Jovan has two main advantages entering the political arena: a law degree and veteran status for having spent more than four (4) years in the United States Army. But the road to Boston's City Hall this fall will be long and difficult for Jovan Lacet, this native of Gros Morne, Artibonite (Haiti). He arrived at the age of 4 in Massachusetts with his parents in 1969.
This 50-year old lawyer will be in the primaries on Sept. 8, 2015 with three (3) other Democrats: Andrea Joy Campbell; Terrance J. Williams, who ran unsuccessfully in 2013; and Calvin Charles Yancey representing District 4 in the Boston City Council since 1983 for 16 consecutive terms. To earn his ticket to the final election on Tuesday, November 3 elections, Mr. Jovan Lacet must gain the votes of African-American and Caribbean communities as well as the Haitian-American electorate living in the neighborhoods of Mattapan and Dorchester that make up District 4. Securing the Haitian-American vote should be fairly easily accessible as Lacet is the only Haitian candidate in these primaries, however, the absence of organized institutions and groups, will make the task more difficult for Lacet. And to think that he will not be able to rely on the only elected Haitian-American in Massachusetts.
"They are all Democrats. Unable to make a choice,” may say “our Queen”… Jean-Claude Sanon, a Boston City Councillor candidate in District 5 in 2013, had a bitter experience facing off against Tim McCarthy, the current District 5 Councillor. In the state of Massachusetts in general, and in the small republic of Boston in particular, one should seek to enter the political arena with caution. It is a closed circle, dominated by families, extreme powerful interest groups that protect, help each other and make every effort to block potential "political infidels."
Over the past 10 years, it is clear that many Haitian-Americans are more regularly headed to the polls during local and national elections without being necessarily politically active. One just needs to be reminded of the unconditional support given to Deval Patrick, Linda Dorcéna Forry, Martin J. Walsh, Ayanna Pressley, Michelle WU, and more recently, Charlie Baker. And after the elections, we simply take pictures with those we elected so that we can post them on Facebook. And to think that we live in one of the friendliest states for immigrants. Having had the opportunity to see the work of most of these politicians, it is not that they are lacking a desire to assist the Haitian community. Rather, those who circulate in the orbit of these officials are simply happy to merely be in the presence of such officials. Oh, what an honor! What joy to be in the company of Mr. Mayor, the Governor… It is their way of having achieved the American Dream – the Haitian way. We love to be close to political leaders.
As a result, the Haitian community is treading water. Non-profit organizations, that provide much needed quality care in various areas (health, technology, social services, etc.) to our most vulnerable and new immigrants, are now facing all kinds of difficulty, while a dirty war of "leadership" in the Haitian community is brought to light at every community meeting. " State of Haitian Americans in Massachusetts Conference" announced exclusively and curiously since last April on the Boston Haitian Reporter website is scheduled for September 12, 2015. This conference should provide an opportunity for all sectors of the community to give voice to their particular needs and opinions. Our advice to all: Do not leave the field open to the flatteres.