Assemblyman Al Taylor has represented the 71st Assembly District of Upper Manhattan since 2017. Before being elected to the Assembly in a special election in the fall of 2017, Al Taylor served as Chief of Staff to legendary former Assemblyman Herman “Denny” Farrell, Jr., and as District Leader. Assemblyman Taylor has served his community as an advocate for over 20 years, working to increase economic opportunity, affect social change and reform the criminal justice system, and he continues that work in the Assembly. In 2008, Assemblyman Taylor, a longtime advocate and leader in the fight against guns and violence, began the Man Up! In Harlem program to address the alarming increase in gun-related deaths in his neighborhood. The program arranged for dialogue between neighborhood leaders and residents through early morning prayer walks at the Polo Grounds’ Rucker Park every week. The program has been widely credited, including by the NYPD, for dramatically reducing violence in the neighborhood. The program has since been replicated in housing projects throughout Upper Manhattan. As part of an effort to inspire communities to confront violence and work toward peace, Assemblyman Taylor walked 780 miles to Chicago in the “It’s A Love Thing Always” event. Assemblyman Taylor has also been a leader in the fight against bigotry and hatred and mobilized his community to work against hate crimes after the murder of Islan Nettles, a 21-year old transgender woman and Harlem resident. In 2010, Assemblyman Taylor led a relief mission to Haiti after the catastrophic earthquake decimated that country. Assemblyman Taylor graduated from Lehman College of the City University of New York with a B.A. in Pubic 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 20 years to wife Gwendolyn, they raise their daughters Tiffany, Tameka, Ashley and Stefani, and their son, Brandon, in Northern Manhattan, the neighborhood Al Taylor loves and has devoted his entire life to serving.