Queens, NY, civil court poised to get first Bangladeshi-American judge

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Supporters of Soma Syed, center front row, candidate for Queens Civil Court Judge, hold up placards. Photo: Facebook July 3, 2021

Bangladeshi-American Soma Syed is primed to become the first from her community to win a judgeship in Queens, NY this November.

On July 20, 2021, the New York City Board of Elections finally declared the results for all races from the June 22 primaries. Syed was confirmed as the winner of the Democratic primary for Queens Civil Court Judge. The winner of the Republican primary for that position is Cassandra Johnson who along with Syed, will be on the ballot come Nov. 2, 2021.

On her website, Syed says she began to dream of becoming an attorney at the tender age of 12, graduating from Albany Law School of Union University, where she got her Juris Doctor (JD).

She is currently the president of the Queens County Women’s Bar Association.

“As an attorney activist, she has worked thousands of countless hours of pro-bono work to support people with housing, immigration, unemployment, and more right here in Queens,” it says on her website.

“I’ve worked hard to make public service the focus of my professional life for one reason only: I love the people of Queens,” says Syed.

Syed’s vote count was comfortably ahead of her opponent Michael H. Goldman in the Democratic primary. She received 91,040 votes to Goldman’s 88,558, according to information on Syed’s Facebook page.

But Syed was ahead even before this long-delayed final count. Back on July 3, a Facebook entry from her campaign, Some for Queens Civil Court Judge, noted – “As the counting of absentee ballots at the Board of Elections ended tonight the SOMA for Civil Court Judge in Queens maintained a healthy 2,000+ vote lead. Soma Syed is now poised to become the first Bangladeshi and Muslim-American Judge in Queens. We thank all the voters of Queens County who participated in the 2021 Democratic Primary.”

Syed said on Facebook that she was running for the post “to bring effective and proven leadership to the court. It is time to make our leadership work for us.”

Syed secured the 11,000 signatures that got her on the ballot at the start, and credited that to “Our grassroots effort to diversity the bench…”

Her Instagram post noted her standing as a Queens girl.

“Queens and is a real Queens story. She is a product of the public school system, the President of the Queens Women’s Bar Association, Chairperson for the NYS Bar Association Lawyer Referral and Information Service and a former Judicial Delegate. She has a track record of proven leadership,” one post said after her campaign successfully registered for the race.

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