In order to gain a microcosmic perspective on the actual opinions of New Yorkers about the upcoming election, City & State and City Limits, in partnership with MetroFocus, present a new series: “The Five Borough Ballot.”
The business at Camaguey Restaurant on 138th Street in Mott Haven changes with the weather this time of year. The warmth and sun of Memorial Day means more people are barbecuing down the street in St. Mary’s Park than are coming to sit at the counter.
Around the corner on Brook Avenue, a regular Camaguey customer and the owner of a convenience store, Beverly Small, 59, sits behind her register noting the same lull. As the conversation turns to local politics, she strikes a note that is often repeated in Mott Haven—that the issues people face every day are more important than the elected officials representing them.
And for many, that means education.
“I know a lot of the people around here—I don’t think are very well educated,” Small says, explaining that a lot of her customers can’t read the lotto tickets they’ve just bought. Small has to tell them if their ticket is for a morning or evening drawing.
“Education is such a big deal.”
Small also talks about problems with kids coming in and trying to steal, and about fights on the street outside the week before that prompted her to call the police. “These kids need to be in some programs,” she says. “Most of the parents have no idea what the kids are up to.”
“Kids have to be kids, but this is a little too much.”
Continue reading this week’s Five Borough Ballot coverage on the Bronx Bureau website.