An Election Day canvass of Coney Island projects finds ‘people who need medical assistance’

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Some New York City House Authority buildings in Coney Island still have "no electricity, no heat, no elevators," but lots of residents with medical needs, according to City Councilman Domenic Recchia.

Recchia, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and members of the United Federation of Teachers are out there this morning, bringing food and water to the residents, as well as trying to get them out to vote.

The two tasks are not easy.

"There are hundreds of people without power," Recchia told me, as his cell phone cut in and out. "It's just a tough day."

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Recchia said when the volunteers go door-to-door in NYCHA buildings, they are "finding people who need medical assistance."

"One kid who needs dialysis, we're going to carry him down," Reccha said. Others who need insulin and medication are also common, he said.

Despite the problems in NYCHA, Recchia said, "It's amazing how many of them say 'I want to vote.'"

There are "shuttle buses, but not enough" to help them get to the polling sites, Recchia said.

The biggest problem in Coney Island now, Recchia said, is the gas shortage.

Food, blankets and supplies are coming into the neighborhood, thanks to federal, state and city agencies as well as private organizations.

"I have generators that can light up 50 buildings but I need gas to run them," he said. And not just for the residents. "I need 50 gallons of gas to run the generators or I'm going to have a bunch of dead fish," he said, referring to now-endangered aquarium in his district.