New York State Assembly Member Michael Alexander Blake was born and raised in The Bronx, New York
and is a son of Jamaican immigrants. His mother is a retired manufacturer and his late Father was an 1199SEIU maintenance supervisor.
Michael is a third term Assembly Member in the New York State Assembly representing the 79th District in The Bronx, New York.
Blake’s upbringing is a testament to the fact that we can always overcome the odds. His family emigrated to the U.S. from Jamaica seeking new opportunities, but faced many trials and tribulations that have become a common story for immigrants seeking refuge in America.
Born on Christmas Day at North Central Bronx Hospital, Blake went on to attend New York City elementary school P.S. 79, which was featured in Jonathan Kozol’s Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools.
Despite these challenges, Michael persevered and attended college, graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
Always keeping in mind the blessings that kept him on this Earth, Blake became a lay minister in the United Methodist Church and African Methodist Episcopal church so that he could channel the power of faith to uplift his community.
In early 2007, recognizing a kindred spirit in public service, Michael joined then Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign as the Iowa Deputy Political Director and Constituency Outreach Director.
Shortly before the Iowa caucuses, a 2007 Time Magazine article said, “Michael Blake may have more to do with Barack Obama’s chances of becoming President than anyone besides the candidate himself.” Blake humbly disagrees.
Having the opportunity to work in President Obama’s administration directing African-American, state and local government official and Minority and Women Business Enterprises outreach gave Michael the skills necessary to create change in his own community.
Returning to his home in The Bronx, Blake ran to be Assembly Member of the 79th District — and won.
Charting his path full circle from The Bronx, to the White House, to the State house, and finally home once more, Michael got to work immediately.
Blake helped lead the charge to Raise The Age of criminal responsibility so that 16 and 17 year olds are not tried as adults in criminal court, with the understanding that changing policies alone would do little without providing better opportunities for these communities.
It is why Blake helped lead efforts to create the first — and only — statewide My Brother’s Keeper education program in the country, securing more than $56 million in funding for programs dedicated to helping young men of color graduate from school and obtain stable careers.
Continuing to fight for increased funding for New York City public housing, Diversity in Medicine medical scholarships, and his signature piece of legislation designed to ensure that Small, Minority and Women owned Business Enterprises (MWBE’s) who contract with New York state get paid in 15 days instead of 30, Blake is laser focused on bringing resources to those who need them most.
As an Assembly Member, Blake is a Co-Sponsor of GENDA legislation to protect LGBTQI New Yorkers, the New York DREAM Act, and stricter regulations on firearms; all policies crafted with the intention of uplifting and protecting underserved communities.
Michael is driven by direct service and a love for helping people. But securing funding and passing legislation doesn’t mean a thing without clear leadership at the city-level to ensure that those funds are being used effectively.
Right now, it is clear that things must change. City Hall and agencies must be held accountable for their failures with NYCHA and the MTA.
Michael Blake is running for Public Advocate because he wants to fight for #JobsAndJustice #ForThePeople. He wants to ensure that the city that made him who he is today fulfills its promise - to the generations who came before, and the generations that will come after.