Jean Bradley Derenoncourt is the first Haitian-American elected to public office in Brockton, taking one of the four at-large seats on the 11-person Brockton City Council during last Tuesday’s citywide election.
Derenoncourt launched his campaign for the Brockton City Council on Feb. 11th, the one-year anniversary of his obtaining U.S. citizenship. On Tuesday, Nov. 7th, he won with 5,250 vote to finish fourth in a field of eight candidates.
Derenoncourt said he credits his victory to the large group of volunteers that he assembled, with a team headed by campaign manager Jared Gilpatrick, who taught the city councilor-elect history when he attended Massasoit Community College.
“I won that race on my own with my team,” Derenoncourt told the Enterprise. “I say thank you to everybody who came to help me out. It was a team effort.”
He did not get the support he hoped for from established politicians in Brockton but he said his campaign also shows that candidates can run a campaign free of negative campaigning and still succeed.
Derenoncourt was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and spent his childhood on the Haitian island of Gonave. After the devastating earthquake in 2010, he immigrated to the United States and settled in Brockton.
He learned to speak English, before enrolling at Massasoit Community College, where he was a Commonwealth Honors Scholar and earned his Associates Degree and a Certificate in Criminal Justice. In 2015, he received the Green Key Award, the school’s highest honor, for his civic engagement and unselfish service both to Massasoit and to the greater community.
In 2016 he graduated with Distinction from Suffolk University.
In his short time in the United States, Jean Bradley has done significant public service work for the City of Brockton and the Commonwealth. He worked as an intern for former Mayor Linda Balzotti, and as an intern in the Constituent Services office for former Governor Deval Patrick.
He served as a staff member for State Senator Michael D. Brady of Brockton and was instrumental in the campaign for earned sick time for workers in the Commonwealth in his position as Regional Field Director for Raise Up Massachusetts. He also served as an organizer for the Coalition for Social Justice.
During his time at Massasoit, he served on the Board of Trustees, and as a Trustee for the Brockton Public Library, a position appointed by the Mayor.