Two weeks after announcing she will retire after 38 years in office, Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan has endorsed attorney Johanna Carmona to succeed her in the race to represent District 37 in Albany.
The 32-year-old lawyer is a lifelong resident of Sunnyside having grown up across from Noonan Playground and now lives on 41st Street in the same neighborhood.
Carmona worked in the Kings County district attorney’s office dealing with special victims, including children before she went to work for law firms that have helped 9/11 first responders, workers and survivors. She also further pursued litigation against sexual predators.
“Johanna is someone who does the hard work that makes a difference,” Nolan said. “She will continue work on issues like paid family leave, which needs additional support in Albany. She supports funding for transportation, education and the labor movement. She knows what needs to be done to help our families and students, support our neighborhoods and rebuild our city and state. I am proud and happy to endorse Johanna Carmona to be our new assemblywoman.”
If elected, the daughter of Colombian immigrants would become the first Latina to represent the district that encompasses Sunnyside, Long Island City, parts of Astoria, Maspeth and Ridgewood. Carmona is a member of Community Board 2 and volunteers as a bilingual leader to improve police-community relations with the 108th Precinct Community Council.
“I love western Queens, and have volunteered to give back to a community that has done so much for me,” Carmona said.
Before attending Queens of Angels School in Sunnyside, Carmona had to overcome adversity as a child when her mother suffered a life-altering stroke. Carmona and her twin sister, Estefany, were just 3 years old. It created a difficult financial burden for the family, which led to their father working multiple jobs, including cleaning medical offices and as an assistant machine operator at a printing company. The local community rallied around the Carmona family and supported their efforts to ensure the two girls had educational opportunities.
Now she firmly “believes in giving back to the community that raised her,” by fighting for housing, LGBTQIA, disability and women’s rights as well as environmental justice, especially at the nearby Newtown Creek. She is knowledgeable about the healthcare system, understands its problems and knows “at a deeply personal level” the community’s healthcare system.
“Running for office will allow me to do more for the people of our neighborhoods,” Carmona said. “I am not a professional politician, I am a person who cares about what is happening in our city and wants to make it better for everyone. I pledge to serve with integrity and deliver for our seniors, our veterans, our children and our families.”
Carmona will likely face Maspeth community leader Juan Ardila, Sunnyside attorney James Magee and Long Island City businessman Vlad Pavlyuk in the Democratic primary on Tuesday, June 28.