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a626: Says Haitians Could Become Major Political Force in NYC

From: JD Lemieux <lxhaiti@yahoo.com>

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.
Markowitz Says Haitians Could Become Major Political
Force in NYC

By Macollvie Jean-François
Haitian Times Staff

BROOKLYN - Marty Markowitz had dreamed of becoming
borough president since he was a sophomore studying
political science and speech at Brooklyn College.
The ambitious, young man moved out of his family's
two-bedroom apartment at age 18 and threw himself into
public life. He started by advocating for Flatbush
tenants and joined the fight on other issues. He later
served on the New York State Senate for 20 years.
After an unsuccessful bid for borough president in
1985, Markowitz stayed determined. He campaigned again
last year and now sits in the winner's circle - the
borough's office downtown. Markowitz garnered 210, 511
votes, or 76 percent of the ballots cast, according to
the city’s Board of Elections.
"Win or lose, I was comfortable," 56-year-old
Markowitz said, leaning back in a plush, green chair
in his office.
Working from a computer notebook atop the only table
in his spacious office, the new borough president
signed papers, answered phone calls and yelled out to
his secretaries for clarifications on documents.
About two weeks after being sworn in, the borough
president told the Haitian Times he plans to keep the
promises he made to the Haitian community during his
campaign, such as hiring a community liaison. This
go-between would advocate for the community and help
its leaders organize the people by dealing with such
issues as immigration and citizenship.
"The more people who become citizens, the better,"
Markowitz said. "It's good for them, it's good for
Marveling at how quickly news spreads through the
community, via word of mouth, radio and other media,
the borough president said, "I wish it could build on
that and become a prominent player in New York."
With about 200,000 Haitians living in Brooklyn,
Markowitz suggests that the community organize itself
to become a major force in city politics.

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