressive activist.