Running for: City Council, 33rd Council District, Brooklyn
Year Running: September 2009 (Democratic Primary)
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Jo Anne grew up in working class Yonkers, NY, the oldest girl in a family of five. She learned early the value of family, commitment and respect for others. These are the values she brings to her profession and her community. Jo Anne moved to Brooklyn in 1981.
The first in her family to go to college, she graduated from Iona College with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Sciences, Gallaudet University with a Master's Degree in Education of the Deaf, and Fordham University School of Law, where she earned her law degree at night while working full-time. After stints as a judicial law secretary and teaching in Hofstra University School of Law's clinical program, she now maintains a specialized disability civil rights law firm in Downtown Brooklyn and is an adjunct Assistant Professor of Law at Fordham.
Jo Anne Simon is the Democratic District Leader and State Committeewoman for the 52nd Assembly District in Brooklyn. A community and education leader for nearly 30 years, she was recently elected President of the New York Dyslexia Association. She is a sought-after speaker and recently testified before the U.S. Senate on issues related to discrimination in standardized testing and education. A former teacher of the deaf, President of the Boerum Hill Association, Chair of the Gowanus Expressway Community Stakeholders Group and co-founder of the Downtown Brooklyn Coalition that persuaded the City to recognize traffic issues in the upzoning of Downtown, Jo Anne combines her commitment to our community with her legal expertise to fight for our neighborhoods on issues including land use and development, education, transportation, open space and transparency in government. Jo Anne has been a strong voice against the City Council’s bypassing a voter referendum and extending term limits by legislation.
Jo Anne currently serves as female Democratic District Leader and State Committeewoman for the 52nd Assembly District. She and her husband Bill Harris, make their home in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.
The City Council is the elected body closest to the people. It is where the rubber meets the road, where ideals and policy get translated into action; where commitment to community counts. That’s why I am running for City Council.
Your city council member needs to understand the issues and how they affect the people in her district -- why meaningful public involvement is central to our having successful schools and successful students; to achieving the necessary balance between a growing New York City and keeping Brooklyn's neighborhoods vibrant and safe places to live, work and play, yet keeping Brooklyn the special place it is.
You need a city council member who's committed to the community and to making government work for people again, who's willing to roll up her sleeves and plunge in; someone with a "can do!" attitude. As a grandmother of two young children, I know why we need to change things around.