It has become a Democratic mantra to say, “ this is the year of the woman,” mainly due to the significant number of female candidates around the country who have decided to throw their hats in the ring and run for public office at all levels of government . Whether for local, town, city, county or state office, women are answering the call of the nation for public service. Monroe county is no exception.
Today we are proud to put the spotlight on Zuleika Shepard, a Monroe County Democratic Committee nominee for Family Court judge.
As a Rochester native, Ms. Shepard is one of our hometown candidates running for the important county Family Court judicial bench, bringing with her firsthand knowledge of the community she seeks to represent. That background, combined with her training and professional experience, make her an exceptionally well-qualified candidate for the position as Family Court judge.
Ms. Shepard currently works as Deputy County Attorney in the Monroe County Law Department in the Family Court Unit. Here, her passion for the law, safety and order, as these relate to all families of Monroe County, is witnessed in action in Shepard’s daily work, which includes numerous appearances in Family Court. Prior to that, she was an Assistant District Attorney in Monroe County. She has also operated her own private practice, and she was Staff Attorney for the Capital District Women’s Bar Association Legal Project in Albany, repesenting women in domestic violence cases in Family Court concentrating on custody, visitation, and child support cases.
She acknowledges the historic nature of her candidacy for a judicial position in Monroe County, where an African American woman has never been elected to a family court judgeship. She knows she brings uniqueness and a diversity of perspectives to the bench. She has observed how “ families, regardless of income levels, ethnicity , cultural, religious or social backgrounds aspire to enjoy a safe , happy life, and they wish to offer their members, to the best of their abilities, a supportive community in which to develop and thrive, safeguarded by equal treatment under the law.” Zuleika Shepard pledges that the principle of applying the law to the facts “will continue to guide my work as Monroe County Family Court Judge – as it always has – if I am so honored with the people’s vote this November.”
Colleagues, incumbent leaders, citizens, neighbors of all political stripes, as well as new prospective voters who come in contact with and meet Zuleika Shepard, are immediately drawn to the story of this hometown woman. This professional lawyer is also a karate champion and a black belt instructor who has served her community as a mentor of young women 13-18 years of age. From her adolescent years as a Wilson Magnet High School student in the Rochester City School District, to her time at Ithaca College, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude, through her distinguished completion of a J.D. at Hofstra University Law School (2007), Zuleika Shepard has exhibited qualities that are foundational for those who aspire to serve on a judicial bench – empathy for others, patience, professional and personal ethics, the ability to communicate, forebearance under demanding circumstances, and extensive knowledge of the law.
Monroe County voters, we present to you Zukeika Shepard for the position of family Court Judge. Judge for yourself!