The Southold Town Democratic Club will host a breakfast featuring speaker Diana Gordon author of the recent book, “Village of Immigrants: Latinos in an Emerging America,” on Saturday, May 7, 2016, at CJ's American Grill, in the Mattituck Shopping Plaza, from 9 – 11 a.m. Gordon, professor emerita of political science and criminal justice at the City University of New York, will discuss the pivotal role the American small town plays in the ongoing immigrant story and how this booming population is shaping and reviving rural communities.
In her book, Gordon explains how Greenport has become an exemplar of a little-noted national trend—immigrants spreading beyond the big coastal cities, driving much of rural population growth nationally. In “Village of Immigrants,” she illustrates how Greenport has been revitalized by the arrival of these immigrants.
Greenport boasts a population that is one-third Hispanic. Gordon contends that these immigrants have effectively saved the village’s economy by taking low-skilled jobs, increasing the tax base, filling local schools, and patronizing local businesses. Greenport still attracts summer tourists, but she argues that it is only with the support of the local Latino workforce that the fine restaurants, bed-and-breakfasts, and other businesses, are able to serve these visitors.
For Gordon the picture is complex, because the wave of immigrants also presents our town with challenges to its services and institutions. Gordon’s portraits of local immigrants capture the positive and the negative, with a cast of characters ranging from a Guatemalan mother of three, including one child who is profoundly disabled, to a Colombian house painter with a successful business who cannot become licensed because he remains undocumented. Gordon’s book weaves together these people’s stories, fears, and dreams to reveal an environment plagued by threats of deportation, debts owed to coyotes, low wages, and the other bleak realities that shape the immigrant experience.
This breakfast is part of a series of monthly events planned by the Southold Town Democratic Club, aimed at bringing local Democrats together to discuss important issues, as well as to educate the public at large, regardless of party affiliation.
The cost for the event is $20 and includes a full breakfast featuring assorted Goldberg bagels, scrambled eggs, French toast, home fries, sausage, bacon, assorted juices, and mimosas.
For more information or to purchase tickets, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.