A City Councillor for Scarborough Centre since 2003, Michael is an outspoken proponent of community safety and a tireless worker on behalf of the City and his Ward.
Michael is a leader who knows how to get things done at City Hall. His strong advocacy for public safety in the face of increased gun violence ultimately led to the development of a city-wide Community Safety Plan, a GTA-wide police task force on guns and gangs, an increase in the numbers of police officers on the street and a new young offender program designed to divert young people into jobs instead of jail.
To support and promote his community, Michael spearheaded the Wexford Heights Business Improvement Area and the Taste of Lawrence Avenue East Festival, which brings tens of thousands of people together to celebrate Scarborough's cultural diversity and vitality. He launched the "Scarborough Rocks" community image building campaign and hosts regular community events and town hall meetings. In 2006, as Chair of the Scarborough Community Council, he led the campaign to create the first ever TTC transit strategy for Scarborough, a strategy which promises to significantly expand and enhance public transit services for all Scarborough residents.
Michael's efforts on behalf of youth have resulted in new basketball courts at Goodlad Park, the establishment of a science and homework club, the introduction of floor tennis to schools in key neighbourhoods city-wide and the creation of a state-of-the-art skateboard park in his Ward. In 2006, he brought together businesses, schools, 41 Division police and the Future Aces program to create Ontario's first Positive Ticketing program for youth. The program rewards good behaviour with event tickets and discount coupons.
Michael's work on behalf of the community led to his re-election with the highest number of votes and the highest margin of victory of any Councillor in the 2006 City of Toronto municipal election.
A strong supporter of multiculturalism, Michael convinced Council to add culturally significant days to City Council's annual schedule of meetings, including the annual celebration of African Heritage, Kwanzaa and the Muslim Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr holy days.
Raised in Scarborough Centre, Michael graduated from Ionview Public School, Sir John A. Macdonald Collegiate and Concordia University, where he received a BA degree in Economics. Prior to entering politics, Michael worked in the financial services industry and later founded and ran a successful business services company.
A committed advocate of community-based projects and initiatives, Michael has raised funds for numerous organizations, including the Scarborough Hospital, Sickle Cell Ontario, Hellenic Home, Ontario Black History Society and Just for Kicks Soccer. Michael's participation on the front lines of many issues is shaping our city through his roles as Chair of Youth Assisting Youth, as a Board member of the Toronto Transit Commission, Economic Development Committee, the Toronto Zoo and as a Board Member and Vice President, Municipal Section of the Canadian National Exhibition. Michael has also volunteered for many organizations such as the Ontario March of Dimes, Second Harvest and the World Youth Day celebration.