The selection of New York Supreme Court judges is traditionally handled by political appointees. We don’t like the fact that this process normally happens without voters knowing about it. We believe we all deserve to VOTE for who’s picking the Supreme Court judges. Supreme Court judges in New York can dramatically affect all of our lives. Normally, no one runs against the political appointees and their names for Judicial Delegates don’t often appear on the ballot. You might not even know Supreme Court judges are being selected!
That’s exactly how it always works, and we think this should change and be more transparent to voters.
These candidates are regular Brooklyn people who want to open up this closed system. They want all voters to know more about how our Supreme Court Judges are appointed, and they want the voice of our neighbors to be included in this process.
Please meet the candidates for 2021’s Democratic Judicial Convention from Assembly District 50!
JUDICIAL DELEGATE CANDIDATES
Emile Bazile – AD 50 Male District Leader
Jessica Baker Vodoor– ADC 50 Chairperson
Jessica Baker Vodoor has lived in NYC since 1998 and has called Brooklyn home since 2006. She is a member of the Kings County Democratic Committee, New Kings Democrats and is the Chairperson for the 50th Assembly District Committee. Jessica has served twice previously as a Judicial Delegate and Alternate Judicial Delegate, and she is determined to see the Judicial Selection process improve. As a community activist, she is passionate about improving the Democratic party, and has organized with #RepYourBlock, The Vision Project, and was a member of the campaign team for Emily Gallagher’s 2020 run for New York State Assembly. Jessica has a Masters in Public Administration from CUNY’s Baruch College.
A North Brooklyn resident since 2006, Lisa is currently the Director of Advocacy and Education with Newtown Creek Alliance, where she is focused on restoration efforts, urban ecology, and environmental justice. Prior to working for NCA, she spent a number of years working for the New York City Council as a legislative aide with special focus on North Brooklyn and it’s myriad environmental issues. Currently, she serves as the NY Co-Chair for the NY/NJ Harbor Estuary Program’s Community Advisory Council, on both the Steering and Technical Committees for the EPA’s Newtown Creek Superfund Community Advisory Group (CAG), is an active member of Mt. Sinai’s Transdisciplinary Center on Early Environmental Exposures, Stakeholder Advisory Board, Co-Chair of North Brooklyn Neighbors Board of Directors, and is active in the North Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s Environmental Initiative Committee. Lisa has a degree in Earth and Environmental Science from Brooklyn College, loves her community garden La Casita Verde in Los Sures Williamsburg, and is a cycling advocate.
Jack J. Drury
Elana Ehrenberg has lived in Greenpoint for the past 4 years and North Brooklyn for the last 8. Elana is the Program Manager at Design Trust for Public Space, a non-profit focused on public space equity and accessibility. Her background is in community engagement and has previously worked at NYC Ferry and the NYC Council. Elana would like to see a more transparent and democratic judicial system, one that is non-partisan and voted in by the general public.
Aruna is a mother of three and a resident of Wallabout in the Clinton Hill/Navy Yard area.
A native New Yorker, Michele graduated from Pitzer College in Southern California, where she majored in Environmental Studies and minored in Gender and Feminist Studies. She’s the Director of Programming and Events at Brooklyn Grange rooftop farm and has been a Brooklyn resident since 2013. Michele is a Kings County Committee member, former Secretary of the 50th Assembly District Committee, and an active member of New Kings Democrats. She gets excited talking about curbside composting, and if you have a dog, she’s probably stopped you on Graham Ave. to pet it!
Daeha Ko is a local community activist in Greenpoint and resident since 2012. A graduate of the University of Washington in Seattle, he is a member of Kings County Committee and the 50th Assembly District Committee. An IT specialist and web developer, Daeha sits on the steering committee of the People’s Tech Alliance, an NYC-based civic tech organization that incubates technologies co-created with grassroots progressive advocates, coalitions, and organizations.
Eric was born and raised in NYC and presently is serving his fifth term on Kings County Committee. He was elected as Judicial Delegate in 2019 and attended the Kings County Judicial Convention. He is a North Brooklyn community activist, and he serves as the Director of Operations at North Brooklyn Progressive Democrats. Eric is running because he believes we deserve judges who answer to the community and are elected by the community, not the Brooklyn Democratic party machine.
Kevin LaCherra is a proud 4th generation Greenpointer and an archivist for NY State. His family has been on Meserole Avenue since 1899. He has recently been involved with fighting the North Brooklyn Pipeline, for safer streets and public space under the BQE, and in building and growing the North Brooklyn Mutual Aid Network. He’s excited to get to work shining a light on how we pick our judges.
