​The New York State Democratic Primary is coming up on September 13, where residents can cast ballots for District Leaders, State Assembly Members, State Senators, and County Judges.

“It’s the elected officials that really matter for every person in Brooklyn,” Consuelo Mallafre Melendez (a.k.a Connie Melendez) told FGF.

Principal Law Clerk Consuelo Mallafre Melendez is running for Kings County Civil Court Judge, a countywide seat, in the Democratic Primary.

Judges elected to the Civil Court serve 10-year terms. In New York there are 120 Civil Court Judges, about 50 sit in the Civil Court and the rest are assigned to other courts that include Criminal and Family Court.

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MILLER, C (2016, AUGUST 9) Who’s On The Ballot For Democratic Primary Elections: Civil Court Judge?, Fort Green Press., Retreived from http://fortgreenefocus.com/ 

Consuelo Melendez, una abogada de origen cubano, espera ocupar la vacante número 5 en la Corte Civil de Brooklyn, más conocida como Kings County, y avanzar en su deseo este martes 13 cuando se realicen varias elecciones en el estado de Nueva York.

Melendez asegura que su principal motivación al buscar el cargo es seguir ayudando a las comunidades de Kings County.

“Mi participación en el proceso judicial por tantos años me lleva a buscar formar parte del sistema judicial. Cuento con los conocimientos y experiencias para tomar decisiones importantes que afectan a los litigantes de Brooklyn”, aseguró la candidata.

Melendez, quien actualmente se desempeña como directora de asistencia legal de la Corte Suprema del estado, agregó que no olvida aquellos días difíciles que tuvo que pasar desde que llegó a la Gran Manzana y recalcó que ante todo quiere que la gente tenga justicia.

“Entiendo la diversidad de Brooklyn, y a pesar de que pudo haber pasado un largo camino desde que era aquella niña inmigrante que vivió en viviendas públicas, no olvido que mis luchas son las mismas que afectan a muchas personas de esta ciudad”, dijo. “Voy a poner la justicia primero y darle a cada uno la atención y la preocupación que se merece”.

La candidata demócrata tiene un doctorado en jurisprudencia de la escuela de leyes de Brooklyn y otros títulos universitarios en artes y sicología de la Universidad de Rutgers.

En la contienda electoral, Connie Melendez, como es conocida públicamente, deberá enfrentar a la abogada Odessa Kennedy.

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Melendez is running as a Democrat for Vacancy #5 in the Kings County Civil Court. Her opponent is Democratic and Reform Party candidate Odessa Kennedy. She has a Juris Doctor degree from Brooklyn Law School and a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Rutgers University. Currently,  she is the Principal Law Clerk for a New York State Supreme Court Justice in Kings County. Melendez was an attorney with the Office of the New York City Corporation Counsel in the Special Litigation and Medical Malpractice Unit of the Torts Division.​

​Among Melendez’ endorsements include Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Public Advocate Letitia James, Assembly Members Annette Robinson, Felix Ortiz, Walter Mosely, State Senator Martin M. Dilan, and City Council members Laurie A. Cumbo and Robert Cornegy Jr.

Originally from Cuba, Melendez serves as an outreach coordinator for the Puerto Rican Bar Association.

“I came to the United States as a young child with my family searching for the freedoms and liberties that were taken away in the country of my birth. The values and ideals instilled in me as a child in this country still hold true for me. I am committed to public service and am active in local community law day events, health fairs and services providing food and assistance to the needy,” said Melendez.

Melendez says she is running to be a judge to continue to be of service to the communities of Kings County.

Karshan, A (2016, August 16) Profile of Judicial Candidates Consuelo Melendez And Dena Douglas, Kings County Politics , Retrieved from http://kingscountypolitics.com 

Brooklyn Daily Eagle Connie Melendez
Brooklyn Civil Court Judge and Connie Melendez
Attorney Connie M. Melendez

Meet Attorney Connie M. Melendez one of 11 candidates running for the five countywide open judge seats on the Kings County Civil Court bench.

