District manager announces bid for eastern Queens City Council seat

Markell touts city experience
Debra Markell. (QNS file photo)

The race to replace Councilman Barry Grodenchik in District 23 has grown larger.

Debra Markell, who serves as the district manager of Community Board 2, announced her candidacy for the City Council seat this week. Markell joins five others in the race to fill Grodenchik’s shoes, after the councilman recently announced he would not seek reelection in 2021.

In her announcement, Markell cited her experience in local government — in addition to working as a district manager, she served as a community board member, president of the 109th Precinct Community Council and chair of the Flushing Hospital advisory board — as a feature that separates her from the growing field of candidates.

“My experience in government and as a community leader uniquely prepares me for this race,” Markell said. “When I look ahead at the daunting challenges facing our city, it is evident that experience is crucial to getting our city back on track. While COVID-19 changed our way of life on many levels, I know we can come back stronger.”

The North Shore Towers resident said her focus would be on senior services programs, transportation issues, championing co-op and condo owners’ rights, public education and public safety if elected to represent Bayside Hills, Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Holliswood, Little Neck, New Hyde Park, Oakland Gardens and Queens Village.

Markell previously ran for City Council in 2009, when she ran to represent the 19th District.

Markell, who was born, raised and educated in Queens, will face a crowded field of candidates during the 2021 Democratic primary in June.

Five others have announced their candidacy for the City Council seat including Jaslin Kaur, an organizer from northeast Queens; Linda Lee, the executive director of Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York; Steve Behar, a member of Grodenchik’s staff; Sanjeev Jindal, a public relations official at the India Association of Long Island; and Christopher Fuentes-Padilla, who works in asset protection at Bloomingdale’s.

Correction: An earlier version of this story listed Markell as a former district manager. She currently serves as district manager of Community Board 2. We regret this error. 

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