As a community organizer, chief of staff to a state Assemblymember and now as a state Assemblymember himself, Al Taylor has built a record of hard work, caring and giving back to the community that gave him his chance. He was elected in the fall of 2017 to represent the 71st Assembly District in Upper Manhattan. Assemblymember Taylor is focused on improving our public schools by reducing class sizes and finally getting the CFE money owed our schools; protecting tenants and affordable housing by standing up for stronger rent laws and repealing the Urstadt law and vacancy decontrol; fixing public transportation, which so many in his district rely on, yet they get some of the worst service; and giving our children and everyone a second chance and the opportunity to succeed. Growing up, Assemblymember Taylor’s family didn’t have much. He was bullied and made some mistakes. But through hard work, determination, the help of the community and a judge named Bruce Wright, he got a second chance. He served in the U.S. Army’s military police while earning his GED, then graduated from Lehman College and became a community leader. As chief of staff to former Assemblymember Herman “Denny” Farrell Jr., Assemblymember Taylor worked to help seniors get the services they need, stood up for tenants being harassed by greedy landlords and worked to improve our public schools and provide mentoring for teens so that they can make better choices. Assemblymember Taylor has been a leader in the fight against guns and violence. In mid-2008, after four murders in the Polo Grounds housing project in just two months, he initiated the Man Up! in Harlem program which included weekly prayer walks in the Polo Grounds/Rucker Park from 6-7 a.m. every Thursday. A year and a half later, the NYPD commissioner credited the program with dramatically reducing violence and the Man Up! in Harlem program has been replicated in housing projects throughout Upper Manhattan. Assemblymember Taylor later walked 780 miles to Chicago in a mission called “It’s A Love Thing,” aiming to offer a message of hope and unity and catalyze change in troubled times, inspire people to confront violence of all kinds and work toward peace in the community. A pastor of Infinity Mennonite Church, Assemblymember Taylor has fought against hate, bigotry and prejudice and worked to promote economic, social and criminal justice reform. He worked to confront anti-LGBT hate crimes after the Harlem murder of Islan Nettles, a 22-year-old transgender woman. And he led a disaster relief mission to Haiti in 2010, less than a week after the devastating earthquake. Assemblymember Taylor graduated from Lehman College of the City University of New York with a BA in Public/Group Communication and later earned the degree of Master of Divinity, with a concentration in Church Development, from Nyack College/Alliance Theological Seminary. Married for more than two decades to wife Gwendolyn, they raised their daughters Tiffany, Tameka, Ashley and Stefani, and a son, Brandon, in Northern Manhattan, the community Assemblymember Taylor loves and has devoted his life to serving.