Get To Know J.R.
I was born in New York City. My father, a Haitian diplomat, worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. My father was my hero. He was the Consul General and represented Haiti to the UN, Germany, and Japan. I grew up listening to his booming speeches and trying to emulate the sound of his voice. He started off every speech with "Mesdames et messieurs, Bonsoir".
I grew up in Hamburg, Germany, Tokyo, Japan, and Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I'm a graduate of the University of Hartford, and I'm currently finishing up a Master’s in International Relations from Harvard. I am fluent in English, French, Haitian Creole, and conversational Spanish and Italian.
Growing up a Gaillot (GUY-OH), I was taught three things.
Partake in the work, and build a life to be proud of, Celebrate your accomplishments and the accomplishments of those around you, and fiercely Protect that life and those accomplishments.
When I was 16, my father and I visited Washington DC. I was a semi-professional tennis player and Arthur Ashe was leading a protest at the South African Embassy against Apartheid. I joined in that protest and was detained along with 46 others. I will never forget that moment.
After Tennis, I started out as a counselor setting up halfway houses and later talked my way into an internship for Senator Lowell P. Weicker. 30 years later I have never forgotten the teachings of my father or the lessons of the men I looked up to.
The job of the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services is to Partake, Celebrate, and Protect. Partake in building the Ag Industry and growing small businesses. It is about celebrating and promoting their accomplishments and
it is about protecting people.
I've seen firsthand what predatory practices like Identity Theft can do. I've navigated the nightmare of systems that do not help victims, only perpetrators, and I've seen and protested injustice. Because of those experiences, I plan to use the full power of the office to fight for those with little or no power and to go after those who stand in the way of us living a better life.