Marybel Coleman, who is running for circuit court judge in Group 18, is my neighbor. She built her home on the same block as mine. While I have lived a little longer and was the first homeowner on our block, she is the one I go to when I need advice and support, as her door is always open to anyone in need.
A long time before I knew what she did for a living, Marybel impressed me with her genuine caring not only for our community, but also the individuals in it. Perhaps one could say that Marybel has a personality that was born to lead. However, I would clarify that by saying that she does not do so in the loud or bossy way associated with many leaders of our day. Marybel leads with a quiet confidence born of love and through her example. She is the mother of twins (13-year-old boy and girl), who she teaches on a daily basis to be good neighbors. I wanted to pay her daughter to pet sit for me, but Marybel told her daughter that good neighbors do this for one another and that payment wasn’t necessary. She sent her son over to help us take in our patio furniture when Hurricane Irma was on her way because she knew we could use his help.
Marybel’s husband showed us how to drain our air conditioner when it froze while we were away visiting family. She has opened her doors to the women in our community to celebrate our different cultures and encourage unity. We have been invited to her home for various holidays, as she is aware that our families are far away. Marybel walks her dogs with her entire family around our neighborhood, stopping to chat with everyone. She has inspired us to have potluck block parties, pool parties and to come together often as a community to celebrate.
Is Marybel Coleman perfect? No. Are you? Is anyone? Marybel, like all of us, has made her share of mistakes. That being said, she has learned from them, and it is because of her journey that she is not quick to judge anyone. She doesn’t make her mind up before she has heard the whole story and seen all the evidence. She can imagine what it is to be in someone else’s shoes. Marybel Coleman exudes respect, kindness and compassion for all. These are the qualities I want in a person who might one day judge my actions.
Marybel was not born into a life of privilege. In fact, she was born in Cuba, not America. She came here as a very young girl and had to earn the right of citizenship. She has worked long and hard to make her “American dream” a reality. Marybel has served as a lawyer in Palm Beach County for 25 years and tried over 200 cases in all five circuit court divisions. It is no wonder that she has been vetted and nominated twice in 10 months by the Judicial Nominating Committee made up of her peers, as they know she is the most qualified for this position. I agree. Marybel Coleman has my vote for circuit court judge in Group 18.
Dawn Marie Baydowicz, Royal Palm Beach