Melendez has been a principal law clerk to Judge Marsha Steinhardt of the New York State Supreme Court for over eight years and touts her courtroom experience as one of the noteworthy advantages over her contenders. A law clerk’s responsibility is to research case-law and provide legal determinations in writing.

“My work with her for over the past eight and a half years has honed in the skills of thinking like a judge has to think,” said Melendez, adding that working as a clerk is just one of the qualities needed to preside over a courtroom. 

We were having quiche lorraine at Maison Kayser, 57 Court Street, in Brooklyn’s judicial district with both the state and federal courthouses nearby in Cadman Plaza. The candidate continued how her life experience as well as that of being a litigator and social worker make her a well-rounded and exceptional candidate to become a judge.

“My mother was a school teacher in Cuba,” said Melendez, recalling how she migrated to the United States with her parents and younger sister. “She noticed children were being sent to summer camps.  Normally that would have been a good thing, right? — It was indoctrination camp.”

At 2-years-old, Melendez and her family migrated to Florida to flee the Castro regime. The family then moved to Hudson County, New Jersey where Melendez would later attend and graduate magna cum laude from Rutgers University. Melendez reflected on Rutgers being a distant second to her first choice –– Princeton University.

“My dream was to go to Princeton and my father said to me, ‘Connie forget about it, because we don’t have the money for Princeton,’” said Melendez. Those burning words are part of what steered her desire to venture into the field of social work after receiving her undergraduate degree.

After realizing her ability to help people was limited as a social worker, the candidate then boldly enrolled into Brooklyn Law School while still working as a social worker for most of her law school career. 

“As a social worker I would have to talk to the judges and being able to advocate for the kids I realized I have a voice,” said Melendez. “I wanted to do that job as a lawyer.”

After passing the bar, Melendez went in a completely different direction as a litigator who defended New York City hospitals and their doctors against malpractice suits.

It is through those opposing experiences and her work as a law clerk, Melendez says she gained three valuable perspectives, that as a litigator, a child advocate and someone who has helped interpret the legislation as a law clerk. “And that’s why I think my legal reasoning is so good,” said Melendez.

In responding to a question about the incessant backlog for which the New York City court system is known, Melendez said Judge Steinhardt has a successful case processing rate and she hopes to follow in those footsteps in her own courtroom. 

Melendez admits courtrooms are intimidating for the general public, especially those involved in civil matters who sometimes do not have attorneys. The candidate pledges to foster a courtroom environment that encourages communication. 

The candidate also attributes campaigning as a being helpful tool to hear people’s stories. Melendez says she can hear first hand how these social justice issues impact people. “To get a one-on-one is immeasurable,” said Melendez. 

The mother of three who has practiced law for 30 years, says a judge both interprets the law and is bound by the law.

“I love decision-making. I love being neutral. I love taking it in and figuring out and putting out a good decision and, and –– being Solomon,” she said.

The Democratic Primary for these judgeships is Sept. 12.

by Kadia Goba

Connie Melendz Jewish Press

Connie Mallafre Melendez
​For Civil Court Judge Kings County

​VOTE  NOVEMBER 8, 2017 

One can’t help but be moved when Consuelo M. Melendez recounts her personal story. She was born in Cuba just about the time of the Bay of Pigs and the nuclear showdown between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. How she and her family overcame the obstacles to success in America are some of the experience she hopes to instill in her courtroom, if elected. “I have faced all kinds of challenges,” she said, “so I know how to be fair without prejudice in my courtroom.” Fairness was a word that she repeated more than once and if that is the foundation of her bench, then we do not hesitate in our endorsement of her pursuit.

(2016, August 25) ​New York Amsterdam News Endorsements for 2016 State PrimariesNew York Amsterdam News, Retrieved from http://amsterdamnews.com/

Connie Melendez and El Diario
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Attorney Connie M. Melendez

Attorney Connie Melendez Makes Case