There’s a lot at stake in this year’s upcoming election. New Yorkers will choose a new mayor, comptroller and public advocate. In the Bronx—a new borough president and several city council seats are also up for grabs. With so many candidates and a primary election looming, local leaders want to ensure that voters here are part of the electoral process.

What You Need To Know

  • South Bronx communities have battled poor environmental conditions, poverty and were hit especially hard during the height of the pandemic

  • Community groups teamed up with The City to inform voters about upcoming elections

  • NY primaries early voting begins on June 12. Primary Day is June 22

“We know all the things we’ve been advocating for and opposing have been because our elected officials haven’t been representing us properly. We don’t think they fear our vote. So we are trying to make sure that our folks understand the need to vote and be more civically engaged,” said Mychal Johnson.

Johnson is with South Bronx Unite—an organization that advocates for Mott Haven and Port Morris. The two South Bronx Communities have battled poor environmental conditions, poverty and other quality of life issues for decades. The area was hit especially hard during the height of the pandemic.

“We need to see how these new elected or people running for office and who become our new officials will represent us. We need different outcomes, different health outcomes,” he said.

To do that, he teamed up with other community groups and The City, a news outlet and editorial partner of NY1, that helped create a voters guide. The Vote Fest is meant to engage and inform residents.

“This is a huge election. We want to make sure that voters have the information they needed,” said Allison Dikanovic who is with The City's engagement team.

“It’s very important. I told both of my daughters, starting at age 1 about how important it is to vote,” said Tonya Ebanks.

Because the city has such a high number of democrats whoever wins the primary, usually goes on to win the race. But primaries in New York are known to have low voter turnout, especially in communities of color.

Yyou can’t win if you don’t show up. And we have to show up. We have enough issues that we are grappling with in our community. We have to be determined enough to say we need representation that’s going to take those issues and advocate for our needs in an equitable fashion,” said Jessica Clemente, CEO of We Stay/Nos Quedamos.

Voters will get to show up for early voting in the primaries beginning June 12. Primary Day is June 22.