As Democratic State Committeeman, I'm proud to endorse the following candidates in the June 25th, 2019, Democratic Primary
Farah Louise for New York City Council - District 45
Public service, workers’ rights and community empowerment are passions that Farah inherited from her family. Both of her parents were Caribbean immigrants from Haiti who worked on behalf of their community: Farah’s mother as a long-time healthcare professional and 1199 member; her father as a law enforcement professional and later a yellow cab driver.
And both left Farah with a sense of service for her community and the absolutely critical role that unions play in helping people who work for little pay to achieve a stable, middle class life in our City.
Farah holds a Masters in Public Administration, from New York University Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and a Bachelors in English from Long Island University. Farah is also a proud product of the New York City public school system, attending Midwood High School in the heart of Flatbush.
In pursuit of public service, Farah is the Deputy Chief of Staff and Budget Director for Council Member Jumaane Williams (Council District 45). In this role, she represents the Council Member with the district’s faith community; coordinates amongst not-for-profits in receipt of city funding to ensure services are delivered for constituents; oversees the constituent services operations for the district office; and manages participatory budgeting submissions from community groups for the annual City Council budget process. Farah has also developed a number of introductions and legislation to create local laws in her role.
Farah grew in responsibility year after year with Council Member Williams, beginning in his office as Director of Community Outreach. Prior to her time at the New York City Council, Farah spent eight years as a mental health professional and healthcare administrator in Brooklyn, during which she was an active 1199 member.
Along with her service in the Council, Farah has successfully launched a number of aggressive grassroots initiatives with various city agencies, nonprofit organizations and businesses.
She has facilitated workshops across the city and state including Brooklyn and hosted community events with and for various elected officials, including former NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson, then-Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, State Senator Kevin Parker, City Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, Assembly Member Helene Weinstein and Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte.
Farah Louis is the founder of Girls Leading Up (GLU), an organization that offers educational workshops, programs and mentorship opportunities to prepare young women to become emerging global leaders and to ensure young women are mentally, emotionally and skillfully ready to compete in today’s challenging economic market.
In 2018, Farah ran an aggressive campaign and was elected by the Flatbush residents as a Judicial Delegate for the 42nd Assembly District. In her role, she has coordinated judicial workshops to educate community on the judicial process and civil rights in the courts.
For more about Farah Louis visit: https://farahlouis.com/#meetfarah
Caroline Cohen for Civil Court Judge - 6th Judicial District
Caroline Cohen is a civil rights attorney who specializes in workplace discrimination and sexual harassment cases. She has had the honor of protecting the rights of black women and undocumented immigrants facing sexual misconduct. Additionally, she has defended pregnant mothers who have been denied promotions and terminated after returning from leave. Finally, she is also a tenants' rights advocate who has saved elderly tenants from unjust eviction and unlivable conditions.
In 2018, Caroline was named Community Leader of the Year by Brooklyn Young Democrats and, in 2019, a Brooklyn Power Woman by Schneps Media. Cohen is also a member of the Ernest Skinner Political Association and the Shirley Chisholm Democratic Club. She has been endorsed by Assemblymembers Rodneyse Bichotte and Walter Mosley as well City Councilmembers Brad Lander and Laurie Cumbo.
Caroline holds a J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and a Master’s Degree and Bachelor of Arts from New York University. Cohen is a ten-year resident of Ditmas Park-Flatbush where she is raising her family.
For more about Caroline Cohen visit: https://www.cohenforjudge2019.com/
D. Bernadette Neckles, Esq. For Civil Court Judge - Kings County
Bernadette, at an early age, learned the value of education and hard work. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics with Honors from Brooklyn College and her Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree from the University of Miami School of Law. She has been admitted to the practice in the States of New York and Florida.
As a young attorney, Bernadette spent the first four years of her legal career (1998- 2001) in private practice handling civil rights, employment discrimination, landlord- tenant and contract matters. She spent the next eleven years of her legal career (2002-2012) in the Kings County Court System. Starting as a Court Attorney in the Kings County Civil and Criminal Courts, she advanced to a confidential Principal Law Secretary/Legal Adviser to a Kings County, Supreme Court Justice and later to the Administrative Judge of the Kings County Supreme Court, Civil Term.
During her tenure as the judge’s legal advisor, Bernadette counseled and advised the judge on a multitude of legal matters, researched complex issues, drafted hundreds of decisions and orders, mediated and settled cases. She gained a valuable insight into, and the working knowledge of, the powers, duties, and responsibilities of a trial-level judge. In addition, Bernadette assisted the Administrative Judge in the development of court policies and procedures, and in the implementation of new programs for the Kings County Supreme Court, Civil Term.
For the past seven years (2012 to the present), Bernadette has assumed a quasi-judicial role as a Court Attorney Referee in Kings County Supreme Court, Civil Term. She worked in the residential foreclosure part in which she successfully conferenced hundreds of residential foreclosure cases, many of which resulted in affordable loan modifications to homeowners. Bernadette currently handles a heavy caseload of non-jury trials, framed-issue hearings, conferences, and inquests. She issues decisions and orders, as well as reports and recommendations to the judges of her court.
Bernadette’s commitment to the Brooklyn community is illustrated by her extensive pro bono service. She has been volunteering as an arbitrator in the Small Claims Part of Kings County Civil Court for the past fourteen years, where she presides over small claims matters. As an active member in various professional and civil associations, Bernadette participates in, among others, Summer Youth Employment Program, National Read Across America Event, Women in Prison Project, and a number of community forums and legal outreach programs. She mentors students from elementary, intermediate, and high schools. Bernadette was instrumental in organizing at the Kings County Supreme Court an annual summer internship program for law school, college, and high school students from diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds.
