The Kings County Civil Court Judge race for Brooklyn’s 7th Municipal District is well underway and Attorney Keisha Alleyne is running for the bench seat.
Alleyne has a coalition of supporters and various electeds endorsing her campaign so far, including U.S. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke, Assemblymember Laurie A. Cumbo, former Assemblymember Michael Blake, Assemblymember Latrice M. Walker, Councilmember Alicka Ampry-Samuel, and former District Leader Nikki Lucas.
Alleyne is also an active member of the National Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the National Women’s Political Caucus, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The screening panel had already interviewed potential judges by the time the campaign had kicked off, said Alleyne.
“My platform is justice and understanding, integrity, compassion, right, along with being experienced,” said Alleyne. “Our judicial system has to truly start to reflect the views of our communities that we live in. In order to do that you have to be a servant of the community, you have to have been here mentoring and actually living here, serving the families.That makes for a better judge.”
Born and raised in Brownsville, Alleyne said that her faith was a large part of her upbringing in the church and fostered a dedication to community service for many years. She credits her parents, originally from Charleston, South Carolina, for instilling her with an appreciation for education and religion. “They grew up during the times of segregation down in the South and came up to New York City,” said Alleyne.
Alleyne said she has one judge in her family, Judge Veronica Morgan Price, who she is proud to model herself after. Apart from herself, there are also a few lawyers in her family as well, she said.
“Brownsville has a lot of greatness in it,” said Alleyne. “I think that sometimes it’s underrated. People tend to believe that because it’s not glorified as one of the best communities in New York City that it doesn’t have greatness or great people in it. I am a proud example of what Brownsville puts out.”
Initially, she earned a degree in accounting before going on to get a juris doctorate law degree focusing on volunteer work with nonprofit organizations.
“When I graduated from Bryant University, I started working in accounting for two years, and it’s there that I saw the inequitable treatment of people of color as it related to compensation,” said Alleyne about why she made the switch. “Since then I’ve been working for the last 18 years as a corporate litigation attorney both civil and supreme court.”
She said that she’s working to improve the socio-economic status of her fellow community members by taking on contract disputes and tax issues, as well as personal injury claims in court.
Part of Alleyne’s career has heavily focused on education as well. She said she saw up close the deficiencies in the education system and how it impacted Black and Brown communities without as many opportunities for its students.
“It’s really my passion, I have been mentoring youth for probably about 17 years and I found that that is one of the things I’m passionate about,” said Alleyne.
Alleyne founded Elite Vision Enterprise LLC in 2015 as part of her youth mentorship program, which provides leadership development programs borough-wide to students and minority-owned businesses.
“It provides programming to students. We do, with a heavy influence on public speaking and advocacy skills, mock trials, oratorical competitions, in order to help bridge some of the educational gaps,” said Alleyne.
She also co-founded Collegiate M.I.N.D.S. Inc., a non-profit organization focused on highlighting STEM careers and assisting middle-income network development for scholars.