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About Mike

TESTED. TRUSTED. READY.

Mike Tsichlis for Missouri

SERVICE. With a humbling sense of responsibility and a longstanding commitment to serving his community, Dr. Mike Tsichlis is running as a conservative Republican seeking the office of Missouri State Representative for District 96.

Mike has lived in Southwest St. Louis County with his family for 26 years. During this time, he has come to know the residents of District 96 well - its families, business owners, those living there for generations, as well as newcomers.

During the past decade, Mike has had the privilege of serving the people of District 96 at the local level. In 2013 he was elected to the Board of Alderman in Crestwood where he also served as Board President. During his tenure, Mike fought to keep Crestwood safe, supporting the purchase of new police vehicles and fire apparatuses, as well as the provision of covered health insurance for first responders and their families.

In order to better understand the views of city residents on matters like economic development, Mike held town-hall meetings and provided feedback to city officials. He also advocated for greater local government accountability and fought “backroom politics” to the point where an area newspaper lauded Mike’s record on promoting ethics and transparency as “impeccable.”

Mike helped save residents $32 million in deferred tax revenues demanded by a financially troubled developer seeking taxpayer handouts to redevelop the old Crestwood Plaza mall site. Despite heavy pressure to proceed with the deal, Mike exposed the firm’s insolvency and the proposal was dropped. Today a mixed-use commercial/single family home development is under development at the old mall site – without tax deferred subsidies that would hurt public safety services and area schools.

After years of serving as a parent volunteer in the Lindbergh School District, in 2016 Mike was elected to the Board of Education, where during tumultuous times he has taken tough stands. When teachers’ union members resorted to “working to contract” during salary negotiations and dropped their involvement in extracurricular activities, Mike called them out in public, and stepped up as a volunteer to lead afterschool activities, like the Chess Club and Youth in Government, ensuring these important opportunities remained available to students.  

Mike also worked for greater school safety at Lindbergh, helping train staff and students in emergency preparedness and response techniques. He supported the passage of Proposition R in 2019, a no-tax-increase bond issue to create hardened security entrances at district schools and to completely rebuild the 70-year-old district high school campus with 28 open entryways into a state-of-the-art facility with a single entrance and advanced security systems.

As Lindbergh Treasurer, Mike has been an ongoing advocate for fiscal efficiency and responsibility, and today Lindbergh is the rare exception among public districts that use a hybrid form of zero-based budgeting rather than assigning yearly automatic increases to department budgets. Mike is proud to say that during his six years on the school board, no new tax increases have been put to the voters, and today Lindbergh has the lowest blended property tax rate of public school districts in St. Louis County.   

When K-12 teaching incorporating critical race theory (CRT) began appearing in school districts across the country, including the St. Louis region, Lindbergh Schools was no exception. During the COVID pandemic, Mike heard concerns from parents in the district about what was being taught in some classes. In every case he personally took issues to district administrators to inform them and push for action on behalf of parents.

In public board meetings, Mike has spoken out against using CRT-inspired methods in teacher training and classroom instruction where adults and kids are placed into oppositional categories based on their ethnicity, race, sex, or other immutable characteristics. He has requested in public meetings that if parents discover their children were taught using such divisive methods that they inform the administration and board. He has also been an advocate for curriculum transparency for teaching less about what separates us and more about what we have in common as American citizens.

Mike has worked closely with concerned parents to address a variety of issues in the schools. When it was discovered that numerous books found in the high school library contained material with extremely explicit sexual images, he stood with parents demanding their rights to keep their minor-aged children from accessing such materials.     

Throughout his public service, Mike has been a consistent and staunch voice for parents and other community members who feel their voices are not being heard and their concerns not effectively addressed.

Despite the diversity of opinion voters may have, over the years Mike has come to see that virtually all share the determination to keep District 96 safe, its schools strong, and its economy vibrant. For nearly a decade Mike has been fighting to do just that.

For Mike, public service is about doing the work of taking stands on the issues that matter and delivering results for district residents.

