Non-winning Dem candidates, 2021 primary election

Thanks to all who ran for office. The following are listed for historical and future reference:

PA Superior Court

Jill Beck

Raised in Pittsburgh, Jill received a degree in criminal justice from George Washington University and served in various capacities with underprivileged populations like delinquent girls and adolescents on probation. After graduating at the top of her class from Duquesne University School of Law, she worked for the nonprofit KidsVoice, representing abused and neglected children in court. She spent the next 10 years as a law clerk under the Honorable Christine Donohue on Pennsylvania’s Superior and Supreme Courts, drafting decisions for criminal, civil, family, juvenile, and orphans’ court cases. In 2019 she became a civil litigator at Blank Rome, representing victims of domestic violence, assisting those experiencing housing insecurity, supporting low-income criminal defendants and litigants who represent themselves in court, and aiding in voter protection efforts. As a member of Blank Rome’s Pro Bono Coordinating Committee, she has addressed criminal justice reforms, civil rights, voter protection and the right to protest. She resides with her husband in Pittsburgh, where she is an active volunteer in her children’s classrooms and in her community. Jill knows that justice is served only when every person – regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or income – has fair and equal access to the courts.

Jill Beck’s web site, Facebook. See her 1:33-minute video here.

Bryan Neft

Bryan was born and raised in Pittsburgh. The son of a small businessman and a lawyer, he attended UPenn and graduated from Boston University School of Law in 1989. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and their children. He began his career as a clerk for the Pennsylvania Superior Court and has a first-hand understanding of the Court’s caseload. He served for nearly 15 years in a leadership role, including as president, on the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Board of Governors, where he championed issues affecting women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ members of the legal profession, promoted changes to the rules of professional conduct to prohibit bias, and chaired the committee responsible for drafting the Bar Association’s Code of Professionalism, still in use today. That work led the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to appoint him as a member, and later chair, of its charitable arm, the IOLTA Board, which oversees funding of agencies that provide legal services to those who cannot afford them. The values of hard work, fairness and access to justice continue to guide him every day.

Bryan Neft’s web site, Facebook

PA Commonwealth Court

Amanda Green-Hawkins

Amanda, a product of the public school system, earned her BA from Duke University, then worked three jobs while attending Northeastern University School of Law. Her mother, a factory worker, and her father, a truck driver and member of the Carpenters Union, inspired her passion for defending workers’ rights. Her first civil rights victory came in helping craft the legal argument that saved jobs in a California factory and guaranteed workers fair and equal treatment. After clerking for a demanding appellate judge in New Jersey, rather join a high-powered firm she chose to defend the rights of citizens whose voices are often marginalized. At the United Steelworkers, she fights for blue collar families and the underprivileged. She ran and won twice as a member of the Allegheny County Council and has served on many community boards. She worked on election protection teams in three presidential election cycles, was a member of the Electoral College in 2012 and has taken many pro-bono cases. She will bring well-formulated, reasoned arguments to the court. Active members of their community, Amanda and her husband live and work in the City of Pittsburgh with their two children.

Amanda Green-Hawkins’s web site, Facebook; download her 4:22-minute CCDC presentation here

Sierra Thomas Street 

Raised by a single mother in a working-class family, Judge Street graduated from Howard University, majoring in Political Science and English, and from Temple University School of Law, where she served as President of the Black Law Students Association. While in college she interned at the Department of State and at the White Housein law school. She worked as a law clerk and then Hearing Officer in Philadelphia Family Court while representing members of a local union. She then became a Trial Attorney at the Defender Association of Philadelphia, representing indigent juveniles and adults. Then as Chief Counsel at Friends Rehabilitation Program, a non-profit providing affordable housing and social services to families, she prepared development applications, supervised development projects, handled zoning issues, and represented the agency in legal matters. In 2013, she was elected to the Court of Common Pleas in the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, where she has conducted trials in serious felony matters and statutory appeals involving government entities. She has served on many boards and committees. A member of the Historic Bright Hope Baptist Church in North Philadelphia for over 15 years, Judge Street has two children and one grandchild.

Sierra Thomas Street’s web site, Facebook

Chester County Court of Common Pleas

Carlos Barraza   

Carlos is a career public servant who will bring to the Court of Common Pleas his dedication, experience, and integrity, and his unique perspective for protecting the most vulnerable members of our society, fighting for those who have no champion and bringing justice to those who have been denied it. His experience as a prosecutor over the past 18 years includes handling cases from DUI cases to domestic violence to sexual assault to murder. He has prosecuted over 20 homicide cases and served as lead counsel in over 80 jury trials, 15 bench trials and thousands of other matters. He has been recognized with such prestigious awards as the Prosecutor of the Year and earned promotions from Assistant District Attorney to Deputy District Attorney to now Senior Deputy District Attorney. Since 2013, he has trained all new Assistant District Attorneys. He also has extensive experience using computer forensic techniques to retrieve, analyze and utilize electronic data in investigations and prosecutions. He graduated from the University of Connecticut and University of Wisconsin Law School. A native Spanish speaker born in Mexico, he became a US citizen in 2011 and lives in Kennett Square.

Carlos Barraza’s Web site, Facebook. See his 5:42-minute video here.

MDJ Districts / Municipalities / Dem candidates 2021 (for Dem Zones, see here)

15-1-01 West Chester 3, 6, 7, East Bradford, West Bradford (Dem zones 7, 9)

Dan Hollander

Daniel is the only lifelong Democrat seeking this position and the only candidate dedicated to public service. As a prosecutor, Daniel has tried cases ranging in severity from DUI to homicide. His trial experience and understanding of rules of procedure will serve him well as District Judge. Daniel believes the District Court can positively influence the community. As a prosecutor, he holds the belief that it is better to teach and treat rather than simply punish and incarcerate. This is why he is a supporter of the expansion of treatment courts. Making our community the kindest and safest place is important to him because he understands that the community will help shape his two little boys. This community focus is what has kept Daniel in public service and why he seeks this position. He is responsible, reasonable and relatable – attributes a District Judge must possess. In addition to his unmatched qualifications, he will bring a type of young energy and positive outlook that our community can be proud of.

Dan Hollander’s Website; Facebook; Instagram

37 South High St.
    West Chester, PA 19382

(610) 692-5811

email CCDC


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