Several Caribbean-American legislators have been appointed to top positions on the New York City (NYC) Council by newly elected Council Speaker Adrienne Adams.
Adams appointed Council Member Crystal Hudson, the granddaughter of Jamaican immigrants to chair the Committee on Aging; Haiti-born Council Member Rita Joseph, a former public school teacher in Brooklyn, to chair the Committee on Education; Haiti-born Council Member, Mercedes Narcisse, a registered nurse by training, to chair the Committee on Hospitals and Haitian-American Council Member Farah N. Louis to chair the Committee on Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses.
“I am proud to announce our City Council’s leadership, as well as committee chairs and assignments. This is the most diverse City Council in history, and each member’s experiences and expertise will shape the important work of our legislative body,” said Adams, in making the announcement.
“I am confident that this City Council will work together to achieve our shared goal of providing strong oversight as a co-equal branch of city government and improving the lives of every New Yorker. We are unified and ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work,” she added.
Crystal Hudson, who represents the 35th Council District in Brooklyn, said she was “honored to chair the Aging Committee and work to ensure all older adults can age safely with dignity at home in the city they’ve made and call home.”
Hudson’s mother, Carole was born in Honduras and spent her early years in Jamaica before migrating to Brooklyn. Hudson served as the primary caregiver for her mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, until she died in April 2021.
“As caregivers like myself know all too well, older adults are at the mercy of deeply deficient systems – from housing to long- term care to food insecurity to nursing home care,” she noted. She said her goal as Chair is to focus not only on issues directly impacting older adults but also on the realities facing the ever-growing care economy that is in deep need of transformation.
Joseph said it was also an honor to be selected as Education Chairwoman of the New York City Council.
“As chairwoman of the Education Committee, I will be afforded the opportunity to advocate on behalf of students not just at PS6, but all over New York City. My students may not be able to vote, but now, they have a voice. I look forward to the work to come,” she said.
Narcisse, who represents the 46th Council District in Brooklyn, said she was “fully ready to take my first-hand experience and do all I can to ensure that doctors, nurses and all hospital staff have the resources available to them to provide the best healthcare to all New Yorkers.
“This is a pivotal time for our city as we continue to battle the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which has decimated our hospitals. In particular, NYC Health and Hospitals facilities and safety net hospitals in traditionally undeserved communities need a lifeline and our immediate attention so they can flourish, and not merely survive.
“Further, community health centers in high-risk neighborhoods continue to be limited and under resourced. We must provide greater access to these vital segments of our healthcare system.”
Louis, who represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn, noted that New York City is renowned for its rich architecture and beautiful neighborhoods that need to be taken care of.
“It is important that we preserve these spaces for future generations to explore and cherish their significance in who we are as New Yorkers. I look forward to chairing the Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Sitting, and Dispositions and working with my colleagues in the New York City (NYC) Council to ensure that we exercise due diligence in protecting our past as we build towards our future.”
All the Caribbean-American legislators appointed are members of the Democratic Party.