The Tischler brothers – Abraham, 21, and Moishy, 20 – still live with their parents, while they attend college during the evening and work during the day alongside their father. Yet despite their junior status in the wider world, Abraham has announced his intention to run for State Senate in Brooklyn’s new “Super Jewish” district. The elder Tischler brother – who previously tried to run for City Council but was ultimately thrown off the ballot due to technical issues related to the signatures on his voters’ petitions – will be going up against former City Councilman Simcha Felder and recently elected (in a soon-to-be abolished district) State Senator David Storobin. At the same time, Moishy is taking on the daunting challenge of trying to defeat venerable community leader Assemblyman Dov Hikind. Both brothers will appear on the ballot in September’s Democratic primary.
As a result of Abraham’s difficulties with his petitions two years ago, both brothers made sure to have solid legal guidance about their filings this time around. Although he only required 1,000 signatures to get on the ballot, Abraham submitted 3,000 names to the Board of Elections, while Moishy, who only needed 500, submitted a whopping total of 2,700.
“We’ve been knocking on doors every night. People want a change,” said Moishy, who denied rumors that he and his brother are really pressing their longshot candidacies for the ulterior motive of looking impressive in local social circles and gaining the favorable attention of matchmakers. “If somebody wanted a wife, there are many other ways,” he said. “That’s not our goal.”
The experts, however, seriously question the potential of the Tischler brothers to generate any political upsets. “You’d have to say they are tilting at windmills,” political consultant George Arzt said. “If they believe that they can win at a future time and are just trying to gain name recognition, that’s fine, but they are certainly not going to win now.”
But the Tischlers appear immune to outside pessimism, as they rely significantly on their parents, Harold and Linda, to assist with the collection of signatures and provide them with money to finance their campaigns. Their 12-year-old brother Jacob was hoping to help out as well, but state law requires that anyone who gathers signatures for election petitions must be age 18 and older.
In sharp contrast to their youth and lack of experience, the brothers speak in public in the same manner as long-time elected officials. When questioned recently by reporters, they responded with generalities about the importance of job creation and the need to eliminate disturbing fines for minor infractions on small business.
Proving there’s also room for an emerging young female on the political scene, Mindy Meyer – a 22-year-old law school student – is hoping to unseat State Senator Kevin Parker this September in Brooklyn’s 21st District. Meyer has been selected as the sole candidate of both the Republican and Conservative parties.
Unlike her youthful male counterparts, Meyer – an Orthodox resident of Flatbush – already has some experience in public service. Currently serving as a judicial intern for Judge Francois Rivera at the King County Supreme Court, the ambitious young woman also attends law school at night. According to Meyer, she was interested in politics from as far back as she can remember. “I met Mayor Giuliani when I was twelve,” Meyer says. “When we went to Washington for our 8th grade graduation trip, I tried to coordinate a trip to meet the president at the White House.”
A Touro College graduate, Meyer selected her law major as a means of qualification for political office. “I think many of the people who are in office right now, such as Kevin Parker, are disconnected from the younger generation,” Meyer said in an interview with VIN’s Sandy Eller. “They want people who are young, innovative, have new ideas and someone who can relate to the people. When I went around collecting signatures within the community, many of the people didn’t even know who Kevin Parker is. He isn’t involved in the community and is out of touch with his constituents.”
Meyer does not view her lack of actual political experience as a negative factor.“I can tell you one thing,” she declares, “I don’t have experience in corruption. That is how politics has to change. There is always corruption, but I plan to stick to my values and ensure that none of that goes on in my district.”
Meyer has already staked out several issues that she says concern her most and would be particular priorities for her if she obtained office. Those include school vouchers, the plight of battered women and the need of young adults who are involved in gangs to join educational programs that would prepare them for a degree. Meyer also wants to focus on police brutality, particularly when it appears to be racially motivated.
“We endorsed her,” said Jerry Kassar, chairman of Brooklyn’s Conservative party. “We filed her petitions on the Conservative Party line and we anticipate her being a strong candidate. We were very excited after we met with her, and I say she will be formidable and a strong contender. She has a maturity and an ability well beyond her years.”