I cut my community organizing teeth protecting the neighborhoods of Brownstone Brooklyn from predatory developers and unresponsive State and City Departments of Transportation.
During my 6 years as Boerum Hill Association president, I learned a lot about how things work, and about how they don't work, but should! I work hard to combine my commitment to our communities with my legal expertise to fight for our neighborhoods on issues like land use and development, education, transportation, open spaces and transparency in government.
Because of my nearly 20 years of principled community organizing and activism, Assembly member Joan L. Millman asked me in 2004, to run for N.Y.S. Democratic Committeewoman (a position also known as Democratic District Leader). I welcomed this new opportunity to serve the communities in the 52nd Assembly District.
In my professional life, I am a former teacher of the deaf and now a disability civil rights lawyer. As an attorney, I argued - and won - a landmark case before Sonia Sotomayor before her elevation to the U.S. Supreme Court (and I supported her 2009 nomination to the high court.) I am also an Adjunct Associate Professor at Fordham University School of Law, and President of New York's Dyslexia Association. I speak often about disability civil rights and high stakes standardized testing practices. In 2008 my expertise was called on to give testimony to the U.S. Senate on issues related to discrimination in standardized testing and education.
The challenges our neighborhoods face have never been greater. The pressure to develop and strapped government budgets threaten the strides we've made to strengthen our communities. It is for that reason I am running for re-election as Democratic District Leader - and why I ask for your support in the September 13th Primary Election.
Jo Anne Simon
March 23, 2014
Long Island College Hospital - Soon we will know its future...
After more than a year of fighting, the various plaintiffs, including NYS Nurses Association, 1199SEIU Health Care Workers, Concerned Physicians for LICH and local community organizations (Boerum Hill Association, Brooklyn Heights Association, Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association, Cobble Hill Association, Riverside Tenants Association, Wyckoff Gardens Association) as well as individual plaintiffs entered into a groundbreaking settlement agreement that required SUNY Downstate to issue a new Request for Proposals (RFP) for the sale of LICH. The RFP, written with the community, favors hospital operators, not real estate interests. As James Walden, the attorney for the community plaintiffs noted "As a process, it is unprecedented that a state-issued RFP is withdrawn, and a new one that the community helped write replaces it." The community will have a significant say (49% of the vote) in which proposal is accepted.
You can read the 9 proposals which have been submitted here. Many of them propose a full service hospital, the community's leading concern.
On Tuesday, March 25, each proponent will present their proposal at a community forum. You can download the flyer here. LICHPublicForumFlyer 3-25-14.pdf
August 21, 2013
SUNY Downstate must return LICH assets, Brooklyn judge rules
Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Carolyn Demarest found that the State University of New York Downstate (SUNY Downstate) violated a contractual obligation in the asset transfer of Long Island College Hospital (LICH) property and has ordered that LICH assets be transferred back to the hospital.
As previously reported in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, in May 2011, LICH requested and was granted the opportunity to transfer some of its assets to SUNY. The order was granted under the express declaration that "SUNY Downstate will continue [LICH's] operation as a hospital." Read more
Down load the Court's order: Justice Demarest Order 8-20-2013.pdf
August 6, 2013
Orange is the New Black in Fight To Save LICH
After forming a human chain across Atlantic Avenue, Rep. Nydia Velazquez, District Leader Jo Anne Simon and others were arrested on Monday. Read more.