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Lifelong Sunnysider Jumps Into Race for 37th Assembly Seat, With Cathy Nolan’s Endorsement

Johanna Carmona announced Friday that she is running to represent the 37th Assembly District (Photo: Carmona for Assembly)

Feb. 28, 2022 By Christian Murray

A life-long Sunnyside resident who is currently a Community Board 2 member announced Friday that she is running for the 37th Assembly District seat and has been endorsed by Assembly Member Cathy Nolan who is retiring from the seat.

Johanna Carmona, 32, who was an assistant district attorney in the special victims bureau with the Kings County District Attorney’s office from 2017-2000, announced that she is running for the seat that covers Sunnyside, Maspeth, Ridgewood, and the Hunters Point section of Long Island City.

Her announcement came with the endorsement of Nolan, who said earlier this month that she is retiring after being in office for 38 years.

Carmona is the fourth person to announce a run for the seat. Juan Ardila, James Magee and Vlad Pavlyuk announced earlier this month that they too seek to represent the district. All four candidates are Democrats.

(L-R) Juan Ardila, Jim Magee and Vlad Pavlyuk are vying to represent the 37th Assembly District

Carmona, who grew up on 41st Street, currently works for the law firm of Slater Slater Schulman where she represents sexual abuse victims.  She is also on the board of the 108 Precinct Community Council that consists of volunteers that aim to improve police community relations.

“I love western Queens and have volunteered to give back to a community that has done so much for me,” Carmona said. “Running for office will allow me to do more for the people of our neighborhoods. 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.”

Carmona, the daughter of Colombian immigrants, would be the first Latino to represent the district if she were to win.

She said that she would focus on environmental justice, with a special focus on the Newtown Creek; fighting for LGBTQIA rights; disability rights; and women’s rights.

In an interview with the Queens Post, Carmona said that she is also concerned about the rise in crime and said that the bail reform laws need to be tweaked. However, she said that supported the bail reform measures that Albany passed in 2019 for the most part.

She said that she would also bring a nuanced approach to dealing with the police. She said that while police brutality needs to be addressed, she has seen the good work officers do.

“What happened to George Floyd was absolutely horrible. Like I remember calling my friends from the Brooklyn attorney’s office and watching the video and we’re like, ‘This is absolute murder’…But I have worked with some amazing officers in special victims, where the victims have come up to me and spoken about their compassion.”

She said that the officers she has worked with at the 108 Precinct have also been responsive, but she is aware of people’s frustrations who feel like they’re not being heard.

Nolan who has known Carmona for years is in full support of her candidacy.

“Johanna is someone who does the hard work that makes a difference,” Nolan said in a statement. “She knows what needs to be done to help our families and students, support our neighborhoods and rebuild our city and state.”

“She will continue to work on issues like paid family leave, which need additional support in Albany. She supports funding for public transportation, education and the labor movement,” Nolan added.

Carmona has also been endorsed by the Ridgewood Democratic Club.

The primary election is scheduled for June 28, 2022.

The 37th Assembly District has been modified with redistricting. It no longer goes into Astoria and does not cover Court Square, Queens Plaza, Dutch Kills, Queensbridge and Ravenswood.

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