Here are some snippets from a couple of hours I spent out at the polls and visiting a few senior centers with the Gustavo Rivera campaign earlier today. When I arrived at Mosholu Montefiore Community Center on DeKalb Avenue in Norwood, I saw Hasan Ali, a former member of Community Board 7, who was the coordinator of this polling site. As of about 11:30 a.m. 143 people had voted. Ali said things were going pretty smoothly with the new polling machines, essentially a scanner that reads the voters' penciled-in cards.
(All photos by Jordan Moss)
across from the Mosholu Montefiore Community Center earlier today.
A little later I met up with Rivera and Councilman Oliver Koppell at the JASA Van Cortlandt Senior Senior Center on Sedgwick Avenue. Koppell thinks Rivera is going to win. "Espada has finally run out his string," Koppell said, before listing the familiar litany of transgressions associated with Espada (throwing the state legislature into turmoil a year ago with his defection across the aisle to the Republicans, failure to file campaign finance reports, alleged theft of funds from his health centers, etc.) He also said he was confident that Rivera would do well in his district which he calculates as one-third of the 33rd Senate District. A low turnout may benefit Rivera, Koppell said. "More aware voters are more likely to be for Gustavo," he said. "The people we want to vote today are people who know what's going on." Finally, Koppell said he was impressed with the organization behind Rivera. "It's one of the most comprehensive primary day operations that I've seen," he said.
After departing the center, an upbeat Rivera headed over to the R.A.I.N. Bailey Senior Center for a similar meet-and-greet, this time accompanied by another ally, Councilman Fernando Cabrera. Bob Solano, a patron of the center, said he voted for Rivera, a native of Puerto Rico who easily alternated between English and Spanish depending on his audience. "I think he's the man we need now," Solano said. "We need some fresh blood." Other seniors, digging in to a hot lunch of chicken and broccoli, said they voted but declined to say who for.
My last stop with Rivera and Cabrera was at the Bronx Works Senior Center in Mount Hope. There Cabrera took to the microphone to broadcast his support for Rivera and Assembly candidate Hector Ramirez, who is challenging incumbent Nelson Castro.