Monday, March 9, 2009
Queens City Council Candidate: Michael Duncan
Running for: City Council, 31st Council District, Queens
Year Running: September 2009 (Democratic Primary)
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Michael R. Duncan, the candidate, is not simply running for office – he is bringing along the people. He is working to better our lives; to address our issues; to help find solutions to our problems; to bring prestige and untainted values back to our communities. Michael is a long-time grassroots activist and now looks to spearhead the movement to improve our community and our livelihood with the youth and elders being the focal point, two groups of people that have often been neglected and unaccounted for.
Michael has been a part of the 31st Council District community for over fifteen years, committing himself tirelessly to the issues of better education, community affairs, immigration, and police-community relations. As a proven leader, Michael Duncan is unmatched in his ability to inspire people and ultimately stands alone as the most dedicated candidate in recent memory. It is clear that Duncan is for us.
After moving from Brooklyn into District 31 over 15 years ago, Michael devoted his days to re-establishing the Rosedale Soccer Club. Through his previous experience as a part of the soccer program in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, Michael sought a similar opportunity in Rosedale but had not considered the scenario that faced him: there had not been a viable soccer program in Rosedale’s history. It was at that point that Michael pondered to himself, “why is it that other communities can have a program but not ours?” He then asked, “Why do we always look outside for the answer, when the answer lies right here inside our communities?” In other words, if we want to solve our problems, we should be relying on ourselves and only ourselves. Many of the youth in the Rosedale area would travel to Long Island to participate in soccer instead of participating in a soccer program in our community. Rosedale was due for a breakthrough, one that finally occurred at the hands of Michael. After 15 years, the Rosedale Soccer program is thriving on every front, a one-of-a-kind program that extends far beyond soccer.
Beyond the community, Duncan has addressed easily one of the most pressing issues of our generation: the economic slump, we now find ourselves in. For those who have blindly laid their trust with the City and local governments, during better times, it was clear then and certainly now, that government cannot and will not solve our problems. Exhibiting uncanny foresight, he created, over a decade ago, the Federation of African, Caribbean, and American Organization, Inc. [Federation] in order to usher in a new approach focused on economic self-reliance. The philosophy behind the Federation is very simple; Each One Support One, in which community members guarantee the support of businesses within the community, and in return local businesses provide an equitable discount. Both the members and the local businesses must be members in the Federation's network. The savings the members received is split between the members and the Federation. As such, the Federation will then utilize its portion of the savings to create much-needed services in the community. As other communities witness the development of this program, they will follow suit.
Widely recognized for his tireless commitment to our youth and the community, Michael Duncan was asked to serve as the Chief of Staff to the 31st Council District. For almost two years, Michael oversaw the 31st Council District which encompasses Rosedale, Laurelton, Springfield Gardens, The Rockaways, parts of Cambria Heights and South Ozone Park
In that time period, Michael managed the entire district and was a strong advocate for the community. His duties included compiling, balancing, and monitoring the budget, the top priority for any incoming councilman with the state of the economy as it is. His wealth of experience with budgetary decision-making will not only prove invaluable in office but allow him to hit the ground running. He has also dealt closely with local community leaders, attended countless civic meetings, and directed the distribution of funds to community organizations. But, above all, he remains a liaison to the people
With each passing day, confidence grows that Michael Duncan is uniquely fit for the difficult tasks that lie ahead and, therefore, unanimously call for him to be the next City Councilman of the 31st District.