Democrats reflect on BK party chair’s successes

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams pictured in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Bichotte Hermelyn endorsed Adams in his run for NYC Mayor. Photo credit: Jermaine Isaac.

In a letter to the Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair, Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, over 250 Democrats thanked the leader for her success this year in expanding voting rights and increasing the amount of Democratic votes. 

The first signature is from Mayor-elect Eric Adams, a Brooklyn Dem himself. “Our work together played a major role in our election of Brooklyn-based Democratic candidates for the city-wide, state-wide and federal offices of the Mayor, Comptroller and Public Advocate, Attorney General, and Senate Majority Leader. The most diverse and largest borough in NYC now has more leadership that reflects, understands, and is devoted to uplifting all Brooklynites,” the letter reads. 

Despite a series of losses to Republicans, and a brief call for Bichotte Hermelyn’s resignation, the Kings County Democratic Party is looking forward to increased power in the City Council, comptroller’s office, and with the public advocate and mayor. 

The party started by touting its successful partnerships in other states, especially Georgia. PoliticsNY reported on the U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA), who visited the party chair to raise money. Warnock is Georgia’s first Black senator, in a swing state that has been at the center of an intense voting rights conversation. 

At the time, it was estimated that he raised $30-40,000 at one event with Brooklyn Democrats. 

“And, while voting rights are being restricted nationwide, you’ve helped us lead Brooklyn forward, calling on the Board of Elections to explain the board’s role and enacting solutions to meet the demand for absentee ballots,” the group wrote. 

The Brooklyn Dems also hosted the first citywide candidate debates of the election season. At the top of the year, they had live debates for the NYC mayoral, comptroller and Brooklyn borough president candidates, hosted by Errol Luis, a political analyst and journalist. 

At that time, they were focused on “driving up early interest and engagement in the races where, in Brooklyn, we witnessed Democratic votes increase by two-fifths when compared to the 2013 primary election,” they said. 

According to Gotham Gazette’s initial look at voter turnout in the 2021 primary, “turnout among Democratic voters was higher, with close to 25% of the city’s 3.77 million registered Democratic voters casting ballots, either in-person or by mail,” where Adams secured his victory and made it to the general election. 

As the head of the Brooklyn Dems, Bichotte Hermelyn advocates for the priorities of the party in her role as state assemblymember for the 42nd district (Flatbush, Midwood). Last year, she wrote and successfully passed legislation related to maternal health care—And this year, she followed up with another bill requiring insurance policies to provide coverage for more specific maternal health screenings. 

“We will continue to relentlessly focus on improving and uplifting the lives of all Brooklynites.

Nothing will get in the way of our united Brooklyn Democracy,” the Dems wrote.