Pierre Brings Rounded Experience to Flatbush City Council Race

City Council Candidate Josue Pierre at the iconic entance to Flatbiush sign where Ocean Avenue, Flatbush Avenue and Empire Boulevard meet. Contributed Campaihn Photo.

Even with one person dropping out last week, the City Council District 40 race to replace Councilmember Mathieu Eugene (D-Flatbush, Ditmas Park, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Kensington, Midwood, South Crown Heights) is cramped tight. 

Still, Flatbush’s Democratic District Leader for the 42nd Assembly District Josué Pierre is hoping his merit for the past decade in politics, Black Lives Matter activism this past year, and his deep ties to the Brooklyn Democratic Party and Haitian community will give him a leg up where it counts at the polls.

The city’s campaign finance board released its latest reports of candidates’ funds this week. Pierre raised $46,391 in private contributions and $160,111 in public payments from the city’s $8 to $1 matching program that helps candidates for city council get additional money to campaign.

“Flatbush is a very unique place, and I’m not just saying that because I’m Caribbean and from Flatbush,” joked Pierre. “Part of our brand is the culture we’ve brought from these islands.”

Pierre said he believes with more BIDs, and stronger support for smaller businesses and restaurants, Flatbush could be a destination place. Pierre said he will be about business as a former senior financial analyst for City Comptroller Scott Stringer. 

Josue Pierre

He said he is for financially nursing the district and city back to good health after the devastating effects of the COVID-19 crisis. “I know that all roads to housing, healthcare, social justice, everything you can name, intersects at the budget. The budget is going to be critical,” said Pierre. “Our first objective is not to cut.”

Born in a small seaside town called Jacmel in Haiti, Pierre said it was a big leap for him to adjust to life in the states. His grandfather was a medallion taxi driver, his dad worked several jobs, and his mom was a home health aid. “A lot of people in our community start off with those jobs or build an entire family off those jobs,” said Pierre.

He and his family lived in rent-stabilized housing, luckily he said, before moving into a home. Being bilingual, he said he enjoyed as a kid being the “de facto translator” for his household and the neighbors and pin points this as his first act of community service.   

Every Sunday and Wednesday, on the locally owned station Radyo Pa Nou, Pierre hosts a show called Sak Pase. Pierre fields questions from his primarily domestic and international Haitian audience about civic engagement and community issues in English and Creole. 

Pierre said he worked his way through college as a dental assistant, and has a strong appreciation for preventative healthcare. He eventually switched industries though and became a real estate auditor before moving on to finance and politics. 

Pierre said he’s passionate about housing and preventing consequent displacement in the district. He’d like to see more people go from renters to homeowners, with Mitchell-Lama-style assistant programming like his parents. He said a tenant protection unit is needed to be a part of the Mayor’s office and a permanent part of city government to stop active gentrification and people losing their homes. 

“For our people in Flatbush that are first and second generation, those [housing] laws don’t exist unless there’s enforcement and education around it,” said Pierre. “People don’t always know what the law is and they’re exploited because of it.” 

Pierre said any property that’s city-owned and set to be converted into residential should be 100 percent affordable housing and not market rate, possibly zip code or community board-driven in determining the income levels. 

 

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