LINCOLNTON, N.C.––Lincolnton’s Melissa Cordell is making quite a name for herself in state-level politics.
Cordell is a legislative intern for the North Carolina General Assembly (and an intern for the Lincoln Herald as well). She is the state council vice-chairman of the College Democrats of North Carolina.
The daughter of Brion and Misty Cordell, she is the sister of Hanna and Joe Cordell. A graduate of Lincolnton High School, Melissa Cordell will soon also be a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“This is my fourth year at Chapel Hill,” she told The Herald this week, “and I am happy to say that I will be graduating in May with a bachelor’s degree in political science and women and gender studies. At UNC, I spent a couple of years as a reporter but eventually fell into political organizing.”
Cordell explained that she worked for the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign.
“I quickly found out that I have a passion for organizing,” Cordell said. “Since then, I have had the pleasure of being campaign manager to District Court Judge Sam Hamadani of Wake County, and I did some work on Natalie Robertson’s house campaign for District 97. I’m currently interning in Rep. Graig Meyer’s office, and I am frankly having a ball working on policy and bills that would affect positive change in North Carolina.”
She has also served as the LGBT caucus chairman for the College Democrats of North Carolina, in addition to her work as the state council vice-chairman.
“I’ve done a lot of work with them across the state, organizing College Democrats and participating in volunteer efforts in rural counties after the most recent hurricane,” she said. “Right now, I’m focused on making sure all college students will have access to the polls and will be able to vote with their student ID’s in the next election cycle.”
Cordell also cited her work for The Lincoln Herald.
“I’ve enjoyed my time at The Herald quite a bit,” she said. “I’ve covered a lot of downtown activities and happenings within the community, such as our annual Comic Con, the Apple Queen Pageant and National Night Out. It’s been really great to connect with so many people going through different walks of life and learn about the different aspects of our community. I’ve been honored to give voice to those who deserve it.
“I’m still uncertain what the future holds for me after graduation, but I will be moving back to Lincoln County,” she continued. “I’m particularly interested in the rural and urban divide, as well as youth involvement in local governments and how we can bridge that gap between some of our older and active residents and younger, apathetic ones. We’ll see where I end, I guess!”
So what does the very busy Cordell enjoy doing in her free time?
“I’ve recently gotten back into reading as my work load has lightened in some places,” she said. “I’m into political biographies, LGBT stories and true-crime mysteries. I binge-read a lot of articles in my free time, too. But that’s just something that comes along with most of my engagements, because I want to stay up-to-date on as much as possible.
“My political icon is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at the moment,” she added. “I’m incredibly inspired by her braveness to seek out what she believes is right for this country, and I think it is just the energy that youth in this country need right now, especially to step up to the call to serve as elected officials and leaders in our communities. Some of my inspiration also sparks from my favorite TV show, ‘Parks and Recreation.’ It’s silly, but I think we should all be as dedicated to our small towns as Leslie Knope is.”
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