MEET BRIGETTE SUPERNOVA
Yes, Supernova really is my last name! I attribute my staunch work ethic to my modest, Midwestern upbringing. Born and raised in Indiana, which has many parallels to upstate New York, I've faced many personal, economic, and systemic barriers and challenges, overcoming each with tenacity and fortitude. Possessing the intellect and judicious temperament one should have for serving as a Town Justice, as well as the integrity and ethics to uphold codes, laws, and civil rights in an equitable manner, I am qualified and ready to plug my years of professional and higher education experiences into the role.
The Marlborough Town Justice may be called upon to rule on a wide variety of issues at the local level. Each case in front of a judge requires sensitivity, deliberation, and restraint. The Town Justice is needed to adjudicate on a wide variety of matters ranging from dog control, to farm and agricultural rights; landlord-tenant disputes, to orders of protection; traffic laws, to small claims. The Town Justice also has the power to set bail, levy fines and penalties, and legally marry couples.
Seventy percent of New York state’s town and village court Justices are not lawyers. As some lawyers and judges — famous and local alike — have proven, a law degree does not guarantee objective, ethical, or uncorrupt conduct from the judicial bench. Nor does passing the New York State Bar exam demonstrate one’s understanding of the Marlborough town codes or respect for the local commonwealth. All sitting attorney and non-attorney Town Justices are required to complete the same advanced judicial training through the Continuing Judicial Education (CJE). The expectations and qualification are the same, whether one is a practicing attorney or not in the state on New York.
If chosen as your Town Justice, I would bring my full understanding and continued scholarship of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, Consolidated Laws of New York, the Code of the County of Ulster, and town codes to the role, as that may apply to concerns brought before Marlborough Town Justices. Lived experiences have bestowed me with the additional lens of humanity through which I also translate the legal and court systems. It will be my duty to adjudicate each case based on its own merits, regardless of political or personal affiliations. That said, the duty as Town Justice is not just to dole out punishments “by the book”, but also thoughtfully determine and enforce fair, responsible, and appropriate outcomes for individuals and the community.
At my "day job" with Vice-President and
2020 Presidential candidate Joe Biden
*Photo is not an endorsement for either candidate
In my higher education endeavors, I've earned two bachelor’s degrees simultaneously (graduating cum laude with honors) from Indiana State University and completed my master’s degree at the top-ranked School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I recently took the LSAT with the intent of enrolling in law school, to specialize in Intellectual Property and Cyber Laws. I eagerly anticipate enrolling in the Ethics Training for Town and Village Justices and Taking the Bench: Ethics courses required of all New York non-lawyer Town Justices. I’ve carefully studied all 500+ pages of the Code of the Town of Marlborough, and I look forward to upholding our rules and arbitrating with the utmost respect and consideration of existing laws.
I will bring the same intelligence, problem-solving skills, and enthusiasm employed in my professional career and community engagement to the fulfill the many expectations of a Marlborough Town Justice. My work as a photo director, photojournalist, and digital archivist in the education, news, and non-profit industries (including many major textbook publishers, Rand McNally, Harpo Studios, The Daily Beast, MoveOn, Planned Parenthood Federation or America and Action Fund, and countless news outlets) demands reliable research, thorough comprehension, and judicious decision-making. Fact-finding, legal compliances, attention to details, and logical thought processes are also crucial. The same qualities apply to serving as a Town Justice. Coupled with the more creative aspects of my work, I possess the necessary skills to negotiate, read and write copyright and licensing contracts, develop and execute complex projects, and mediate the conflicting needs and expectations of a wide variety of people.
In my current position at a health care non-profit that not only advocates for underserved communities, but also engages in legislation and electoral work, I've gained valuable experiences and insights into understanding how our courts, legislation, and social systems often do not work together towards the advancement of our individual and collective rights, well-being, and ability to thrive. What I've learned through my work informs my understanding of justice at the federal, state, local, and personal levels.
Democratic Committee and community support at the Marlborough Black Lives Matter rally
Featured as a foster volunteer for Best Friends Animal Society
Driven by a sense of service and purpose, I've also applied my time and skills to volunteering and advocating within my communities. This spring, I volunteered for Ulster County's Project Resilience, delivering food to Marlborough senior citizens three days a week during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve fostered hundreds of cats and dogs for Mid-Hudson Animal Aid, PAWS Chicago, and Best Friends Animal Society. For over two decades, I’ve lent my photography talents to Special Olympics, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, KT's Kids/CAMP Chicago, Mercy Housing, and the Mayor's Alliance of New York City. Just as there is great power in the visual language of photos and videos, there's also agency in what one says. I do not shy away from speaking truth in the face of malpractice, mistreatment, or abuse. I will always be willing to constructively advocate for others — even if it comes at a cost.
Relocating to Marlborough, New York and planting roots here was a conscious choice for me. Settling here has allowed me to build the life I've long deserved, and become more deeply and sincerely engage in my chosen community in ways not possible in my former "city life". Running for Town Justice is a civic duty I approach with great humility and reverence. It is a chance to serve and bolster the Milton-Marlboro community—as both a fellow neighbor and town magistrate.
The candidate you choose for Marlborough Town Justice should be someone trustworthy, reliable, impartial, and thoroughly committed to serving her chosen community with dignity and justice for all.
On or before November 3, 2020 please vote Brigette Supernova, Democrat, for Town Justice of Marlborough, NY.
Speaking at the New York City Council session on
land use for a Bronx animal care and control facility