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Editorial

Greek American Glass Ceilings Shattered, Singas Confirmed

On Tuesday afternoon, the New York State Senate shattered another glass ceiling, this time by confirming Governor Andrew Cuomo's nominee for the New York Court of Appeals. Two nominations were put up for consideration by the state senate, one of them is our community's very own Madeline Singas. The New York Court of Appeals is the highest court in New York State, and never before has there been a Greek-American woman on there to fight as an advocate for justice on behalf of the people of the great state of New York. While that accomplishment is truly extraordinary it is not one that occurred in a vacuum. Madeline Singas, prior to her confirmation on Tuesday, was the Nassau County District Attorney and by most accounts was a very successful one at that. Singas again was the first Greek-American woman to ever hold that post and during her tenure as Nassau County DA, she was the highest ranking Greek-American female in law enforcement in the United States. Despite her obvious qualifications and her position as Nassau County DA since 2015, Singas  encountered resistance from the ‘progressive’ wing of the Democrats in the New York State Senate  and Republicans who were not interested in asking relevant questions at the confirmation hearing but rather were trying to score political points against Governor Cuomo, who they believe is vulnerable due to his being under investigation for both the handling of the coronavirus pandemic and for personal conduct.

There was widespread speculation that the Greek-American contingency in the New York State Senate would split between progressives, moderates, and the like. However, the Greeks in the New York State Senate rallied to Madeline Singas and helped to usher in a historic and qualified nominee to the highest court in New York. This was a very pleasant moment for our community where instead of opting for division and perhaps ego, we rallied around one another and we were able to make history. The main takeaway from all of this is that our community is stronger, with a bigger voice in our great American society when we are active participants and united behind common causes. So many other ethnic groups in America have found winning formulas since their arrivals en masse to America’s shores – I have in mind specifically the Jewish folks who have come here numbering something of the equivalence of Greek-Americans and have become titans of industry and contributed to the great American Story. I believe that it’s time that this generation of Greeks in America comes of age and it might just as well start with Madeline Singas ascended to the NY Court of Appeals. The entire feeling just – for lack of a better word – feels different this time around for Greeks. We have multiple members in the New York State Senate, mayors across the nation, Members of Congress, and not to mention a not-shy philhellene in the White House. Our time has come to take that next step forward as a minority and to lift one another to new heights rather than pull each other back down to mediocrity or worse due to greed. I could not be more proud of Michael Gianaris, James Skoufis, and Andrew Gounardes for coming together, rallying their colleagues to shatter glass ceilings for our community, with the real winner being the State of New York because Madeline Singas will be a highly competent and fair associate judge on the New York Court of Appeals.

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