Bichotte Unveils “3 E’s” Plan In State Of District Address

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Before a crowd of devoted and excited crowd of constituents, other elected officials, police, firefighters and teachers at Brooklyn College last night Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte (Ditmas Park, Flatbush, East Flatbush and Midwood) unveiled a “3 E’s” plan of education, economic development and and ethics reform as the goal pots in her first annual State of the District Address.

Speaking first about education, Bichotte addressed the various disparities rooted in educational inequality.

“There is a gap between the privileged and the poor, between government and uniformed people, between a healthcare system for the rich and one not affordable to seniors. between prison filled with minority men, and in schools with those same minority men. We’re working hard to bridge these gaps,” said Bichotte, adding she supported increased STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) prevalence in schools.

“These programs aren’t cheap, but they’re cheaper than ignorance,” she said, lamenting at overcrowding in schools, and insufficient funding.

Bichotte then went on to focus on the second “E,” economic development. Despite being a freshman assemblymember, she was appointed as the Chair of the Oversight Committee for Minority Woman Owned Business Enterprises, as her 42nd Assembly District is comprised of several MWBEs.

Heralding the American Dream, she added that “unfortunately, prejudice, and racism, sexism have made it difficult for this dream to minorities and women.”  As such, Bichotte was a primary sponsor of A8700, which would require all localities and municipalities throughout the entire state to have a MWBE participation.

“Now this piece of legislation is perhaps the first of its kind -with sweeping reforms that ensure Minorities and Women Business owners an equal seat at the table when tax funded agencies and entities contract to businesses in the market and in the general economy. These reforms bring social equity to the business industry that will add to a robust economy,” Bichotte said.

The most ardent section of her speech was Bichotte’s attention to ethics reform in light of the recent convictions on corruption charges of both former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.

“Albany must shift its attitude on public corruption. I want to belong to a respectable legislative chamber, not a breeding ground for corruption,” she said, advocating for striping taxpayer-funded pensions from public officials convicted of corruption, and increasing disclosure of legislators’ outside income to prevent conflict of interest.

Bichotte’s speech also included her support for the DREAM act, which would allow undocumented students to receive financial aid for higher education, and for stronger legislation improving tenants rights.

Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte and City Council Member Chaim Deutsch share a light moment with FDNY brass.
Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte and City Council Member Chaim Deutsch share a light moment with FDNY brass.

Among the local electeds at the speech included Public Advocate Letitia James and City Council Members Jumaane Williams and Chaim Deutsch.

Bichotte also drew praise from both Pastor James Thornton, and Rabbi Aryeh Ralbag from the Salem Missionary Baptist Church, and the Young Israel of Avenue K Synagogue, respectively. Brooklyn College President Karen Gould also noted how the school recently opened a new Haitian Studies Institute, and that Bichotte is the daughter of Haitian immigrants.

Bichotte concluded her speech by saying, “When President John F. Kennedy was inaugurated, he infamously said in his speech: ‘That the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, [and] proud of [their] ancient heritage.’ Those words echo in this room tonight. As the families of the 42nd Assembly District send their young ones out of the confines of our communities and into college campuses or into new working spaces, we must remember of the things we can do to help them carry that torch high. We must put aside our differences, and recognize what makes New York unique is that we are united in our path towards prosperity!”