Hundreds of people gathered Saturday night at South Shore Haitian Adult Day Health on Centre St., where Jean Bradley Derenoncourt, former Massasoit student, announced his bid for Brockton City Council.
Mayor Bill Carpenter, of Brockton, was in attendance, among a number of other State Senators, Representatives, local politicians and a host of activists, journalists, and citizens.
Carpenter, addressing the large crowd of supporters, touted Derenoncourt as not only an “American success story” and a “Haitian-American success story,” but also a “Brockton success story.”
Derenoncourt immigrated to the U.S. from Haiti following the earthquake that ravaged the small island nation in 2010. He learned English through an ESL program offered at the Brockton Public Library, graduated from Massasoit Community College, and recently earned his Bachelor’s from Suffolk University.
But Jean Bradley Derenoncourt, 26, is just getting started.
Currently a staff member for MA state Senator Michael D. Brady, Derenoncourt launched his campaign for Councilor at-large exactly one year after obtaining his American citizenship. In just a few years, Derenoncourt has interned with the likes of former Brockton Mayor Linda Balzotti, and former MA Governor Deval Patrick.
Extra chairs were brought in as the speakers began issuing praise and support for the new candidate.
In attendance, in addition to the Mayor, were other local lawmakers including Councilmember Tim Cruise, State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, and Jean Bradley’s boss and mentor Michael D. Brady, among others.
Derenoncourt capped off the evening with a rousing speech which stressed the importance of unity. The idea of “one Brockton,” he stressed, was essential in moving forward in this time of divisiveness.
“I want to give back to the city,” he said. “I want to give back to the city which has given so much to me.”
At the top of his agenda are education reforms, including strengthening the city’s ESL program.
Several lawmakers, including the Mayor, referred to themselves at the event as the present, calling candidates like Derenoncourt “the future.”
Former Brockton City Councilor Jass Stewart, while addressing the crowd asked, what he feels, is always a significant question in politics.
“Who are the emerging leaders?” he asked.
Jean Bradley and his team hope he was right when he answered, “it all starts here.”