Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti

Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti

FOROM AYITI : Tèt Ansanm Pou'n Chanje Ayiti.
 
AccueilAccueil  GalerieGalerie  PortailPortail  CalendrierCalendrier  PublicationsPublications  FAQFAQ  RechercherRechercher  S'enregistrerS'enregistrer  MembresMembres  GroupesGroupes  Connexion  

Partagez
 

 Haitian community gaining first foothold on Delray Beach commission

Aller en bas 
AuteurMessage
Sasaye
Super Star
Super Star
Sasaye

Masculin
Nombre de messages : 8250
Localisation : Canada
Opinion politique : Indépendance totale
Loisirs : Arts et Musique, Pale Ayisien
Date d'inscription : 02/03/2007

Feuille de personnage
Jeu de rôle: Maestro

Haitian community gaining first foothold on Delray Beach commission Empty
MessageSujet: Haitian community gaining first foothold on Delray Beach commission   Haitian community gaining first foothold on Delray Beach commission EmptyLun 11 Aoû 2008 - 11:59

Haitian community gaining first foothold on Delray Beach commission
By DON JORDAN
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Sunday, August 10, 2008

DELRAY BEACH — The phone calls haven't stopped for Mack Bernard.

Since his appointment Tuesday to the city commission, the 32-year-old business attorney has been awash in well wishes from city residents and others across the state and even the country.

Bernard will be the first person of Haitian descent to hold elected office in Palm Beach County and one of only about a dozen throughout the entire state.

That distinction, he is well aware, carries with it higher levels of attention and expectation.

"The Haitian community is really part of Delray Beach," Bernard said. "I hope that by them seeing me on the commission, they can feel more involved in the city."

His appointment hints at a shifting dynamic in the Delray Beach community and leadership.

He's young. He's a successful member of the city's Haitian population, which is growing in numbers and political clout. And he lives in the Bexley Park neighborhood, a new city-coordinated workforce housing development designed to keep essential workers - teachers, firefighters, police officers - in Delray Beach.

But Bernard and his supporters are quick to insist that while Bernard is Haitian in background, he will represent all residents.

"This is a person who is committed to the lives of everyone in Delray, and he has demonstrated this by his actions," said Joseph Bernadel, co-founder of Toussaint L'Ouverture, a Delray Beach charter school that serves mostly students of Haitian descent.

Bernadel served with Bernard on a city committee created to identify and find solutions to problems facing the local Haitian communities.

The city's Haitian population began growing in the 1970s and has struggled to have a voice in Delray Beach. The number of Haitians living in the city is unknown, but some estimate it to be a quarter of the population.

Mackenson "Mack" Bernard was born in poverty-ridden Port-au-Prince, Haiti. His mother sent him and his sister to live with a friend in Delray Beach in 1986, when he was only 10.

He enrolled in an ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) program at Pine Grove Elementary. He learned the language and he learned the Southwest neighborhood where he lived.

"I walked to school every day," said Bernard, who moved on to Carver Middle and Atlantic High. "Walking to school, you get to see a lot of things in the community - the good and the bad."

His mother joined him in Delray Beach a year after he left Haiti. He never met his father, who abandoned the family the year he was born.

He began working in sixth grade when he and a dozen other neighborhood kids were hired in the summer to sell newspaper subscriptions door to door. They would leave at 7 a.m. and finish up at 5 p.m. The top sellers each day received a free breakfast or lunch at McDonald's.

Bernard said he won a lot a Happy Meals.

That entrepreneurial spirit followed him through college, where he earned bachelor's degrees in political science and criminal justice at Florida State University in just 21/2 years.

After graduating in 1997, he and three partners opened a closeout shoe store, Macro Shoe Warehouse, in West Palm Beach.

The store eventually moved to Margate but closed soon after Bernard left to study law at the University of Florida. He earned his juris doctorate in 2002 but stuck around another year to complete a master's degree in taxation.

After a brief time practicing law in Lakeland, Bernard moved back to Delray Beach and started a law firm and title company in 2004.

