A Fresh Meadows attorney wants to breathe life back into stunted small businesses in his district.
Alex Blishteyn, a Republican candidate for City Council, said he has seen too many shops close their shutters in the 23 years he has lived in District 24.
“I remember that area when small businesses were flourishing,” he said. “You could walk up Kissena Boulevard and people would be going in and out of stores.”
Now, Blishteyn said, local stores are being “overregulated and overburdened” with city taxes and regulations.
“They’re not being allowed to operate,” he said. “That’s why we’re seeing a lot of them shut down. They’re being nickel-and-dimed to death.”
The first-time candidate has raised about $16,000 so far in his bid to replace Councilmember James Gennaro, who is stepping down after reaching his term limit. District 24 stretches from Fresh Meadows to Jamaica.
“I think that the community is not well represented,” said Blishteyn, 35. “We need a voice for the people who actually live in that area, one who actually represents the residents of the area. I haven’t found that to be the case.”
Blishteyn, who calls himself the “citizen candidate,” said education is at the top of his agenda. He added that instituting a voucher program and tax credits for private school tuition would give parents more school choices for their children.
“I’ve never been a political activist,” Blishteyn said. “I’m the regular guy who really has had enough with what’s happening with our city.”
Blishteyn is supported by past and present GOP lawmakers including Councilmember Eric Ulrich and former Congressmember Bob Turner.
Other candidates in the District 24 race include former Assemblymember Rory Lancman, who leads in fundraising, Andrea Veras and Mujib Rahman.