By Gina Martinez
State Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman (D-Springfield Gardens) is facing re-election after only a few months on the job and campaigning to retain her seat in District 29, which covers most of southeast Queens.
She has two Democratic challengers — Lorraine Gittens-Bridges, a fellow education advocate, and Linda Guillebeaux, a Rosedale community advocate — in the Sept. 13 primary.
Hyndman became the assemblywoman after a special election in November following William Scarborough’s resignation due to corruption charges. Since jumping into office, Hyndman has hit the ground running and sponsored several pieces of legislation, served on task forces that help homeowners, small business owners and improve education in the community, and she says she’s just getting started.
Part of what has motivated Hyndman is her roots in southeast Queens, where she has raised her two children and volunteered for the last 10 years.
“I’ve lived here for years. We as a community can get a lot done,” she said. “It takes teamwork, partnership and resources. I was able to spend the last six months as assemblywoman bringing back resources to the community and I will continue to do so if I’m elected.”
Before she launched her political career, Hyndman was an active member of Community Boards 12 and 13. She also served on the Community District Education Council 29 for 10 years, the last four years as president.
“Education is where I came from, I worked in education 10 years,” she said. “I believe in the last six months I’ve been making sure this community comes first and it’s foremost in my mind,” she said. “Volunteering on the Community Education Council, we were able to build relationships with elected officials as well as the community.”
In the time Hyndman has been in the Albany, she has been able to introduce legislation in the Assembly and build task forces. One bill in particular that Hyndman sponsored would help thousands of commuters save money when transferring from MTA buses and subways to the Long Island Rail Road or MetroNorth. The bill would allow riders to pay the same fare for commuter rail service and bus or subway rides, while also giving commuters free transfers. According to Hyndman, this would remove a financial barrier that can stop residents in her district as well as all over the city from using the commuter rail system. Her other bills are focused on stopping predatory lending, youth training for juvenile delinquents to help them find jobs and helping veterans find jobs.
Hyndman is confident that in these last six months she has done enough to prove to constituents she is right for the job and is not worrying about the competition.
“These relationship I’ve built in my short time as assemblywoman gives me the edge over my opponents,” she said. “Even being a parent gives me the edge. I will continue to reach forward to uplift education in District 29.”
Hyndman has done her best to involve the community in the political process and wants her constituents to continue.
“I’m knocking on doors, speaking to constituents and they appreciate the newsletters we send out that are keeping them abreast of what’s happening in Albany and in their district,” she said. “They feel like they’re part of the process. We opened our offices on Merrick Boulevard and the community is always welcome. It works if we put our best foot forward. Local elections are just as important as national elections. I’m humbled and grateful for those who participate to make the community better.”
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart