Address to Greenburgh Democratic Committee
YONKERS, NY — June 2, 2019 — I just came from attending a Gay Pride event. We all should be proud of who we are. I am proud and honored to be here today and ask for your support to be your Democratic Nominee for Westchester County Court Judge.
I an in my twentieth year of Criminal Court practice. I work as a judge in Peekskill – first woman judge ever for Peekskill- and as a public defender for the legal aid society in The Bronx. I bring a balanced perspective to the Court.
Through the New York State office of Court Administration, I have already completed weeks of training for the County Court Judgeship. I’ve trained with both County and State Supreme Court judges through the judicial training institute. I am fully prepared to hit the ground running on day one.
In addition, you may have noticed that I am a woman. I am in fact the only woman running for this office. While most Westchester County residents are women, most judges are not. Though we have miles to go, we persevere. Given our current national political climate we all should strive to place qualified women on the judiciary and in all corridors of power. Would you believe that I think this is an opportunity for us to do just that?
The Democratic Party is in my blood. I literally campaigned for democratic candidates as a toddler and have continued to support democratic candidates throughout my life. My father was mayor of Yonkers before he became a judge. I never imagined I would follow in his footsteps and become a judge. But he instilled service to others, and responsible citizenship in me, and my siblings. My brother is a police officer. We serve the community with pride and integrity. I am compelled by love and rearing to do my part.
As a mother blessed with four children, I know how to manage behavior. My children are the lights of my life, my pride and joy. Raising them helped me to develop a firm voice, a discerning sense and a commanding countenance. In some ways these qualities are transferrable to the court room. I can control a courtroom, and I am an effective and a patient problem solver. I’m proud of my kids’ achievements, and I feel that same pride for those who make progress in my courtroom.
I am optimistic about the criminal justice reforms that passed this year, including bail reform guidelines which I have been using at my discretion for a long time. I believe in restorative justice for both victims and the convicted. Make no mistake, people who do harm to our community must be punished, some severely. But incarceration is not always the solution. One size does not fit all.
You deserve judges who will use all the tools you give them including mental health, and drug treatment, education and job training to reach a just result. The goal of our justice system is a fair, equitable, and just society. I will do just that. Real justice takes work.
I am Judge Melissa A. Loehr and I humbly ask for your support.
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SOURCE: Lou Young, Communications Director