- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.Q6qPkwFC.dpuf On the Last Leg of the Campaign Trail with Gustavo Rivera | Bronx News Networkbronx

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

On the Last Leg of the Campaign Trail with Gustavo Rivera

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.

Poll coordinator Hasan Ali with voter-card scanner at Mosholu Montefiore Community Center. 
(All photos by Jordan Moss)

Outside, just across the street, Councilman Oliver Koppell's staffers, including chief-of-staff Annie O'Connor were handing out Rivera palm cards. Their team included Jonathan Furlong of the Brooklyn-based Pratt Area Community Council. His group is part of the Real Rent Reform Campaign which sees Espada as the enemy of strengthening rent laws. 

Jonathan Furlong of Pratt Area Community Council distributes palm cards for Gustavo Rivera 
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.

Rivera, joined by Councilman Oliver Koppell 
greets voters at the JASA Van Cortlandt Senior Center earlier today.

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.

Rivera and Councilman Fernando Cabrera shook hands with 
people on line for lunch at the R.A.I.N. Bailey Senior Center.

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.

Rivera with Assembly candidate Hector Ramirez at a senior center in Mount Hope. 


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