A couple of weeks ago I wrote a column asking the question why no Black men or women run for political offices in Allegheny County? This week’s column is more direct. I ask the question: in Allegheny County where there are over 200 Black attorneys why has not one filed to run for a judgeship?
There was a period of time that Black attorneys were so limited in numbers that we knew all of them by sight, if not name. However in 2013 there are close to 250 Black attorneys who are employed in multiple capacities. They work for governmental bodies, corporations, legal firms, and a substantial number of them have their own law practice. These Black attorneys have graduated from many of the same universities as their White counterparts and passed the same bar exams, but for some unknown reason lack the same ambition to aspire for the bench.
There are currently 42 judges in Allegheny County and regretfully only three are Black. Do you know who the three are? If you don’t allow me to introduce them to you: the Honorable Judge Kim Clark, Honorable Judge Dwayne Woodruff, and the most recent elected Honorable Judge Joseph Williams. If you need a story of inspiration to run then reflect of the election to the Pa. Superior Court by the Hon. Judge Cheryl Allen, a competent, self assured God fearing Black female, who ran as a Republican and beat all of those who said she could not win.

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