Brooklyn Boro

Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon launches bid to be Brooklyn’s first female Borough President

October 1, 2020 Editorial Staff

Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon (D-Brooklyn, 52nd AD) on Thursday announced her candidacy for Brooklyn Borough President. If elected, Simon would be the first woman to hold the office.

Simon made the announcement in front of James Madison High School, alma mater of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, while joined by a coalition of community members and activists.

“I am looking forward to bringing the skills and experience of my grassroots community activism and legislative leadership to the Brooklyn Borough Presidency,” said Simon. “Women’s issues are economic issues, they are health issues, they are education issues, they are social and economic and environmental justice issues, they are LGBTQ+ issues.”

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“Being sidelined by the rubric ‘women’s issues’ won’t change unless we change it,” she continued. “It’s time for change. It’s time for a woman Borough President in Brooklyn. I will work with the community to bring us together and move us forward. In honor of Justice Ginsburg, and Shirley Chisholm, and all the women who have gone before carving a path where once there was none, I am pulling my folding chair up to the table and running for Brooklyn Borough President!”

A community activist, state assemblymember, and civil rights lawyer, Simon has passed major legislation on campaign finance reform, gender equity, gun violence prevention, and education.

“Jo Anne possesses the authenticity, experience, and passion needed to truly unite Brooklyn,” said Mary J. Goodwin-Oquendo, Esq., who attended James Madison High School. “She has fought tirelessly for Brooklynites, advocating for quality public education, affordable housing, environmental justice, health care, small businesses, and criminal justice reform. She’s the progressive Brooklyn deserves and she stands boldly and firmly against all forms of discrimination.”

“Jo Anne is an experienced grassroots community leader and a proven champion for women, people of color, immigrants, the LGBTQ+ community, and the disability community,” said Claire T. McCue, MSW, M.Phil., of Eradicating Gender Based Violence and  Women’s Justice NOW. “She is true to her values and has a deep connection to the communities she serves. She actively listens to and learns from the experiences of her constituents.”

“I met Jo Anne through her work in the community, and she has shown that she is an effective leader who can build consensus on complicated issues,” said Joan Millman, former assemblymember for the 52nd AD. “She has proven herself to be a deeply committed and thoughtful advocate and legislator. She has accomplished so much in the state legislature in such a short time. We need her vision here in Brooklyn to unite us and lead us during this difficult time.”

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Simon was elected to represent the 52nd District of the New York State Assembly in 2014. She chairs the Assembly Committee on Ethics and Guidance and Co-Chairs the Legislative Ethics Commission.

She and her husband, Bill Harris, live in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Her stepson, Trevor Harris, and his wife, Paola Vita, live in Astoria with their children, Matteo and Amalia; her stepson, Bevan Harris, lives in Cold Spring, NY.


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