Michael Blake

Assemblymember

Bronx, NY

Blake began his first term on the New York State Assembly in 2015, and serves on the Banks, Correction, Election Law, Housing, and Veterans’ Affairs committees. He is passionate about urban entrepreneurship, Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises, education, community learning, building sustainable communities, equality for all and empowering young men of color. Assembly member Blake serves on the Correction, Housing, Election Law, Governmental Operations, Banks and Veterans Affairs committees and is the Chairman of the Mitchell-Lama (Affordable Housing) subcommittee. Blake has passed significant bills, including his signature prompt pay bill which will require New York State to pay contracted companies with 200 employees or less in 15 days instead of 30 days. Moreover, Assembly member Blake led the effort to secure $20 million for a pilot My Brother’s Keeper program in New York State, making it the first in the nation. Furthermore, Blake has secured funds for Bronx entrepreneurs through the American Entrepreneurship Award, for New York City Housing Authority improvements for developments in his district, for schools in his assembly district, and has addressed gun violence among residents.

Michael has extensive political experience. He has held significant positions working on both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, as well as serving as Obama’s Associate Director of Public Engagement and Deputy Associate Director in the Offices of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement from 2009 to 2011. He created the White House Urban Entrepreneurship Summit series, which sought to foster public, private and not-for-profit partnerships and provide strategic advice in seven cities across the nation. Blake also continues his work in the community. He serves on the My Brother's Keeper Alliance as a national advisory board member (the only state legislator in the nation) and is a board member of iVOTE, which focuses on protecting voting rights across the country.

Pro-Growth Progressive Ideas Shared

Problem

According to the census, The Bronx is the most diverse county in America. However, we have one of the poorest congressional districts, and no Community Foundation to help us direct resources to local organizations and programs to support community members, students, and entrepreneurs.

Solution

We are creating The Bronx Foundation, which allows us to direct resources to local organizations and focus on helping entrepreneurs and Bronxites create jobs, primarily through technology, music, food, health and the arts. Our 3 Es focus of Economic Development, Education & Equity guide us to partner with other local organizations to help students connect with skills and jobs for now and the future, encourage music and the arts, create an Entrepreneurial Accelerator, and continue to amplify existing entrepreneurship programs and workshops. Bringing together the core efforts of these groups, along with a systemic team approach, will allow us to attract additional philanthropic, corporate and entrepreneurial support while directing resources, initiatives and practical solutions to local organizations. Moreover, our collaboration with our four school districts, our three hospitals and five surrounding colleges and universities gives us direct partner organizations to take local efforts to scale.