Nicole Paultre Bell
Yesterday evening I had the opportunity to meet Nicole Paultre Bell. For those of you not from New York, Nicole is the widow of Sean Bell who was shot to death by the police the day of their wedding in 2006. Though the police were acquitted, Ms. Bell recently won a civil suit and was awarded $3.25 million for the couple’s two children. Vindication if not justice.
Usually I don’t answer my door in the evenings but I figured it may be the UPS with a package so I called out who’s there and Ms. Bell’s small voice rang out clear and true. Nicole is running for City Council District 28, the seat was made vacant by the death of Mr. Thomas White this summer. I opened my door to a petite smiling young woman full of charisma and charm.
Normally political candidates, even the Black ones, don’t impress me at all. I’m not an “Endorser of most folks I see running for political office, especially the charlatans and conmen within my own community. I can count the ones who made a positive impression on me on one hand; Shirley Chisholm, 1972, Jesse Jackson, 1984, and of course President Barack Obama, 2008. However just our brief ten minute conversation at my door and I was intrigued by this young widow who could have remained in victim status but despite not having experience in political office has decided to throw her hat in the ring and go for it. Even though like every Southeast Queens resident I knew the particulars of her case I was moved by the fact Nicole goes on, moves forward even through tragedy and grief. She chose not to wallow in what happened to her beloved fiancé.
It’s not so much what was said during our conversation but how she presented herself. What words would I use to describe meeting with and speaking to Nicole Paultre Bell; heart, gumption, spunk, confidence, knowledgeable. As for the criticisms that she doesn’t have a track record of experience, well neither did Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Long Island), who was prompted to run for political office after her husband was killed and her son injured by a gunman on the LIRR. Maybe we need someone young, fresh and a bit idealistic who has not been corrupted by the system and who is not part of the current political machine.
Also Nicole Paultre Bell is only 26. This young woman could easily have been my daughter, her children my grandchildren. I’m amazed by the poise and grace of this young woman and Nicole Paultre Bell has my vote. Who knows folks we may be looking at the next Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm. From small beginnings come great things.