Small Business Owners in Red Hook Lean Democratic

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Wet, decorative wooden plates pile up at a furniture store on the 9th street in Red Hook. Photo Credit: Yue Jiang

“It was like Titanic! Everything was lifted and put back down,” said Schultz, while walking around his store pointing out muddy water lines that are still left on some of the tables. “There was five feet of water, and it was just horrible.”

Schultz is still trying to assess the damages, and he has put claims through a few federal relief agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but nobody has replied to his claims.

A powerless grocery store on Wolcott Street hangs up lights powered by generators on the street to light the store.
Credit: Yue Jiang

Schultz said he would head to a polling site to vote after some more cleaning up. His choice of president is Obama.

“I would vote for him for social causes. If talking about business, I might not vote for him, but you need to know what is important, and I would vote for him because he is for people, and I think he did a pretty good job during the hurricane, too,” said Schultz.

Schultz can definitely find many same-minded small business owners in Red Hook, which was severely flooded during the hurricane. Many small business owners similarly found an average of three to four feet of water in their stores after the storm.

Akhtar Chaudhry, owner of a small diner on Wolcott Street in Red Hook, said everything was floating in his diner, even the refrigerator.  It took him days to clean everything up. His diner remains closed because of the lack of power in the area.

Akhtar Chaudhry stands inside his diner, where there is not much left after the hurricane, on Wolcott Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
Credit: Yue Jiang

Closing the business gave Chaudhry time to vote, and he voted Democratic for the presidency. Although it might take months for Chaudhry’s business to recover, he still thinks the president knows better what to do.

“He knows what’s going on and what the situations are,” said Chaudhry.

Right next door to the Akhtar’s diner is Richard Katz’s grocery store, where four feet of water ruined everything on lower shelves and below counter. Katz voted for Obama as well, though for slightly different reasons.

“I don’t think either of them is perfect, but I do think Obama is the lesser of two evils,” said Katz.

Ruined decorations pile in a furniture store on 9th street in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
Credit: Yue Jiang

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