Election Day is Tuesday, November 8 and voter turn out is expected to be huge. Based on all the information out there on POTUS candidates, you've probably decided who you want to vote for President. But how do you make a responsible choice between the two candidates seeking Marin County Judge. This is a unique opportunity for the public to shape our judicial system. Sheila Lichtblau is a local mom running to be the next judge in the only county in California to not have any women minorities represented on the bench. I caught up with Sheila to talk to her more about the upcoming election.
Why is there a judicial election and why are you running for judge?
Judge D’Opal, a respected jurist and longtime community advocate, decided to retire earlier this year. Her retirement has opened up a seat on the Marin bench, and I am honored that she has endorsed me for this seat.
I am the only candidate with judicial experience, serving as a Marin Superior Court Judge Pro Tem and federal mediator. I currently serve as Deputy County Counsel, which is a civil attorney for Marin County.
I am running for judge because I want to serve our community in a greater capacity. I am a longtime Mill Valley resident and a parent of two boys in our public schools. I volunteer in our schools, our courts, and our community justice and legal clinics. I care deeply about all sectors of this beautiful and diverse county. I would like to use my judicial and legal experience to serve the people here as a superior court judge.
Why should we vote for you?
I am committed to ensuring that everyone have an equal voice in the courtroom. I bring 23 years of legal experience representing a wide variety of clients from the poor and disabled to small and large businesses, non-profits, schools and our county.
I began my legal career after human rights work I did at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. I spent the first several years of my career representing the poor. I helped primarily Spanish-speaking clients who were indigent and disabled obtain housing, and medical and disability benefits. I later transitioned to a national law firm where I represented small and large businesses, as well as nonprofits and schools. There, I was elevated to partner ahead of schedule and I was the only female partner at the time. Over the past ten years I have worked for this community as a senior Deputy County Counsel for Marin, and more recently as a Marin Superior Court Judge Pro Tem.
My skills and readiness for this position and my commitment to equal justice are reflected in the broad-based support I have received from our community. I am endorsed by every endorsing judge on the Marin Superior Court, plus I have the unanimous support of all five County Supervisors, and the Marin Democratic Party.
You are a parent of two boys, 9 and 12. How does your experience as a parent play into the role as a judge?
I believe parenting is great preparation for being a judge. As a parent, you learn to exercise patience that you previously didn’t even know you had. You learn compassion, but you also learn how to weigh credibility. There are times when you need to figure out which one of your kids is telling the truth. You find yourself weighing the “testimony” of your kids, patiently asking probing questions. And at times, you need to determine whether punishment is appropriate. As parents we also become acutely aware of our need to live in healthy, thriving and safe communities for our children.
Why should the community care about who their next judge is?
Judges make decisions that affect our daily lives, even if we are not directly involved in the legal process. In my legal career, I have been involved in issues ranging from the fight for same-sex marriage to housing, to land use decisions affecting where we can shop for groceries in Marin County. It is imperative that we seek a judge who is deeply experienced with a broad-based background to be able to render thoughtful and intelligent decisions while ensuring that everyone have an equal voice in the courtroom. I’ve enjoyed the process of meeting so many voters and leaders throughout our community as I ran for this seat. I believe this public process will make me a better judge.
Sheila Lichtblau is a local mom of two and running for Marin County Judge. She has an impressive list of endorsements, extensive experience, she's fluent in three languages, and with only three female judges (out of 12) and no women of color being represented, Ronnie's Awesome List is proud to endorse Sheila Lichtblau. Vote for Sheila this November. Connect with her website at or Facebook.