Meet Elena Condes

Candidate for Alameda County Superior Court Judge, Seat 2

 

 "In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute." 

- Justice Thurgood Marshall

For 25 years, I have served my community as a lawyer, community volunteer, and business owner.  Now, I am running to serve as an Alameda County Superior Court Judge to enhance my commitment to public service.  My daily courtroom experience all over the state of California has given me a unique look into the wide range of judicial styles and temperaments. The Alameda County judicial bench is unique and notable in its conscientious and thoughtful approach to justice.  If elected, I would be humbled and honored to serve alongside these esteemed jurists. 

I began my law practice in Alameda County based on the principles that every person deserves respect and justice.  Everything is on the line when persons find themselves in court.  I believe that it’s important to understand the relevant circumstances that brought each person before the court when deciding how they should take responsibility for their actions or remedy a wrong.  Accountability and compassion are not mutually exclusive terms.

I am a 2nd generation Latina of Mexican descent.  My parents met in high school in the small border town of Nogales, Arizona.  After graduation, they married and moved to Tucson, Arizona to start their family. 

I have always been driven to pursue my dreams, working nights to pay my way through the University of Arizona and then moved to California to attend Golden Gate University School of Law.  Coming from a traditional Mexican-Catholic family and being openly gay, I was drawn to the culture and diversity of the Bay Area. Ultimately, I moved to Berkeley in 1990 and never left.

Having a large extended family has given me the opportunity to witness a range of human experience. My family includes active and retired military, journalists, teacher, salespeople and therapists, just to name a few.  As with many families, mine has experienced triumphs and challenges, all of which has shaped my perspective and belief that despite our differences we are all deserving of respect, dignity and compassion. 

I have been involved in my community since becoming a lawyer. I am currently the Treasurer of the East Bay La Raza Lawyers Association (EBLRLA) and have served as President and board member for 18 years.  EBLRLA’s primary efforts are towards raising money for and awarding scholarships to Latinx law students in the East Bay. I am also a treasurer for the EBLRLA Scholarship fund.  Additionally, I served on the board of Women Defenders, a professional organization of women criminal defense attorneys and served on the Executive Committee of Alameda County Court Appointed Attorneys Program (CAAP).  As a panel member of the CAAP Program for approximately 8 years, I represented indigent defendants in Alameda County. 

I care deeply about education and young people having access to the resources needed to be successful. I served on the PTA of Washington Elementary School in Berkeley and helped create the Educational Equity Alliance, which raised money for one-on-one tutoring for students who were not proficient in English Language Arts, and for purchasing bilingual books so that kids could share stories with their non-English speaking families.  I also served on the Berkeley High School Site Council for 2 years.  In an on-going committment  to serve young people of color, I mentor individuals, organize panels to speak to students of color and host mixers so that law students can meet attorneys and judges which provides mentoring opportunities.

Recently, I have combined my commitment to volunteering with my interest in baking and joined Cake4kids to make cakes for kids in homeless shelters and foster care.  I am also a member of Soroptimist International of El Cerrito, an organization that supports programs for girls and women.

My wife and I live in Berkeley with our 3 dogs and always eagerly await the visits from our 19-year-old daughter who is now in her second year of college. 

On March 3, 2020 vote for Elena Condes
for Superior Court Judge, Seat 2