Your Family Matters: Andrea Ruth Gundersen
By Staff writer
As the oldest of five children being raised by a single mom, growing up in Massachusetts, Andrea learned responsibility at an early age. When her marriage ended, she became a single parent, with only a high school education, raising two children. Because of her situation, Andrea learned to maintain a strong work ethic, commitment to her family, integrity and stability. She worked full time while putting her-self through Boston University and then law school. Her adult life has been in preserving the family and keeping children as far away as possible from disputes between parents whether brought about by irreconcilable differences, financial difficulties, criminal actions, domestic violence, business disputes, drugs, alcohol or gambling.
Over 23 years in the legal field, gives Andrea a broad range of knowledge in law in both the civil and criminal arena inside and out of the court-rooms. She’s been able to see what works and what does not work. You wonder how she is able to do all of this and still be productive.
Andrea is a mountain of motion and believes in getting things done. She credits it to having her own law practice. “I had to manage my own law practice. This taught me how to dedicated my time to serving the community. I currently serve on the Diversity Committee for the Broward County School Board, the Broward County Commission on the Status of Women, the Board of Directors for the Mount Olive Development Corporation (MODCO) and the Board of Directors for the Dania Lions Club.”
She has a soft spot in her heart for veterans and children. Having grown up in the Vietnam era, she felt it disgraceful the way our veterans were treated when they returned home. “I never forgot that experience so when the Mission United Veteran’s Pro Bono program was being developed, I wanted to make a difference for veterans who have given so much to our country. I served on the organizing committee, with Bill Kling, to create the first Veteran’s Court in Broward County for six years. I work with the Mission United Veteran’s Pro Bono program to recruit and mentor volunteer attorneys to provide free legal services to veterans and their families.”
Andrea continued, “As a Justice Teaching Attorney Volunteer for the past several years, I do presentations to middle and high school students regarding the law, and I have been able to make a difference in children’s lives. And for the past six years I have conducted an annual court-house tour for the Plantation Seminole Middle School DECAL students giving them an opportunity to observe courtroom proceedings, participate in CSI lab demonstrations, and participate in mock trials and other demonstrations and presentations.”
It would appear as if Andrea was born to serve. In her spare time she is involved throughout the gamut of volunteerism and she really likes it.
“I am excited by the opportunity to serve the people of Broward County. I want to serve in the capacity as their circuit Court Judge. I am humbled to present myself to the citizens as a person who can be tough when necessary and compassionate when the individual circumstances of a case and judicial discretion permits. As a Circuit Court Judge I can make certain that families and individuals who enter the legal system are able to fully exercise their rights in an atmosphere that also protects the rights of victims and the community at large.”
Over the years of her involvement both professional and personal, she has gained the support from colleagues in the legal community, neighbors, and friends. Many who have encouraged her to campaign for Broward’s circuit court judge.
Broward Family Courts are in a predicament. Three judges with far-reaching know-how in working with families are retiring this year. Most of the remaining judges have an entirely different mindset because of a different judicial mentality.
“The family is the ultimate pillar to our society. As a mother and a grandmother I understand the trauma that families go through in the court system. I am the only candidate, in Group 9, that has over 23 years of experience working directly with families in turmoil, abused and neglected children and domestic violence victims. Our families deserve to have a Judge on day one that understands what they are going through.” On November 8th I hope you will choose Andrea Ruth Gundersen for Circuit Court Judge, Group 9 because YOUR FAMILY MATTERS.