Governor Gavin Newsome (D-Cali.) Friday announced his appointment of a transgender individual to be a Sacramento County Superior Court Judge.
A statement from the governor’s office described Andi Mudryk as “the first openly transgender individual appointed to the bench in California”. The California Court website, however, awarded that distinction to Alameda County Judge Victoria S. Kolakowski.
Mudryk fills a court vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Benjamin G. Davidian.
Judge Kolakowski, 55, became the first transgender judge in the nation in 2010, according to a March 2017 report in the “East Bay Times”. “An activist for the LGBT community since coming out publicly in 1989, Kolakowski is widely honored for her work on issues of inclusion,” the Times reported.
“I’m the elected one (the first one),” Kolakowski declared in a post to her Twitter account. “Andi Mudryk is a great appointment and will be a wonderful judge.”
“I’m glad to finally have a trans colleague on the bench in California.”
Friday, the “Los Angeles Times” reported Mudryk said experiences as a transgender person with a significant disability, the parent of an adult Black man and the descendant of Jewish Holocaust survivors prompted her to become involved in the legal system, advocating for civil rights of all people.
Mudryk was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, commonly called brittle bone disease, the Times noted.. The judge claimed to have experienced more than 100 fractures in her life.
“I’m humbled, honored and thrilled,” Mudryk told The Times. “I’m grateful to Gov. Newsom for creating a vision of California for all.”
Mudryk had previously served as Chief Deputy Director at the California Department of Rehabilitation and was that agency’s Chief Counsel from 2018 to 2020, according to the governor’s statement. Before that, he was Director of Litigation and Policy Advocacy at Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, from 2017 to 2018, and Executive Director at Disability Rights Advocates in 2017.
For 11 years, he served in several positions at Disability Rights California from 2006 to 2017. Mudryk was Director of Litigation and Advocacy at the Arizona Center for Disability Law from 2002 to 2006.
The newly appointed Democrat judge will receive an annual salary of $225,000, according to an ABC News report.
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