22 January 2021 by Michael Dorgan
Lights, camera, action!
Former Congregation member Michael DenDekker is giving up his career in politics and returning to his roots in the entertainment industry.
DenDekker, who represented the 34th Congregation District for 12 years, said he now works as a film and television actor, and also writes television scripts.
The 59-year-old had represented Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst and parts of Woodside and Corona during his tenure, but has chosen to deviate from politics. DenDekker lost to Progressives Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas in Democratic Elementary School last July and his term ended on December 31st.
“I look forward to this next chapter in my life that will combine my knowledge of and work in the political areas of the city and state with my passion for storytelling and entertainment,” said DenDekker.
A native of Jackson Heights, he began his life in the public sector in 1995 when he entered the hygiene department. He rose to become a supervisor and was assigned to the New York Bureau of Emergency Management after the 9/11 attacks before becoming a facility manager for the city council in 2006.
DenDekker began acting as a child and worked for the city and state throughout his career where he participated in community theater. He has also appeared on successful television shows such as Law and Order, Elementary and Billions.
The former lawmaker has also appeared in films like Miracle at St. Anna, Inside Man, American Gangster, and Meet Dave.
DenDekker said he has a strong focus on TV scriptwriting that will use his time in public life.
“Through my writing, I can bring these experiences from the walls of community offices, televisions and movie sets, and the halls of the State Capitol to a wider audience,” DenDekker said.
“I know people will relate and appreciate the honesty, humor, and sincerity of the stories I write.”
DenDekker said he has already written a number of scripts and is looking for an agent to help him close deals on his new writing projects.
The former lawmaker said he wrote a 44-episode drama based on his experiences that will help the city respond to the 9/11 attacks.
He is also writing a political drama based on his time in the congregation.
“During my career, I have met and worked with so many amazing people and personalities and been part of interesting situations and challenges that most people will never experience,” he said.