Cuban-born Law Clerk Runs for Civil Court Judge Seat

Connie Mallafre Melendez

Ahead of the Sept. 12 NYC primaries, Brooklyn Daily Eagle’s John Alexander speaks to Connie Mallafre Melendez, a candidate running in the Democratic primary for Civil Court judge in Kings County, about her immigrant background and what has influenced her to pursue a career in law.

Melendez arrived in the U.S. from Cuba at 2 years old with her family, first living in Miami before settling in Union City, New Jersey.

When asked whether her immigrant background “brings something new and unique to the bench that has been missing,” Melendez says:

Yes, I bring an awareness that everyone must be treated equally and with respect. When I was first learning English, my peers made fun of me because I didn’t speak properly and had a thick accent.  My teachers thought that I was cognitively challenged and [I was] placed in a special [education]. class until they realized that the problem was that I didn’t know the language. Language may be a stumbling block to many coming to court.  Equally important to me is that everyone, irrespective of race, creed and sexual orientation, is treated fairly and with dignity.

What does she want to bring to the Latino community? How have the challenges she faced in her life pushed her to excel? And why has she hesitated to visit Cuba? Find out in the full interview at Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

Melendez, along with 10 other candidates in the primary, is running for one of five open seats. An opponent, Patria Frias-Colón, also spoke to Brooklyn Daily Eagle about how being an immigrant has shaped her life.

Check out City Limits for information on each of the candidates.

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