Michael Alexander Blake
Assembly Member of the 79th District
New York State Assembly
By the time New York State Assemblyman Michael Alexander Blake graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, he had mapped out his path to political service. He would start as a sports producer and, hopefully, move on to sports anchor. I thought the name recognition would help me, but after a year plus, I knew that public service was where I needed to be. An internship with State Senator Jeff Schoenberg in Illinois confirmed that feeling, he says.
Blake is the assembly member for the states 79th District. His favorite part of the job is helping constituents, whether through securing a $500,000 American Entrepreneurship Award or 10,000 free books for his district, or proposing legislation such as his successful Minority & Women Owned Business Enterprises bill that ensures payment to small businesses who contract with New York State within 15 days of receipt of an invoice.
A certified lay speaker in the United Methodist Church, Blake cites his tenure serving President Obama as the most meaningful experience in his decade-long political career. President Obama has had more impact on my professional life than any other person by far, he states. His relationship with President Obama started in 2006 as one of 10 participants in the inaugural Yes We Can training program. After successfully managing three state house campaigns in Michigan, Blake became the Iowa deputy political director and constituency outreach director for the Iowa caucuses in 2007, and subsequently served as associate director of the Offices of Public Engagement & Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House from 2009 to 2011. He left that post to become the national deputy director for Operation Vote on the Obama-Biden reelection campaign. The experience of serving our nation gave me the truest sense of public service for which I am forever grateful, he says.