North Brooklyn District Leader-elect Kristina Naplatarski on Tuesday announced her choice of Emile Bazile to take over the vacated male district leader seat in the 50th Assembly District.
“As a lifelong resident of Southside Williamsburg with a strong track record of public service, Bazile has a deep understanding of the 50th Assembly District and is committed to serving the needs of its diverse constituencies,” Naplatarski said in a statement Sept. 8.
Naplatarski chose Bazile — a staffer for outgoing local assemblyman Joe Lentol — to fill the low-level office vacated by Nick Rizzo, who failed to qualify for the June 23 primary after several of his petition signatures to get on the ballot were challenged in court.
Bazile, 24, is the son of Haitian immigrants and grew up in the New York City Housing Authority complex at Berry and S. Ninth Street in southern Williamsburg. If the Brooklyn Democratic Party confirms his appointment this fall, he will be the first Black male district leader in the 50th AD, which encompasses Greenpoint, Williamsburg, the Navy Yard, and slices of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.
The young politico, who works in constituent services for Lentol, said he was excited to join Naplatarski to tackle local issues like affordable housing and environmental justice, but also on making the Kings County Democratic County Committee, as the borough’s party is formally known, more transparent and accountable to Brooklynites.
“I envision working with my co-leader as a community advocate, drawing attention to issues affecting the district such as housing affordability, environmental justice, and insufficient infrastructure to accommodate our district’s unprecedented growth,” said Bazile. “I also want to focus on conducting outreach to underrepresented portions of the district to ensure that voices who are often marginalized are heard and served.”
Each Brooklyn assembly district has one male and female representative who serve as the governing body of the county’s Democratic party.
Usually, district leaders fill vacant co-leader seats without much public input, but Naplatarski chose to open up the process by holding an almost two-hour virtual public forum with other county committee members of the northern district and the public on Aug. 26, Bklyner reported.
The seven candidates had to fill out a questionnaire and make their case before the forum, and Naplatarski, who lives in Greenpoint, said she opted for Bazile because she was intent on choosing a person of color from the far side of the district who also shared her goals for local issues and party reform.
“Greenpoint and north Williamsburg are very active in local organizing and county committee, so I wanted someone who was from the southern part of the district,” she said.
Naplatarski, a 25-year-old communications staffer for Bushwick Councilman Antonio Reynoso, handily bested 36-year incumbent Linda Minucci for the seat along with a slate of candidates who ran for the unpaid position on party reform platforms.
Bazile and Naplatarski will formally assume office at this year’s fall Brooklyn Democratic Party meeting of its full rank-and-file membership, which has yet to be scheduled.
The newcomer’s choice garnered support from high-ranking democrats, including Brooklyn Democratic Party boss, Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte, who said Bazile “will soon be nominated.”
“I look forward to building a relationship with our new district leaders in the 50th Assembly District, while serving the people of Brooklyn side by side,” Bichotte said. “Naplatarski is truly remarkable in her steadfast goals to help the Kings County Democratic Party be as transparent and democratic as it can be.”
Editor’s note: Nick Rizzo writes a weekly column for Brooklyn Paper.