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With a lifelong dedication to public service and a deep-rooted commitment to justice, Judge Cassandra Johnson is poised to bring her extensive experience and unwavering passion to the role of Surrogate’s Court judge for Queens, N.Y. Born and raised in Southeast Queens, Johnson has always been deeply connected to her community, and her journey as a judge reflects her steadfast determination to make a difference in the lives of others.

“I’ve been a member of this community all my life,” Johnson told The Jewish Press in an interview, emphasizing her strong ties to the diverse neighborhoods of Queens. Her upbringing in a Haitian-American family instilled in her a profound sense of justice and civic engagement, laying the foundation for her future endeavors in the legal profession.


As a Civil Court Judge in Queens County earlier in her career, Johnson began creating for herself a reputation as a judge committed to fairness, impartiality, and compassion. “Part of the job of a judge is to lift up others – it’s an essential part,” she noted, highlighting her belief in the transformative power of the judiciary to positively impact lives.

Throughout her judicial career, Johnson has prioritized accessibility and equitable outcomes, particularly for those who may be self-represented or marginalized. “Everyone should feel they will have a fair shake in court,” she said, emphasizing the importance of ensuring that the legal system works for all residents of Queens.

Drawing on her experience as a Justice of the Supreme Court, where she currently presides over a general civil part handling diverse matters ranging from real estate transactions to negligence cases, Johnson is well-prepared to take on the unique challenges of Surrogate’s Court.

The “Surrogate Court fell very behind schedule during the pandemic. That’s not good at all,” she said, emphasizing the importance of efficiency in delivering timely resolutions, especially in sensitive cases like adoptions.

“My mom was an attorney; my dad a therapist. They were surprised that with my engineering background I had wanted to go into law, but I think they were also very pleased,” she said, recalling her early exposure to the legal profession through her mother’s influence. This diverse background equips her with a multifaceted perspective and a deep understanding of the complex issues that come before the court.

As she campaigns to become the next Surrogate’s Court judge, Johnson is dedicated to re-introducing herself to the community and earning their support. “This campaign has allowed me to re-introduce myself to those who live in the community,” she remarked, underscoring her commitment to engaging directly with residents and listening to their concerns. “While I’ve been campaigning, I haven’t received support just via phone calls. I make it a point to meet people in person.”

With a track record of mentorship, volunteerism, and community involvement, Johnson embodies the values of integrity, compassion, and service that are essential for a Surrogate’s Court judge. “I’ve received support because people have faith in my ability as a jurist and justice to dispense law equally and fairly to all parties who appear in the court,” she said, expressing gratitude for the trust placed in her by the residents of Queens.

As Queens looks toward the future, Johnson offers a vision of a Surrogate’s Court that is not only just and equitable but also efficient and responsive to the needs of the community. With her leadership, Queens can trust that its Surrogate’s Court will continue to uphold the principles of fairness, compassion, and justice for all.

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Shlomo Greenwald is editor of the print edition of The Jewish Press.