My name is Waleska Layes but most people know me as Wally. I’m 59 years old and married to Dave Ocaña . I’m Puerto Rican born and raised in the south side known also Los Sures. I was fortunate enough to even go to school in the neighborhood too. I retired from a city job which I worked 23 years in the NYPD as a civilian 911 caller taker/dispatcher/ Spanish interpreter where I had the opportunity to meet and interact with wonderful individuals that made a wonderful impact. That led me to get involved with DC37 Local 1549 where I was a delegate and shop steward for 16 years. I was on the board for 2 terms too, which I loved. I made ways to get involved in other organizations such as a NYPD Hispanic organization where I also was a delegate for 2 terms. I’m currently involved with the CB1, 94 Pct counsel monthly meeting, North Brooklyn Progressive Democrats, New Kings Democrats, and I’m a mentor for teenagers at the Grand Street Campus HS. I run a tenant association, which I’m the chair person. I’m an elected official of the office of county community at District 50. I love to travel, shop, watch movies, go camping, listen to music (specially salsa), try different kind of foods, and hang out on the beach. I love animals (especially dogs) which I have 3 and also have a parrot. I’m a grandma of 2 beautiful grandkids. Once in while, I like to babysit kids too.
Julie Torres Moskovitz
She believes in justice and equity for all and knows that both our justice system needs reform, and our Democratic Party in Brooklyn needs more transparency. Julie understands the importance of participation in local, state, and federal politics. She is principal and founder of Fete Nature Architecture (FNA), a sustainable and resiliency focused architecture firm in Williamsburg. She teaches a seminar on Eco Urban Systems at Syracuse University Architecture at the Fisher Center NYC Campus and teaches trainings at the AIA Center for Architecture to architects in understanding Local Laws – such as Local Law 97. Since 2000 she has lived in Williamsburg with her husband who is an NYC public school teacher and organizer of our annual block party. We have a 17-year-old son who is born and raised in Williamsburg. Julie is a co-chair of her tenant association and served for 3 years on the NYC Loft Law Board (completing her service on 03.25.21) as a public member. She is a County Committee member for her block and was a Judicial Delegate in 2020. She is on her son’s high school School Leadership Team (SLT) for 2021-2022 as a senior parent delegate alternate. She is a life-long activist and is on the Advisory Board for the Street Vendor Project and active in the AIA Committee on the Environment, New King Democrats, and as a participant in AD50 community meetings.
Andano “Dave” Ocaña
My name is Andano David Ocaña, but my friends call me Dave. I was born in Manhattan and raise in the Bronx. I moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn where I now reside with the love of my life in 2007. I have 2 children and I’m also a proud grandfather of 2 beautiful grandchildren. I retired from the NYPD in 2006 after serving 20 years in the city I love the most ( NYC) as a transit police officer, and finished my career with the NYPD. I’m also a retired veteran of 23 years with the US Army as a Sergeant First Class. I was also involved in a youth organization called (UDC) Uptown Development Coalition in the Bronx. It was an NCAA Sanctioned league/organization. Our motto was Building Character through Sports. We ran a Basketball league with of up to 75 – 80 teams. Now that I’m retired in my present time, I’m involved in numerous community organizations such as Community Board 1, 94 Pct Community Council, North Brooklyn Progressive Democrats and New Kings Democrats. I’m also an Elected Official with the Office of County Committee in the 50th district of Brooklyn. I’m a mentor at the Grand Street Campus H.S. where we talk to young students and help prepare them for the next very important steps in their lives.
Françoise Olivas wears many hats: avid environmentalist, vocal community organizer, Judicial Delegate, small business owner, mom. Born in El Paso, Texas and raised in Washington, D.C., Françoise decided she would move to NYC to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology at six years old. That dream came true in 1992, and she’s lived here ever since. In the aftermath of 9/11, Françoise left her career in advertising to seek another degree from FIT in fashion design. Her goal? To bring sustainability to the business of fashion, through increased diversity and inclusivity, fair labor, and fair trade. Throughout her career, Françoise has made it her mission to elevate marginalized communities, and advocate for the environment. Her real love is Brooklyn, the first place that ‘ever felt like home,’ where she has lived for the last 17 years. Françoise is active in the local community: she organizes for local North Brooklyn food pantries, and advocates for small businesses, women’s rights, open space and clean parks. The birth of her daughter in 2017 was a call to action: ‘As a community, there’s so much we could be doing in our own backyard. I want to ensure that my daughter’s generation grows up in the fair and just society that we keep hoping exists.’ Françoise, herself a woman of color, believes that not only must more women be elected to higher office, but specifically more mothers. Of the many inequities highlighted by the pandemic, mothers have been hit especially hard. Says Françoise, ‘working mothers are being left behind.’
Summer Sullivan Walker
Summer has lived in New York City since 2005 and in Greenpoint since 2013, with time also lived overseas. She is a member of the Kings County Democratic Committee. Ms. Walker focuses on global criminal justice agendas and writes on issues ranging from drug policy to cybercrime. In her role as New York Representative for the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, she engages with the United Nations community and government missions to bring research, analysis and innovative approaches to multilateral policy debates.
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