My name is Gary Carsel. Though I am running as the Democrat candidate for the New York State Senate in the 24th Senate District, who I am, and what I am, extends beyond party lines. I support the Democratic Party in its dedication to the middle-class, the value the Democratic Party places on neighbor helping neighbor, and the value the Democratic Party places on unions. (My uncle Wilfred, from whom I derive my middle name, wrote a union history.) Still, who I am does not begin, or end, with the Democratic Party. My support of the Democratic Party does not define me.
Who I am has been forged by years of pursuing my dreams. At the age of 30 I left behind a job at Capitol Records as a Contracts Administrator and ventured out from my native Los Angeles to pursue life as a playwright in New York City. While in New York City, I was a regular at the legendary William Packard’s Playwriting classes at HB Studios, before I earned a masters degree in Playwriting from Columbia University.
By the time I moved to Christchurch, New Zealand, in the mid-1990’s, I had plays produced in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. While in Christchurch, New Zealand, I continued to write plays in the form of a monthly late-night series of shows called Dumped in Space, also a collection of one-minute plays, called Newsbytes. Most importantly, my daughter Casey was born.
With the birth of Casey, I became increasingly involved with the community. I joined the board of Casey’s day care center, and I became the President of the Canterbury Hebrew Congregation.
Upon returning to New York City in early March, 2001, I embarked upon a career as a mediator. Following mediation experience with the New York Metropolitan Area Better Business Bureau, the Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution in the Bronx, and Civil Court in the Bronx, I landed a job with the New York Center for Interpersonal Development, here on Staten Island, as a mediation coordinator.
Up until the end March, 2012, when I left to devote all my energies to representing the people of the 24th Senate District, for 7 years I had been the Mediation Coordinator for the Civil Court here on Staten Island. Currently, I mediate as a consultant for the Courts. This means I am continuing to help resolve disputes. Beside my life experience, my mediation skill is a skill I hope to bring to the government in Albany.
I see the concept of mediation as neatly capturing the kaleidoscope of my beliefs about the obligation of each of us to do our part to make our community a better place to live. In keeping with that way of thinking, besides being a member of the Executive Committee of the Richmond County Democratic Committee and the Staten Island Democratic Association, I am a member of the Board of Governors for the South Shore Democratic Club, on the New York State Democratic Committee, a board member of the Lathrope Voorspuy Memorial Scholarship Fund, and a board member of the Sundog Theatre. An avid exercise enthusiast, I am also a member of Staten Island Bicycle Association, and the Staten Island Athletic Club.
I have lived my life in pursing my dreams. I promise to exert my skills and energy to not only guard the quality of life for my constituents, but to insure my friends and neighbors in New York's 24th Senate District, have the opportunities to pursue their dreams.