Text, Interviews and Photos by Jose Olivares
With the last presidential debate coming up, Our Town Reno interviewed a few people living day to day on the streets, asking them what their political opinions are.
Damon and Tyelor were walking hand in hand in downtown Reno. They seemed disillusioned with the November 8 presidential vote.
“I think both parties are pieces of sh*t,” Damon told us. “If Hillary gets elected we’ll go to war. If Trump gets elected… well I don’t know what will happen. Probably total anarchy.”
“He’s racist,” Tyelor chimed in. “He’ll really harm the LGBT community. I’m part of that community. I don’t like that.”
“I think [Clinton is] just doing it for the money, honestly,” Tyelor added about the Democratic presidential candidate.
Could Obama Stay On?
We then spoke with Emalee G. and Chris W., who were not photographed for this piece.
Chris is a homeless veteran who served in the Marine Corps for 13 years.
“They’re both pieces of sh*t,” Chris told us. “I can’t support a liar and I can’t support a racist.”
“I served 13 years in the Marine Corps," he said. "I don’t vote and I see this country going to hell. For all the people we have in this country, these two [Clinton and Trump] are the only people they could find?”
Emalee mentioned she is a fan of President Obama, and jokingly proposed having him on a month-to-month contract. Chris said he likes a previous Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, for having served in the military and for being a prisoner of war.
Still Feeling the Bern
“I really liked that other guy,” Chris said.
“Oh Bernie!” Emalee said with a smile. “Yeah, he was awesome. Man, everybody’s pissed at him for dropping out. He would have won, too!”
Homelessness is the couple’s main sociopolitical issue they care about. For Chris, it’s homelessness and veterans.
“There are beds sometimes [in the shelter], but when it’s too full, we have to sleep outside,” Chris said. “I love my [veteran] benefits but it’s f*cked up [to sleep outside] because I still served my country best I can.”
Where do Homeless People Vote?
Lastly, we spoke with Ricky Perez, a 40-year-old man who has a walker to help him walk with his injured knee and hip.
Perez is registered to vote, bus since he is homeless and lives at the shelter, he does not know where his voting location will be on November 8.
“It’s a toss-up. I might just throw Hillary’s name in,” he said. “Her past with her husband Bill Clinton having been president, and her experience will make her better as a president.”
Social Security administration in the U.S. is the main issue he cares about for personal reasons. Perez has spine injuries and has received surgery on his knee and hip. He said he can use all the money he can get.