Dominican-born Candidate Strives for Civil Court Seat

Brooklyn Civil Court judge candidate Patria Frias-Colón visits Brooklyn Daily Eagle. (Photo by John Alexander via Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Dominican-born Patria Frias-Colón, the Brooklyn borough chief of the Family Court Division of the New York City Law Department, is running in the Sept. 12 primary for one of five open seats in Brooklyn Civil Court. Brooklyn Daily Eagle’s John Alexander interviews the candidate who, if successful, would be the first Dominican-born Civil Court judge in Brooklyn.

Frias-Colón recalled memories of growing up in a Bushwick tenement apartment after arriving in the U.S. and starting first grade.

When we got here from the Dominican Republic, that was a very huge change in what we were used to seeing. And although we grew up modest there, I never realized how poor we were until we came here. (…)

When asked how the obstacles she endured as a child influenced her decision to pursue a career in law, Frias-Colón responded:

Two reasons: I remember being in my first-grade bilingual class at P.S. 274 in Bushwick. They had a corner library there in each class. One of the books on the shelf was a picture book about professions. The cover photo said lawyer and it had a woman’s face on it.  I thought a woman can become a lawyer. That was my first recognition that we could do anything that we set our minds to.

You know, growing up I watched TV shows like “Perry Mason,” and there were no women lawyers; the judges were not women and certainly not people of color. So [seeing the book] was my first exposure. That planted the seed in my head.  And while growing up, we had to change apartments periodically because the landlords wouldn’t give us heat, or we would lose hot water. And I always remember my mother being so diligent about paying her rent because she didn’t want us to be forced out of a home. (…)

Why did the attorney decide to run for a Civil Court seat? How is Frias-Colón involved with the community? What would she bring to the bench? Read more on the candidate in the full story at Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

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