Jamaican seeks seat on NY City Council
NEW YORK, USA — Jamaican community activist Michael Duncan has launched a bid here for a seat on the New York City Council.
The Kingston native is among six candidates vying to fill the vacancy created by the election of long-time councilman James Sanders to the New York Senate last year.
Mayor Michael R Bloomberg has set a special election for February 19 to fill the vacancy in the 31st council district in Queens, which is home to a large number of Jamaican and other Caribbean nationals.
Duncan, an accounting graduate of Baruch College of the City University (CUNY), has been active in a number of programmes within the district — many of which he has initiated and promoted. He has been active, also, in the public school education system, serving as president of parent teachers' associations of a number of schools.
He is also credited with reviving the Rosedale Soccer Club, and is founder of the African Caribbean And American Organisation — a non-profit body dedicated to community development and immigration issues.
Duncan has developed a business model called "Each One Support One" that promotes a harmonious relationship between local businesses and their neighbourhoods. He said that a critical part of the model is "the generation of jobs to reduce unemployment."
In most recent times, Duncan has been active in mobilising several community groups, churches, media houses, artists, local businesses and individuals in providing aid and assistance for victims of Hurricane Sandy in the areas he is seeking to represent.
If successful, Duncan says he will focus on "making our communities safer, job creation, education and working with the ethnic diversity of the population in the 31st council district".