Patria Frias-Colón, First Dominican-Born Brooklyn Judge, Sworn In

Hon. Patria Frias-Colón (left) was installed by Hon. Jenny Rivera (right), of the NYS Court of Appeals, with her husband Robert Colón (center) looking on. (Photo by Rob Abruzzese via Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Patria Frias-Colón became the first Dominican-born Civil Court judge in Brooklyn on Jan. 18 after her swearing-in ceremony at a “Community Celebration” at the Brown Memorial Baptist Church in Clinton Hill. Brooklyn Daily Eagle’s Rob Abruzzese covered the event.

Among the more than 200 in attendance were fellow judges, public officials and political leaders, including the chairman of the Brooklyn Democratic Committee, the Hon. Frank Seddio.

“About a year and a half ago, I met with our Hispanic district leaders and I said that we need to do something to get more Hispanics on the bench,” Seddio said. “There was a shrinking number occurring, not because they were leaving, but because they were being promoted. We agreed to do that and worked hard.”

The first elected judge of Dominican heritage in the U.S., the Hon. Faviola Soto of the NYS Court of Claims, also spoke:

“I’m here to pass on the gavel to a new generation. I know that Patria will provide justice to everyone who appears before her regardless of race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation and immigration status.”

The Hon. Evelyn Laporte, of the Brooklyn Supreme Court, commented: “That was not an election, that was a movement.” For more on what she meant, how “Brooklyn’s judiciary has seen a lot of firsts recently,” and more details from the event – including the three national anthems performed, and a rap performance by Frias-Colón’s husband – go to Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Also go to Kings County Politics for more on Frias-Colón’s background and the celebration.

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