Assemblyman Michael Blake

The Office of Assemblyman Michael Blake is looking for a motivated undergraduate student to serve as a summer legislative intern in the district office.

Legislative interns develop and plan legislative initiatives, monitor legislative developments, conduct research, and do constituency follow up on behalf of Assemblyman Michael Blake.

Note: Please address all cover letters to John Fitzsimmons

About Assemblyman Michael A. Blake

Michael Blake is the assemblyman of the 79th District in New York State, representing parts of Concourse Village, Morrisania, Melrose, Belmont, Claremont and East Tremont.

 He is passionate about urban entrepreneurship, Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs), community learning, building sustainable communities and empowering young men of color. He served as the senior advisor for Operation Hope and is the founding principal of Atlas Strategy Group, which focuses on political and economic empowerment for communities of color.

Blake also serves on the My Brother's Keeper Alliance as a national advisory board member (the only state legislator in the nation); is the newly elected 2nd Vice-Chair of the NY Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus; and is Chair of the Mitchell-Lama subcommittee and a member of the Corrections, Housing, Banks, Veterans, Election Law and Governmental Operations committees. Blake saw his first piece of legislation signed in to law this year.

In early 2007, Michael joined then Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign and served as the Iowa deputy political director and constituency outreach director for the Iowa caucuses. After serving as the Michigan deputy state director for the general election, Blake joined the White House staff as the associate director of public engagement and deputy associate director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. He created the White House Urban Entrepreneurship Summit series, which sought to foster public, private and not-for-profit partnerships and provide strategic advice.

Blake left the White House to serve as the national deputy director of Operation Vote for President Obama’s 2012 re-election and helped expand the diverse electorate that later re-elected the president.

Blake was honored as one of “The Root 100” in 2012, featured in Jet magazine as one of 15 black politicos behind President Obama’s re-election and recognized by MSNBC in 2011 as one of the Top 10 Black politicians on the rise.

The Bronx, New York native is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He is also an exhorter in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and a certified lay speaker in the United Methodist Church.

To see a few of his recent media appearances, you can see him on MSNBC’s “The Cycle” and “Disrupt with Karen Finney,” (and you can learn more about him on the New York State Assembly website.

Responsibilities

  • Track legislation and other developments in his or her assigned issue areas; 
  • Monitor legislative developments; 
  • Represent the Assemblyman at 1-2 community board, tenant association, and/or precinct council meetings in the evening after 6pm weekly and provide office updates to constituents; 
  • Act as a liaison with committee and agency staffs; 
  • Perform special projects assigned by the Member or Chief of Staff/Administrative Assistant; 
  • Provide information on and generate ideas for press, mass mailings, and newsletters; 
  • Answer constituent letters and help constituents on matters; 
  • Meet attendance requirements as established by the office; 
  • Maintain a good working relationship with the Member, staff, and constituents; 
  • Accept performance based criticism and direction; 
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Requirements

  • Ability to perform essential job functions; 
  • Ability to exercise discretion and independent judgment in the formulation and recommendation of policy positions for the Member; 
  • Ability to work cooperatively and courteously with others; 
  • Temperament to communicate with a variety of personalities in a tactful, pleasant, and professional manner; 
  • Knowledge of office policies, practices, and procedures.

Skills Required - Microsoft Office, Google Drive, Public Policy

2018 Intern Reflection

Over the course of this internship I’ve had a variety of different tasks to complete: researching events, organizations, and legislation; attending community meetings on behalf of the assemblyman; collecting data during petitioning; coordinating with volunteers in the office, staffing Michael at events/meetings;  writing remarks and statements, and much more. This internship is a great fit for someone who is flexible and willing to take on many different projects. There really is no limit to the tasks that could be required in this office. As an intern I was given a lot of freedom to decide what I wanted to do and what events I wanted to attend. The office culture is very casual and friendly but everyone is committed to their job and expect you to be as well.

Makeila Jamison '21

2017 Intern Reflection

I am honored to say I've been working here at 780 Concourse Village West, in the boogie down South Bronx, for the past few weeks. My work here has consisted mainly of writing, which is my passion. I work in the communications department with two other interns, and we construct briefs, talking points, speeches, quotes, and statements. I also have gotten the chance to go out into the community. I am from Long Island and only have visited parts of Northern Bronx to see family, but now I've had the chance to see the sense of community and daunting challenges that radiates throughout the Bronx. I have seen this energy attending community board meetings, precinct meetings, graduations, vigils, fairs, and any other event the assemblyman either goes to with us or sends us. I work with approximately fifteen other interns, so there usually is a young, relaxed, and energizing feel to the office. Bluntly, there are slow days. But I try to keep busy on slow days by researching issues relevant to me. Right now I am trying to compile research, loopholes, inconsistencies, and a list of possible policies regarding gun control the assembly can vote on next session. My second week in the office, a 5 year old boy was struck by a stray bullet in the head. He is still alive, thank God, but it made me re-visit gun control. 

I hope to continue my work with this project as well as continuing my role in communications. I would recommend anyone coming in to attack the issues they are most passionate about, make the dull moments bright, realize that the Bronx needs a lot of help and act on it. 

Esteban Ortiz '20 

New York City, NY
Advocacy/Policy, Elected Officials, Federal /State and Local Government