Al Taylor (politician)

Alfred Taylor is an American politician serving as a member of the New York State Assembly for the 71st district. A Democrat, Taylor's district includes portions of Hamilton Heights, Harlem, and Washington Heights.

Al Taylor
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 71st district
Assumed office
November 16, 2017
Preceded byHerman D. Farrell Jr.
Personal details
Alfred Taylor

New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Gwendolyn Taylor
EducationLehman College (BA)
Nyack College (MDiv)
WebsiteOfficial website
Military service
Branch/service United States Army
UnitMilitary Police Corps

Early life and educationEdit

A lifelong resident of Harlem, Taylor was a troubled youth who was able to turn to then-Assemblymember Bruce Wright, who mentored him and gave him an interest in community service.[1] Taylor then served in the Military Police Corps while earning his GED, then graduated from Lehman College. He later earned a Master of Divinity, with a concentration in church development, from the Alliance Theological Seminary.[2]


Taylor served for many years as the chief of staff for his predecessor, Herman D. Farrell Jr., while also serving as a Democratic district leader and as the pastor of Infinity Mennonite Church.[3]

New York State AssemblyEdit

Farrell, first elected in 1974, decided to step down midterm in 2017 at the age of 85.[4] Taylor, his chief of staff, had long been seen as the heir apparent for the seat. With Farrell vacating the seat midterm, New York state law allowed for the Democratic District committee for the Assembly district to select the candidate for the general election, bypassing a primary for seat. Taylor, being the district leader, who ultimately leads the district committee, easily was chosen as the candidate.[5]

Taylor won the seat unopposed,[6] and was sworn in soon after. Taylor was re-elected in 2018 after running unopposed.[7]

A new purportedly grassroots non-profit organization, "New York 4 Harlem", that actively solicited donations of $500 to $5,000 was reported in 2018 to allegedly have been a front for Taylor and three other Harlem elected officials.[8][9] In addition, a flyer organizing a free bus trip to Albany for a conference organized by the NY State Assn. of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators with New York 4 Harlem's name on it featured a picture of Taylor and the three other officials.[10][11][12] Nonprofit organizations are not allowed to take part in campaign activity.[9] The contact person for the event was a staffer working in the office of one of the other three legislators.[8]


  1. ^ Krisel, Brendan. "Herman Farell Aide To Run For Soon-Vacant Uptown Assembly Seat".
  2. ^ "Assembly powerhouse Denny Farrell set to retire after 42 years". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2018-01-03.
  3. ^ Wilson, Michael (2017-08-28). "In Pursuit of Influence (and Muggers): Denny Farrell's 40 Years in Politics". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-01-03.
  4. ^ Silberstein, Rachel. "Powerful Assembly Post May Be Vacant Sooner Than Expected". Gotham Gazette. Retrieved 2018-01-03.
  5. ^ Goldmacher, Shane (2017-09-18). "How Party Bosses, Not Voters, Pick Candidates in New York". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-01-03.
  6. ^ "NYS Board of Elections Member of Assembly Election Returns Nov. 7, 2017" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections.
  7. ^ "Certified Results from the November 6, 2018 General Election for NYS Assembly" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections.
  8. ^ a b Campanile, Carl (February 19, 2018). "'Grassroots' nonprofit group has ties to powerful politicians".
  9. ^ a b Magazine, Harlem World (February 19, 2018). "Harlem 'Grassroots' Nonprofit Has Ties To Powerful Politicians Reports NY Post".
  10. ^ "'Grassroots' nonprofit group has ties to powerful politicians". New York Post. 2018-02-19. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  11. ^ "Harlem 'Grassroots' Nonprofit Has Ties To Powerful Politicians Reports NY Post". Harlem World Magazine. 2018-02-19. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  12. ^ "Harlem Non-Profit Accused Of Secretly Working For Local Politicians". NYC Inquirer. 2018-02-20. Archived from the original on 2018-02-21. Retrieved February 28, 2018.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Herman D. Farrell Jr.
New York Assembly, 71st District