Michael DenDekker ’79

Michael DenDekker attended Our Lady of Fatima Grammar School, Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School and SUNY at Farmingdale. Working hard was instilled in him at a young age and as a teenager, Mr. DenDekker worked as a paperboy for the Long Island Press, he carried groceries for tips at the local Pantry Pride grocery store, he shoveled snow in the winter, and got his first real job working at the Thom McCan Shoe Store. Mr. DenDekker worked as a tow truck driver, a waiter, bartender and banquet manager for Dante Caterers, a milk truck driver, and an account representative for MetLife. In 1995, he joined the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY).  In 2001, he was promoted to the rank of Supervisor and assigned to the Bureau of Public Information and Community Affairs. He worked with members of the City’s press corps and disseminated information on DSNY statistics and operations.

On September 11, 2001, Mr. DenDekker responded to the World Trade Center. That day he assisted building stretchers for the large amount of wounded that were expected. After hours of work, he was reassigned to rescue and recovery efforts. In the days following the attacks, he supervised both a DSNY video recording crew and the movement of destroyed or damaged vehicles blocking streets leading to the site. Within days he was once again reassigned and detached to the New York City Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM). His OEM response efforts and achievements during and after the World Trade Center disaster have been recognized with numerous decorations and awards. In March 2003, OEM named him a Special Projects Coordinator.  He helped create the Ready NY campaign, an in-depth booklet and program designed to prepare NYers for any type of future attack, the OEM Speakers Bureau and wrote and produced several Public Service announcements about “go bags” and family communication plans. He also spoke at an international convention in Spain on volunteer and donation management. In March of 2006, Mr. DenDekker retired from the DSNY and his assignment at OEM to take an appointment as the Facilities Manager of the New York City Council. While at the City Council, he was responsible for all day-to-day operations of all 51 New York City Council Member offices, equipment, and facilities, as well as assisting in the operations of the Speakers Office and the Council Chambers in City Hall.

Mr. DenDekker was elected to the New York State Assembly on November 4, 2008 and represented one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the country, the 34th Assembly District, which includes Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst, parts of Woodside and most importantly McClancy High School. As our Assemblymember and being a graduate of 1979, Mike was very supportive financially. He brought funding to the school for the athletic department and was instrumental in getting the school new sidewalks.

Mike was defeated in a June 2020 primary and finished his twelfth and final year in the Assembly. He re-joined the New York City Office of Emergency Management in March 2021 as the Chief Accreditation Officer responsible for getting NYC accredited by the nationally recognized Emergency Management Accreditation Program and he was given the additional title of Director of Special Projects assisting with COVID 19 response, the flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida and various procurement projects.

Finally, Mike is also an accomplished actor and member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA). He has appeared in several popular TV shows including Law and Order, Elementary and Billions as well as several critically acclaimed movies such as Inside Man, American Gangster and Miracle at St. Anna. He also is an active writer and currently has four television projects being pitched to various production companies.