Yadhira Gonzalez-Taylor, a candidate for Civil Court Judge in the Bronx, is hoping her candidacy and possible victory can knock down barriers and help a lot more women run for office.
“I hope I can bring some diversity in terms of representation as a woman, as a Latina, as a Bronxite,” said Gonzalez-Taylor.
Campaigns for Civil Court Judge often go under the radar as the position is not as well-known in comparison to mayor or comptroller. However, it’s an important position because judges decide important cases pertaining to individuals, the law, and civil rights.
Gonzalez-Taylor would bring a wide-ranging perspective and experience to the seat. She is a veteran. She has served as a hearing officer for the last 11 years for the Department of Education. She has worked in the NYPD working on cases involving corruption and conduct. She is also a former prosecutor who had a heavy caseload.
Gonzalez-Taylor has been a professor since 2011, and it has helped give her a new perspective as she says young people see things differently. She feels as though her vast experience has prepared her for the job of Judge.
Most importantly though, she says she can relate emotionally to the struggles that Bronxites are facing because she’s lived it too.
“I’ve had those same struggles. That itself I think is a big plus to a candidate like me that I bring to the table not just a legal knowledge of 20 years. The intellectual stuff is checked off but I actually know the life of a Bronxite.”
Gonzalez-Taylor, a mother of three kids, is concerned about the issues currently plaguing the Bronx. COVID has exacerbated issues like the struggles of small businesses and the increase in crime. She expects it to be reflected in the caseload if she were to win.
If Gonzalez-Taylor were to be elected, she would be assigned to one of three courts: civil, family, or criminal. She would be assigned based on the needs of the court. She says this is crucial because oftentimes people vote without knowing that the judges will end up in any one of the three courts.
“When people go to vote, they don’t know that judges can end up in family or criminal courts and I think that’s where the lived experience I have comes in handy in terms of knowing the struggles of our Bronxites deeply,” said Gonzalez-Taylor.
There are two seats open with five candidates vying for the positions, including the hopeful Gonzalez-Taylor. The primaries are on June 22.