By: Eric Coyotecatl
On September 13, New Yorkers cast their final votes or the New York Democratic primary election. Both candidates, actress-activist Cynthia Nixon and incumbent Andrew Cuomo, were pushing for the seat of governor.
Ultimately, Cuomo won the election by a landslide, receiving 65 percent of the votes. Although Nixon lost, her running was historic as the first openly gay women running for governor. Prior to the election, 2018 was already a significant year for women. This year alone women dominated primary season. According to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, 61 women ran for governor in the United States, and 16 of them won their party nominations. Nixon’s campaign ended up being revolutionizing for women.
In Harlem, women voters had plenty to say about Nixon, Cuomo and the political landscape.
Denise Daniels a 24-year-old living in East Harlem, had high hopes for Nixon and her campaign. Daniels was particularly supportive of the actress-activist’s plans to fix the subways.
“I mean we’ve had Cuomo for two terms and no change has happened with our subway systems. In a city so influenced by transit, this is an issue that has to be resolved,” explains Daniels. “It’s time for some change in office. It’s time for a woman to take charge.”
However, not every woman shared her opinion on Nixon. Stephanie Gibson, a resident of Harlem for over 25 years, cast her vote for Cuomo.
“I used to work in the labor department, and I have seen change under Cuomo. He has made housing better and ultimately has made it more affordable to live in a city like New York,” says Gibson. “Let’s be real, we already have one celebrity in a position of power in the White House. We don’t need another in New York. What we need is someone with experience that’s going to help us deal with the current president.”
Many voters had strong opinions on both candidates, yet some remained neutral. Dylan Zwickel, a female resident living around the Lexington Avenue area, voted for Nixon, but felt that the results would not really matter.
“I would like Nixon to win because I support her policies, especially the legalization of marijuana and her crack at the subway systems,” explains Zwickel. “However, I feel that either of them can win. Nixon’s progressiveness appeals to a lot of people, but her experience is in question. Something that can’t be said for Cuomo.”
Zwickel is ready for something new. “The candidate’s experience will play a crucial part in the result of the election,” she says. “However, I feel that whoever is elected has to make huge strides for the state of New York. Sure all their talking is nice, but let’s see real change happen in the community.”