Mike knows from experience that public service is a SACRED TRUST between constituents and those they elect to represent them. Holding a public office is never about the office holder – it’s about listening to constituents’ concerns and being there for them when they need it.

Now, Mike is asking that voters support him as he takes the issues that matters to them to Jefferson City.

FAMILY. Mike grew up in the City of St. Louis, the youngest of two boys. His father, George Tsichlis, was the son of Greek immigrants and a World War II veteran, who after returning home joined the St. Louis Fire Department, attaining the rank of captain. A respected leader, he served with distinction for thirty years, during which he was hospitalized for severe injuries while on duty on multiple occasions. The memories of his dad’s injuries forever etched in Mike’s mind the level of sacrifice many of our first responders endure to protect their communities.

Mike’s dad married his mother Thelma after they first met on the dance floor of the Casa Loma Ballroom in South St. Louis. In addition to raising her sons, Mike’s mom worked as a clerk at the U. S. Army headquarters in St. Louis and later for the Veterans Administration. From her he learned the importance of charity and kindness toward others.

Mike’s parents were children and young adults through the Great Depression and World War II, and despite hard times and challenges, they never lost faith in the importance of their country and the American Dream. His family flew an American flag outside their house every day.

Mike’s parents imparted many character defining values, which are increasingly under assault in today’s political and cultural climate: honesty, integrity, hard work, courtesy, dedication, duty, and fair play. They saw people as unique individuals with potential who were first and foremost defined by their character and a clear understanding of the difference between right and wrong.

Mike misses his parents every day and is grateful for the core values they imparted.

It was during his college years that Mike met his wonderful wife of 25 years, Vasilika, who he knew from church and was studying to be an elementary teacher. After they married, they settled down in the south end of Crestwood. Five years later, they were blessed with the birth of a son, George, who after graduating from Lindbergh High School in 2020, is now in his second year of college. Along with their 11-year-old Boston Terrier, Buddy, the family today resides in Fenton.

FAITH. Raised in a Greek Orthodox Christian home, Mike regularly participated in worship services, Sunday School, and youth activities where he came to understand that a fully lived life included a close relationship with God and his Son. His older brother went on to be ordained a Greek Orthodox pastor. Mike is a member of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the same parish his immigrant grandfather helped found over 100 years ago. It was here where he learned that all life is sacred, from the womb until its end. Over the years he has served his church as a Sunday School teacher, library and student scholarship committee chair, and for six years was director of the parish adult Christian education institute.

EDUCATION. After graduating from Southwest High School, Mike went on to earn his B.A. in political science and Russian studies in college. It was during that time that he came to understand and appreciate that the freedoms and way of life we enjoy in the United States was not common in much of the world, such as for those living behind the Iron Curtain. He had the opportunity to meet with people who fled Soviet communist oppression, including dissidents shipped off to Siberian prison camps for nothing more than writing or voicing an opinion not shared by the communist ruling class. Those stories of living under oppressive regimes and fighting for freedom continue to resonate today.

As his interest in politics grew during college, Mike cast his first vote in a presidential election for Ronald Reagan – who to this day remains an inspiring role model. Further studies in graduate school led to a master’s degree in public administration and doctoral degree in public policy studies from Saint Louis University.

While teaching American Politics as a doctoral assistant, Mike had the honor of teaching an upcoming generation of college students the structure and fundamental principles that are the foundation of our constitutional republic. One of his guest speakers, former Republican Missouri Senator Kit Bond, perhaps imparted the wisest observation. Reading books and studying political theories are fine, the Senator pointed out to Mike’s students, but ultimately “politics” was about meeting with and serving the people.

CAREER. After college Mike launched what would turn out to be a more than 20 year career in institutional advancement, developing financial resources as a staff member and consultant for many charitable, nonprofit, and educational institutions, among them Saint Louis University, Jefferson College, Aquinas Institute, Concordia Seminary, the Red Cross, and the United Way. Today, Mike is a communications consultant and author focusing on history, education, and regional issues.

 

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