News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Nov. 7, 2017: A Jamaican roots former political worker turned non-profit worker will face-off again against a Haitian-born City Councilmember in Brooklyn, NY general elections today, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017.
Flatbush-born Brian Cunningham, a former aide to New York State Senator Kevin Parker and chief-of-staff of Councilmember Laurie Cumbo is challenging Haitian-born incumbent Councilmember Mathieu Eugene for the 40th Councilmatic district seat.
Eugene, the first Haitian to be elected to New York City Council, has been a fixture in the Brooklyn Haitian community since his history-making election a decade ago. At the time he replaced Yvette Clarke on the council following her congressional win.
Many of his critics claim he has not been as effective as Grenadian American Jumanee Williams for the seat. During his 10 years of office Eugene passed seven bills compared to Williams who passed 41 bills in eight years.
Cunningham believes it’s time for a change.
“Everyone had a great sense of pride, dignity and satisfaction when Eugene was elected in 2007. We had great hopes for what his victory meant to the Caribbean Diaspora and to Haitians specifically,” Cunningham told the Haitian Times recently. “However, his success became a footnote in history. I commend that footnote, but there’s more history that can be made and I want to be a part of that continuity.”
During the Democratic primary election Eugene had a narrow win over Cunningham with 41 percent of the vote, while Cunningham received 30 percent. Eugene showed up late for a debate with Cunningham Sunday.
Cunningham is now running as a candidate under the Reform Party on the Nov. 7th ballot today. City Council District 40 is made up of parts of Flatbush, Ditmas Park, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Kensington, Midwood and Prospect Park South.