An Excellent Choice As Brooklyn's Deputy Borough President
January 9, 2002
"She will bring her formidable administrative and leadership skills to complement the work of the Borough President."
We couldn't have put it better than Yvette Clarke, a new member of the New York City Council from Brooklyn. Her assessment of Yvonne Graham, Brooklyn's Deputy Borough President, said it all. For Graham, the founder and chief executive officer of the Caribbean Women's Health Association for almost 20 years, possesses the qualities which Marty Markowitz, the Borough President, was looking for when he asked his transition team and the search committee to help him find a suitable person to fill the important job.
He was looking for an intelligent person, preferably a woman with a proven track record of accomplishment in New York City, a person who is sensitive to the cultural and other needs of the various ethnic communities, and a person with strong administrative skills. As an added bonus, she gets on well with people while not being afraid to be firm in order to get things done well and on time.
As head of CWHA, Graham directed the fortunes of a Brooklyn institution, which has made a name for itself in the City and the country as a whole as an organization that knows how to deliver excellent services, be they in health, immigration or other areas.
Although she isn't a professional politician and is therefore unaccustomed to descending into the trenches and in the often murky political waters of Brooklyn, she understands the Borough and will, as Council-member Clarke asserted, complement Markowitz' enormous political skills.
In essence, the new Borough President has chosen well. His gain is CHWA's loss.
The new Deputy Borough President, a Jamaican by birth and an American by naturalization is perhaps the first person born in the Caribbean to be appointed to that position. Her ascension to the job is an indication that Markowitz understands how he was elected in the first place and that he wants to pay a debt and a tribute to the West Indians who played a major role in putting him in office