Is This New York’s Next Mayor? Michel Faulkner is ready to fix your problems.
By: Dave Gordon
From neighborhood security to traffic patterns, Faulkner has become intimately familiar with the biggest issues facing our community – and is committed to improve them.
Ageneration or so ago, tourists visiting Manhattan were told to “be careful out there.” They were instructed to keep their purses tight to their chests, not to look other pedestrians in the eye, and never to walk in unlit areas at night.
Times Square, at the time, was a well-known but seedy area, rife with unsavory characters. It was not a destination people visited on purpose.
This was a time of rickety race relations and spikes in the crime rate – a time in which we saw the city’s decades-old infrastructure disintegrating, with no remedy in sight.
Then, with the mid-1990s, came what is now known as a legendary revitalization of New York City. During Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s tenure and later Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s, the problems that plagued many of our boroughs were finally met with serious solutions. Businesses were set up for the long term, jobs increased and the economic forecast climbed upwards with each passing year.
Other benefits to the infrastructure: Tenements were reshaped and rebuilt for high-end residents, law enforcement became more prevalent and efficient, and a city that, years earlier, had been frighteningly close to bankruptcy was teeming with tourists again.
Fast-forward to today, when the results are even more manifest. Each year, some fifty five million tourists come through New York City – more than six times its number of residents. Once again, New York has become attractive to outsiders coming in, as well as to those who live and work there daily.
Many envision riding this wave of success indefinitely, but one New York Republican isn’t so sure this positive trend will continue. In fact, he believes that NYC may be on a downward trajectory, due to consistently poor decision-making by Democrat policy makers. This man is Michel Faulkner and he is running for mayor of New York City.
Michel Faulkner wants to put a halt to higher taxes and crime rates – and he wants the change to happen from the top. The 59-year-old has spent the better part of thirty years dedicating himself to the citizens of New York, with an exhaustive list of attributes that attest to his outreach abilities, can-do attitude, and common touch. An active Christian clergyman for three decades, his work has included helping the homeless, running after-school programs, organizing job fairs and job placement programs, and manning educational initiatives. His efforts have had life-changing effects on New York City’s every age group and demographic, demonstrating his uncanny aptitude for problem solving and community care across the spectrum.
Last year, when a cold front hit the city, Faulkner held a protest in one of the housing projects area. Within a day, Mayor de Blasio was on the phone with the TA President of the buildings, seeking assistance. Sixty workers came to the housing projects inside of a week to improve the situation.
In a very tangible way, New York has benefited from thegrassroots support Michel has enjoyed, which continues to this day. “I’m not coming from a political background,” Faulkner says.“I have been helping communities and people, year in year out, trying to make a difference.”
An entrepreneurial spirit has been present in Michel Faulkner since he was quite young. Rearedby a single mother, his passion and determination led him to play a season of pro football with the New York Jets. Afterwards, armed with a Master’s degree in education and career counseling from Virginia Tech, he’d go on to put theory into practice in both fields of study. Specifically, he’d provide educational outreach within the religious arena, leading several
congregations over his career, while counseling thousands experiencing distress in their lives. Currently, he is the leader of the New Horizon Church, which he founded in 2006.
Not content with clergy work alone, Faulkner also involved himself in an array of boards, committees, and organizations, lending his expertise, and a much-needed hand, to those in need. In the past decade and a half alone, his community work has been legion. He has joined the Giuliani-appointed Police Community Relations Task Force and founded Over the Hump Resources, which provides working capital and management assistance to small and medium business worldwide. From 2002 to 2004, Michel served as World Vision’s Director of US Programs. A year later, he served as Regional Chaplain for New York State Office of Children and Family Services. In 2005, Faulkner founded the Institute for Leadership, a non-profit organization that develops leaders and leadership programs. The institute brings leadership principles to the attention of teachers, business leaders, government officials, public servants, sports coaches, and ministers.
In 2010, the mayoral-hopeful made an unsuccessful congressional campaign to unseat Democrat Charles Rangel. Along the way, he amassed political experience and began the coalition building and canvassing necessary to reach for the mayoral position a half dozen years later.
Also in 2010, Faulkner authored Restoring The American Dream, a book outlining how this country could – and should - change course in years to come.
“I have always believed that my highest calling in life is to serve the powerless and to speak for the voiceless,” he writes in its pages. “We all see the unraveling the fabric of our society, and the pervasive corruption that is choking our nation.”
For Michel Faulkner, these are “critical times with a critical need” to bring a new leader to Gracie Mansion –
one who has the credibility, reliability, community
experience,and understanding necessary to change
New York City for the better.