Council Member Barry S. Grodenchik represents the twenty-third council district in Eastern Queens; he was elected to the council in November 2015. During his first year in the council, Barry successfully advocated for sixteen million dollars in funding for emergency food assistance and helped lead the fight against an ill-conceived co-location proposal, which was ultimately withdrawn, for Intermediate School 109Q in Queens Village. Barry has partnered with Assemblymember Andrew D. Hevesi and Council Member Stephen Levin to push for home stability support, a new statewide rent supplement for families and individuals facing eviction, homelessness, or loss of housing. In cooperation with other local elected officials and community leaders, Barry helped secure funding in the city budget for a new precinct, the 116th, to serve southeast Queens and alleviate pressure on the overburdened and geographically extensive 105th Precinct; the announcement came after forty years of community and political activism on the issue.
A lifelong Queens resident, Barry grew up in NYCHA’s Pomonok Houses in Flushing, where he developed a deep understanding of the concerns that working and middle class families face in New York. Barry attended Queens public schools before earning his degree in Economics and History at Binghamton University.
These experiences shaped Barry’s belief in the importance of strong local public schools and effective community supports as a means of giving more families the opportunity to live in safe, healthy neighborhoods. As a result, Barry has built his career helping our community. He worked for Assemblymember Nettie Mayersohn, assisting constituents in navigating city and state bureaucracy; he served as Queens Borough President Claire K. Shulman’s chief administrative officer for over a decade. As a result of his work in the community, Barry was elected to the New York State Assembly in 2002. In the Assembly, he continued his work on a range of issues, including improving nursing home care, saving taxpayers over ten million dollars annually with his nursing home reform bill that was signed into law. From 2010 to 2013, Barry was Deputy Queens Borough President under Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall. Just before he was elected to the council, Barry served as director of community boards for Queens Borough President Melinda R. Katz.
In all of these positions, Barry was directly involved in keeping Queens a great place to live, work and raise a family. He has fought to preserve our hospitals, secured funding for senior centers, parks and libraries, helped drive the creation of new schools to ease overcrowding, and worked with the police to keep our streets safe. Barry has been a leader in the effort to reduce domestic violence and sexual harassment, bringing together stakeholders and survivors to develop new plans to fight these often-ignored crimes. For his work, Barry has been honored by numerous community organizations, including the Bnos Malka Academy, the Taiwan Association, the Korean American Association, the Southeast Queens Community Partnership, and the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty.
Barry resides in Hollis Hills with his wife Debra, a Professor of Mathematics at Nassau Community College and their son David, a State University of New York undergraduate student.