Michaelle Solages became the first person of Haitian descent to be elected to New York State Assembly on November 6. But instead of celebrating, the former photojournalist has been busy helping her Sandy-stricken frustrated neighbors, many of whom are still waiting for power to be restored, in Nassau County’s District 22, reports The Haitian Times.
“It’s bittersweet because I’m taking calls from members of my community who don’t have power, who don’t have gas and are in the cold,” Solages said. “We can’t really celebrate this victory until 100 percent of my county has power.”
While formal victory celebrations are on hold, she was honored for her achievements at The Haitian Roundtable on November 10. During a fete at the Alliance Francaise in Manhattan, over 150 Haitian-American professionals gathered to honor 25 high-achievers and five leaders to watch from the organization’s 1804 List. Solages is the sister of Nassau County Legislator Carrié Solages, who was elected to his seat last year.
“It’s very exciting to see that people in the community are noticing your work, ” [Michaelle] Solages said. “I took a big step in my career, to run for office. And now I’m going to take an even bigger step to serve my community, to bring economic development in our area.”
Solages joins an exclusive club of New York immigrants who ran successful campaigns for seats in the state legislature and Congress this year. Voices of NY reported on winning candidates of Chinese, Korean and Albanian background who, like Solages, broke barriers for their communities in the November 6 elections.
“It’s important to have representation on the state level,” Josue Pierre, who managed Rodneyse Bichotte’s failed campaign for the State Assembly in Brooklyn this year, told The Haitian Times. “It’s about time Haitians in New York have a voice on that level, as Haitians in Florida and Massachusetts do… And when I had a chance to meet Michaelle on her brother’s campaign, it was clear that she was the MVP on that team.”