Bernadette is a member of highly regarded bar associations, including the American Bar Association, the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers, the Brooklyn Bar Association, the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association, the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York. She is also a member of the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Kings County and of Church Women United, Inc., Brooklyn.
Bernadette has the compassion, qualifications and experience to become a Civil Court Judge in Kings County. She was screened by the Kings County Democratic Judicial Screening Committee and was found “Qualified” to become a Civil Court Judge. Bernadette is committed to serving the residents of Kings County.
For more about D. Bernadette Neckles: https://www.facebook.com/NecklesForJudge2019/
Judge Margarita López Torres for Surrogate Court Judge - Kings County
The passion Judge López Torres feels for serving the public is amply reflected in her professional journey as an educator, attorney and jurist. With 40 years of legal experience, she has enjoyed a career of many “firsts,” personally and professionally, and is the first Latina to be elected to the Civil Court in New York City, the first woman to be elected as Surrogate in Kings County, as well as the first Latinx person to be elected as Surrogate in the State of New York.
Judge LópezTorres moved toBrooklyn fromPuertoRico at age six, growing up inBrownsville and East New York. She began her professional service with MFY Legal Services, ultimately rising to become the managing attorney for its East Harlem Office where she advocated for clients in the areas of public entitlements, immigration, housing and family law.
Following service as an Assistant Corporation Counsel with New YorkCity, where she handled both civil and criminal proceedings, Judge López Torres became Director of Family Law at Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A. In that capacity, she supervised the unit representing litigants in proceedings involving child abuse, neglect, custody, foster care review, termination of parental rights, as well as representing victims of domestic violence. This experience led to her selection in 1990 as Deputy General Counsel in charge of City-wide legal department which represented the Commissioner of Social Services in neglect/abuse, foster care and custody court proceedings and acted as in-house
counsel to Child Welfare Administration. This was under a Mayor and a Commissioner who embraced the goal of keeping families together by providing supportive services, rather than unnecessarily removing children to foster care.
Judge López Torres has over 26 years of judicial experience. She was first elected to the Civil Court in 1992, and re-elected in 2002. During that time, she was assigned to theCivil Court (including the HousingCourt), as well as the Family and Criminal Courts. In 2005, she was elected to Brooklyn’s Surrogate’s Court, bringing her wide breadth of judicial and managerial experience to preside in a court which involves a large staff over multiple departments. In the Surrogate’s Court, she has undertaken many initiatives to make that court more accessible and user-friendly, including opening aHelpCenter, staffed full time with an attorney, to assist self-represented persons. She instituted other reforms to assure that assignments of attorneys are made on the basis of qualification. She has a reputation for running an orderly courtroom where litigants – whether represented or not – are treated with respect, and where matters are handled in a prompt manner. She is currently the longest serving Surrogate’s Court Judge in the greater metropolitan region.
Judge López Torres is actively engaged in judicial and bar association committee work, currently serving as a member of the Surrogate’s Court Advisory Committee, where she recently co-drafted proposed legislation to ensure greater due process rights for persons asserted to be developmentally disabled. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association, theNew York City Bar Association, the Brooklyn Bar Association, the Puerto Rican Bar Association, the BayRidge Lawyers Association, theBrooklynWomen’sBar Association, and the National Lawyers Guild. She is a past member of the Committee on the Legal Needs of the Poor of the City Bar, for whom she co-authored a report on the need to ensure adequate interpreter services in the courts. In addition, she has served on the Family Court and Family Law committee and the Trust and Estate section of the City Bar, the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion of the State Bar Association, the Criminal Court Gender Anti-Bias Committee, and as a board member of the New York Civil Liberties Union and the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families.
In her prior judicial races she was found qualified by every screening panel that has reviewed her credentials, including the Judicial ScreeningCommittee fortheKings CountyDemocraticParty, the Judicial ScreeningCommittee for the Working Families Party, the New York City Bar Association, the Brooklyn Bar Association, the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York, the Puerto Rican Bar Association, the Brooklyn Women's Bar Association, the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, and the Citizens Union. In her race for Surrogate in 2005, she was endorsed by the New York Times, the Daily News, and El Diario.
Judge López Torres is the recipient of a number of awards, including the 2002 Achievement Award from the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration in recognition of her dedication to the public interest, first as an educator and then as an attorney and judge. In 2004 she received the Judicial Excellence Award from the Puerto Rican Bar Association, Women’s Committee, and in 2006 received its President’s Achievement Award. She has twice been selected by El Diario/La Prensa as an Outstanding Latina, and most recently received the President’s Award from the Catholic Lawyers Guild and the Annual Award of the Brooklyn Bar Association in 2018.
Judge López Torres was a licensed New York City teacher and an adjunct professor in the Women’s Rights Litigation Clinic at her alma mater, Rutgers University School of Law. She is proud to belong to a family dedicated to public service through education, as her four siblings have had careers as educators, and her daughter is an assistant principal in a Brooklyn high school. Her son is a lieutenant with the FDNY, and her husband is a legal services attorney and a leader in the prevention of childhood lead poisoning. Her four grandchildren are the joys of her life.
For more Judge López Torres about: https://mlt4surrogate.com/?fbclid=IwAR2YhBV8flKo8iNrks9MgGvociXpfifTYXPwkw4KfVbtLchIxle2LJefZk0