His clients include residents whose homes have gone into foreclosure, a situation that "is not fun to see," Bernard said.

"You're not just an attorney, you're a counselor also," he said. "You can help them and guide them on how to recover and get a fresh start."

The job means long hours, often with little financial reward, said Parnel Auguste, Bernard's law partner and former UF roommate.

"If I was to describe Mack in one word, I would say that he is compassionate," Auguste said. "He will go above and beyond. It is who he is. The results of the client to him are always above the financial reward."

It was those same qualities that Commissioner Fred Fetzer said he saw in his interview with Bernard during the process to appoint a replacement to the seat left empty when former Vice Mayor Brenda Montague resigned last month.

Bernard's term will expire in March. He said he plans to run for election.

The young lawyer will join the group in the midst of a trying budget process. The city is facing a $6 million budget shortfall and the prospect of laying off employees.

But Bernard said he's used to challenges.

He and his wife, Shawn, are expecting a second daughter this month, a sister to 14-month-old Macall.

"God has blessed me to always have a lot of things on my plate," he said. "When I have more on my plate, I tend to be more efficient."

City officials will swear in Bernard during Tuesday's commission meeting at 6 p.m.

But when he offers his pledge, it won't just be his wife, fellow commissioners and the sparse city hall audience looking on, said Joseph Gourgue, a Haitian political activist in Fort Lauderdale who keeps tabs on Haitian political leaders from Florida to New England.

"He is part of a new generation of young people in the Haitian community," Gourgue said. "The whole Haitian diaspora is going to know about Mr. Bernard."


Find this article at:
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/localnews/content/south/epaper/2008/08/10/a1b_bernard_0811.html
Revenir en haut Aller en bas
Voir le profil de l'utilisateur
Rodlam Sans Malice
Super Star
Super Star
Rodlam Sans Malice

Masculin
Nombre de messages : 11114
Localisation : USA
Loisirs : Lecture et Internet
Date d'inscription : 21/08/2006

Feuille de personnage
Jeu de rôle: Stock market

Haitian community gaining first foothold on Delray Beach commission Empty
MessageSujet: Re: Haitian community gaining first foothold on Delray Beach commission   Haitian community gaining first foothold on Delray Beach commission EmptyLun 11 Aoû 2008 - 16:29

Bravoooooo;Congratulations.make us proud.Keep up the good work.Remember the fortune of a good man or a good woman is his/her good name and honor.
Revenir en haut Aller en bas
Voir le profil de l'utilisateur
ed428
Star
Star


Masculin
Nombre de messages : 359
Localisation : USA
Loisirs : Reading
Date d'inscription : 30/01/2008

Feuille de personnage
Jeu de rôle:

Haitian community gaining first foothold on Delray Beach commission Empty
MessageSujet: Re: Haitian community gaining first foothold on Delray Beach commission   Haitian community gaining first foothold on Delray Beach commission EmptyLun 11 Aoû 2008 - 18:38

Kudos to Marc Bernard. "Keep on keeping on" Brother, you're an outstanding role model for the community of Delray beach.
Revenir en haut Aller en bas
Voir le profil de l'utilisateur
Contenu sponsorisé




Haitian community gaining first foothold on Delray Beach commission Empty
MessageSujet: Re: Haitian community gaining first foothold on Delray Beach commission   Haitian community gaining first foothold on Delray Beach commission Empty

Revenir en haut Aller en bas
 
Haitian community gaining first foothold on Delray Beach commission
Revenir en haut 
Page 1 sur 1
 Sujets similaires
-
» Haitian community gaining first foothold on Delray Beach commission
» The Haitian People Need a Lobbyist
» Haitian Deportees Fate Now In The Hands Of Team Obama
» Haitian Activist David Josue's Brazil Tour to Demand Troops Out of Haiti
» Haitian art coming to Huntington Station gallery. Selebrasyon penti ayisyen

Permission de ce forum:Vous ne pouvez pas répondre aux sujets dans ce forum
Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti :: Haiti :: Espace Monde-
Sauter vers: