Following his 12-year run in Albany, former assemblyman Michael DenDekker is gearing up for his next act as he eyes a return to his entertainment roots. DenDekker is now focusing on writing projects for broadcast and streaming services while continuing his work as a film and television actor.
Prior to losing his primary challenge to Jessica González-Rojas last year, DenDekker represented the 34th District, which includes East Elmhurst, Woodside and Jackson Heights where he was born and raised. Among his first writing projects is a TV drama based on his personal experiences as a first responder in New York City.
The project, for which he has written a pilot script, treatment and 44-episode story arcs, is a fictional story based on his real-life experiences during and after the Sept. 11 attacks at the World Trade Center.
“Throughout my career, I have met and worked with so many fascinating people and personalities, and been a part of interesting situations and challenges that most people will never experience,” DenDekker said. “Through my writing, I can bring these experiences out of the walls of municipal offices, television and film sets, and the halls of the state Capitol to a wider audience. I know people will relate to and appreciate the honesty, humor and sincerity in the stories I am writing.”
DenDekker began his public service career in the city’s Department of Sanitation where he was promoted from sanitation worker to supervisor in 2001 when he responded to the World Trade Center. Within hours of the attacks, he was sent to work with the city’s Office of Emergency Management where he served as the Public Information Officer assigned to the Joint Information Center. In that capacity, DenDekker was responsible for assisting with the proper dissemination of information and statistics as they related to the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
He stayed in that role at the OEM for the next five years during the anthrax attack, the crash of American Airlines Flight 587, the 14th Street Con Ed explosion, the 2003 power outage, the Staten Island Ferry accident and NYC’s Hurricane Katrina response effort. He eventually moved on to the City Council as a facilities manager, overseeing all 51 Council offices and their operations at City Hall. That experience launched DenDekker’s political career.
While in the Assembly, DenDekker’s tenure was highlighted by his chairing of the powerful Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee and authoring more than 30 laws. His term came to an end in December when he decided to return to his roots with acting credits that includes appearances in TV show and movies including “Elementary,” “Law and Order,” “Feds,” “Billions,” “30 Rock,” “Inside Man,” “American Gangster,” “Meet Dave,” “Miracle at St. Anna,” “You’re Nobody Till Somebody Kills You” and “The Happening.”
“I’m excited for this next chapter in my life, which really is bridging my knowledge of and work in the city and state’s political arenas with my passion for storytelling and entertainment,” DenDekker said, adding that he has also written a second episode drama that intertwines a detective with his experience as a background actor.
He is also writing a political drama based on his time in the New York State Legislature.
DenDekker is currently looking to retain an agent to represent his and his work and help him secure deals for his writing projects.