As a community organizer, State Assembly Chief of Staff, minister and now State Assembly member representing the 71st District, Al Taylor has built a record of hard work, caring and giving back to the community that gave him his chance. He was elected to represent his Upper Manhattan District in 2017 with overwhelming support in every part of the District.
As Assembly member, Al 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 Al’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 US Army, then graduated from Lehman College and became a community leader.
As Chief of Staff for former Assembly member Denny Farrell, Al 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.
Al Taylor has been a leader in the fight against guns and violence. In mid-2008, after four murders had taken place in the Polo Grounds housing project in just two months, he initiated the Man Up! Program which included weekly prayer walks in the Polo Grounds/Rucker Park from 6-7 am every Thursday. A year and a half later, the NYPD commissioner credited the program with dramatically reducing violence and it has been replicated in housing projects throughout Upper Manhattan.
And Al 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 towards peace in the community.
A pastor of Infinity Mennonite Church, Al 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 transgender 22 year old Islan Nettles. And he led a disaster relief mission to Haiti in 2010, less than a week after the devastating earthquake.
Al 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 Masters 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 three daughters Tiffany, Tameka, Ashley, and a son Brandon.