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ABOUT US

In 2006 a group of friends in Palm Beach County (PBC) in Florida formed the Coalition of Haitian American Diaspora (CHAD) to become more informed on civic issues, to evaluate candidates for elective office and, to encourage civic and voter participation among the Haitian Diaspora.  Therefore, when the founding members of DHACF created in 2010 a political organization to expand outreach from PBC to all 67 counties of Florida, they were standing on the shoulders of many activists and visionaries before them!  DHACF founders had all been members of the United Haitian American Democratic Club of PBC which had existed several years prior under the leadership of the late Mr. Jacques Lafontant, and is currently guided by Dr. Marc Lafallaise.  In this Club we learned the processes and procedures of the County and State Democratic Parties, and gained a seat as Recording Secretary on the PBC Democratic Executive Committee (DEC). That experience encouraged us to seek political support among decision makers for the issues we felt were most important to our community, including: (1) a halt to the arbitrary deportation of Haitians, (2) increasing Temporary Protective Status (TPS) designations, and (3) enforcing Family Reunification Policies in accordance with existing US immigration laws.  We also wanted to encourage Haitian Americans to run for elective office and become decision makers themselves!  

Thereafter we were invited in 2007 to form a PBC Chapter of the Democratic Caribbean Caucus of Florida (DCCF) founded by Dr. Thomas Pinder. DCCF is currently headed by Mr. Glenn Joseph. In 2008 Ms. Evelyn Garcia was elected the first Haitian American member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Later that year, Mr. Guy E. Garcia and Ms. Evelyn Garcia were elected by the DNC as PBC Delegates and they voted in Denver to elect President Barack Obama.  In 2010 the Democratic Haitian American Democratic Caucus of Florida (DHACF) received its own Charter from the Florida Democratic Party (FDP), and increased its membership throughout the State of Florida. Founding members of DHACF included Mr. Frantz Lassegue, Dr. Gerard Cols, Mr. Ford Eloge, Mr. Gabriel Toussaint, Mr. Guy Garcia, Ms. Evelyn Garcia and others.  Simultaneously, many Haitian Democratic Clubs were organized and active in their respective cities and counties. DHACF was the first state-wide Haitian Caucus in Florida and Ms. Evelyn Garcia elected its first president.

 

DHACF elected its second President, Dr. Larry Pierre, in 2013 and greatly expanded its influence in Miami-Dade and in Washington, D.C.  Dr. Pierre and the next DHACF President, Dr. Cassandra Arnold—elected in 2018, organized yearly delegations to Democratic Party conferences and events in Tallahassee, Miami, Orlando and Washington, D.C. where workshop panels, discussion groups and presenters informed hundreds of audience participants on issues important to Haitians in the Diaspora and living in Haiti.  Among these delegations were members of the Haitian Chamber of Commerce of Florida, the Haitian Nurses’ Association, the Haitian Lawyers’ Association and Haitian and American elected officials.  Meetings were held with United States Senators, US House of Representatives members, agencies such as the US Department of State (USAID) and others.  These activities continued until the Covid-19 pandemic shutdowns.

 

Going forward, in 2021 Ms. Karine Jean-Pierre was appointed the first Haitian American as Press Secretary for President Joseph Biden.  Then a group of US House of Representative members formed the United States Congress Haiti Caucus.  In the meanwhile, many Haitian Americans have been elected and currently hold office in the Florida House, Florida Senate, City and County Commissioners and Mayor in Florida.  Most recently, in 2022 Ms. Sheila Cherfilus McCormick was elected to represent Florida District 20 in the U.S. House of Representatives.  So, as George Jefferson used to say on his TV show:  “we’re moving on up”! On June 30th 2023, DHACF elected its new officers to revitalize its commitment to serve the best interests of Haitian Americans throughout the 67 Counties of Florida.

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