Celebrating Rodneyse Bichotte
Last Wednesday I was invited to Rodneyse Bichotte's Victory/Pre-Birthday Bash! Ms. Bichotte made history by becoming the first Haitian-American woman from NYC to be elected to the NY State Assembly representing Brooklyn. Being a Haitian-American myself, I was proud to be celebrating her accomplishment!
I usually don't go into many specifics of an appearance but I have to share what occurred when I first entered the venue because it was FUNNY (at least to me). I walked into the packed venue at first looking for my cousin Margarette Tropnas (on the host committee) who had invited me. I start chatting with one lady who said to me, "
You are who? Mrs. NY.? I need your business card and a picture!"
Well yes ma'am!
We took the picture and started chatting. As we were chatting there was someone speaking on a mic and lots of cheering. I was told that it was the Assemblywoman speaking, introducing and thanking different people. All of a sudden, this Haitian lady looks at my sash and crown, grabs my arm and says, "Mrs. New York! Mrs. New York! Does Rodneyse know you're here?" I told her no. This lady dragged me to the room where Rodneyse Bichotte was giving her speeches and started yelling "Mrs. New York is here, let her speak! Mrs. New York is here!" I started laughing and had to ask her if she was Rodneyse's family member. Her boldness was hilarious. Her response, "You're Mrs. New York, you should say something!" I gotta love my people!
Next thing I knew, I hear Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte say, "We are so excited that Mrs. New York is here with us today!!! Mrs. New York please share a few words." Talk about not seeing something coming. Rodneyse than hands me the mic! I shared a few words of encouragement. I thought it was sweet of her to ask me to say a few words.
The night went on. I met so many wonderful people and took lots of pictures. I even had an impromptu interview with the lovely Fabiola Jean of Haitian Times. What stood out to me the most from the night is how Rodneyse Bichotte is so poised and gracious. She was being pulled in many different directions, but she never got tired of taking pictures, and made everyone feel special and important. That, to me, is one of the most important qualities of leadership. Some people may disagree with your ideas but if they walked away feeling heard and respected, then that is a job well done.
The other part of the night that touched me was the way the Haitian community came together to support her. Everyone there were like proud parents and with good reason!
I wish Rodneyse Bichotte all the best. The road may get rough but with her tenacity and drive, she will do well.