Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte (D-Flatbush, Ditmas Park) was confirmed as the new Kings County Democratic Party Chairperson last night at the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club in Canarsie, making her the first female to hold the title.
The announcement was made to the public after the borough’s district leaders held an executive session to vote on Bichotte’s confirmation, which was held on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. She was approved 39–1, with the only non-yes vote being an abstention.
“I began by saying today is a great day for Brooklyn Democrats,” Bichotte said in her confirmation speech. “Today we remember, we express gratitude and we celebrate. Tomorrow, sisters and brothers, we get to work.”
This change in chairperson comes after former Democratic Party Leader and District Leader Frank Seddio stepped down last week, saying that he felt it was time to pass the role onto a younger politician. Seddio, 73, who was at the helm for more than seven years, said stepping down would open up more time for him to spend at his law practice and with family.
Whatever the reason for his retiring, the 59th District Leader left knowing that he wanted Bichotte to take his place. The two have worked together in recent years, and Bichotte considers him a crucial role in her success.
“Frank, I want to thank you for the vision that you saw for this party,” she said after her confirmation. “I want to thank you for nominating and endorsing me. I want to thank you for allowing me to grow up, mature and understand the fights that I had, and for being there with me. You were very supportive, and you continue to be supportive.”
Bichotte, the assembly chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises, became known as a productive fundraiser for the Democratic Party, something she touched upon last night.
“People talk about, oh, I’m this prolific fundraiser — what does that mean? They said it was unusual. It’s unusual for a woman, a black woman, to know how to raise money,” she said. “That should not be the narrative.”
In an interview after her confirmation and speech, Bichotte expressed her eagerness to take on the role and discussed some of her priorities as Chairperson.
“It’s a very humbling experience, obviously historic and I’m really excited. I’m very happy to get the support of my district leaders,” Bichotte said of being the first female, first black and first Haitian Democratic Party Leader.
She went on to explain that her number one priority is to strengthen the party and to look at the finances, an aspect of the organization that some have questioned Seddio’s handling of.
A press release sent out after the confirmation compiled a series of congratulatory messages to Bichotte from other elected officials, including District Leaders and others.
“I want to congratulate Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte on this incredible accomplishment and for her new role at the helm of the Brooklyn Democratic Party,” Attorney General Letitia James was quoted as saying in the release. “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.”