After running for Town Supervisor of Waddington, New York, and winning the position in the middle of his senior year, Alex Hammond ’18 is now hoping to represent his county in the New York State Assembly.
Elected at 21 years old, Hammond is tied with one other person as the youngest Town Supervisor in New York’s history. If elected into the New York State Assembly for the 116th district, Hammond could become one of New York’s youngest assembly members in the state’s history.
While he runs his campaign in part on the appeal of his youth, Hammond also wants to establish himself as a “straight-shooter” who will act on his promises once elected.
“That’s my big thing — when I ran for Town Supervisor, I told people what I wanted to do, and I did it,” Hammond said. “It wasn’t empty promises, and I didn’t turn my back on the people who elected me as soon as I got into office.”
Coming from a family that has called Waddington home for six generations, Hammond describes himself as community-driven. But it wasn’t until college that he realized how much he wanted to give back to his community.
An industrial and labor relations major, Hammond said his ILR classes taught him how to best advocate for people in need.
“That’s what the ILR major is all about,” he said. “Being the voice for the people in a negotiation with a company — at least that’s what I wanted to get out of it … And that’s the same reason why I want to run for this Assembly district, because I really don’t think we have the greatest advocate that we can have in Albany.”
Hammond said he launched an assembly campaign because he wanted to better represent his small town and other regional towns like it that are struggling with unemployment and lack of infrastructure.
One of Hammond’s main goals as an assembly member would be to increase state funding for blue-collar training programs and infrastructure projects.
“The state is handing out more reg-
ulations and mandates, [and] with the other hand they’re taking away funding that provides us the ability to then do what they’re telling us to do,” Hammond said. “I feel like we’re being forgotten right now.”
While not every Cornell graduate will share Hammond’s goal to serve their hometown through community politics, Hammond said he hopes to challenge students to reflect on how they can impact their hometowns.
“Don’t shortchange your hometown, whether it’s New York City or whether it’s a small town like Waddington with 2,000 people in it,” Hammond said. “[J]ust reaching out to people in that community like kids or old teachers, you can give back by giving them your knowledge of the ‘real world,’ since you’ve left and you have more experience outside.”