TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumnus Keon Hardemon has made history. The Miami native was recently elected the youngest member of the Miami City Commission since adopting a district system in the 1980s.
“It is humbling that the community provided me an opportunity to serve as commissioner at 30 years old when individuals who are much older usually hold the seat,” said Hardemon, a Miami-based attorney. “My election creates a unique opportunity to prove that young people in our community are dynamic and can provide transformational leadership when allowed to serve and solve the business and societal challenges that our community faces.”
Hardemon, who represents approximately 80,000 constituents in District 5, says some of his goals include: creating affordable housing options for various income level residents, improving the city’s capital infrastructure and revenue stream, providing additional employment opportunities for residents and improving the services that the city renders to its constituents.
“I was aware that I was making history throughout my election,” he said. “It is well known that young people in the City of Miami rarely have an opportunity to serve as elected officials. Such a disappointing history and the community’s disdain for the lack of political progress encouraged me to believe that the community would support a young candidate if he was well-qualified to serve and could articulate their concerns effectively.”
Raised in the Liberty City area of Miami, Hardemon is the son of a City of Miami police officer who raised him as a single mother. After graduating from Miami Northwestern, Hardemon enrolled at FAMU, where he was extremely active on campus.
He was a member of the Beta Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and served the FAMU student body as a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior senator. Ultimately, he was chosen as “Senator of the Year” and elected as senate president of the FAMU Student Senate. He was also elected as the chair of the Florida Student Association’s Florida Senate Presidents organization, which is comprised of many public universities throughout the state. Hardemon graduated from FAMU with a bachelor’s degree in business management and a master’s in business administration in 2007.
“FAMU taught me to believe that I can be great and that I could achieve whatever goals I set for myself through preparation, discipline and tenacity,” said Hardemon, who later earned his juris doctor from the University of Miami School of Law. “(The university) taught me not to allow society to shape my destiny, but to create it for myself. I owe the maturation of my personal and business persona to FAMU.”
Hardemon is a member of the FAMU National Alumni Association, the Florida Bar Association, the American Bar Association, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Wilkie D. Ferguson Bar Association, and the UM Alumni Association.