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A Statement from Assembly Member and Public Advocate Candidate Michael Blake in Celebration of Black History Month

February 1, 2019

In recognition of Black History Month, Assembly Member and Candidate for Public Advocate Michael Blake releases the following statement:

“Today, as we begin the month of February, we once again celebrate Black History Month and the countless people who have exemplified black excellence throughout the generations. We take this time to celebrate black sheroes and innovators, community and political leaders, trailblazers and business leaders and people of the diaspora.

From New York’s own Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, the first Black Woman elected to Congress who paved the way for so many of us to President Barack Obama who laid the groundwork for at least two black presidential contenders this year, we show that history doesn't end in a shortened month but lives on forever.  We recognize not only our great leader the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We also lift up Coretta Scott King, Mahalia Jackson who inspired Dr. King to share his dream with the world and Dr. Dorothy Irene Height for creating the moral imperative for civil rights.

At a time when the rights and lives of black people are still under attack, we remind the world that we are a resilient people who are to be celebrated each day of the year, not just in February.

We remind the world that our fight for jobs and justice is universal, and that in order for there to be equity, we must build a world class education system for all New Yorkers, reduce poverty, help Minority and Women Business Enterprises, make housing affordable for all working families and ensure true criminal justice reform.  As we fight to fix our infrastructure and hold city hall accountable, we will make our city government transparent so that it works for all of us.

Our Black History is the World’s History. We are the ones we have been waiting for and all we have to do is to examine our origins to realize that our accomplishments are worthy of respect and awe.  We begin Black History Month committed to celebrating our past accomplishments and our black history being made every day, looking ahead to the future as we rise to move our people and our world forward.”

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New York State Assembly Member Michael Alexander Blake has been elected to represent the 79th District in The Bronx for a third term. He has helped lead the efforts to create the first and only statewide My Brother’s Keeper education program in the country and helped lead the charge to Raise The Age of criminal responsibility.

As a member of the Housing committee, he has fought to increase funding for New York City public housing and been a consistent advocate for affordable housing, rent stabilization and pushing back against gentrification. Blake has championed legislation for Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises and fought for democracy reform throughout the State of New York and the country.

Previously, Blake served as Associate Director of Public Engagement and Deputy Associate Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs under President Obama. He has helped expand the electorate nationwide through his work in President Obama’s campaigns and his current service as DNC Vice Chair.