In 1987 the Suffolk County Democratic Committee through its Chair, Dominic Baranello, officially authorized a Democratic Club in the Town of Southampton. The Club's first President was a gifted young Democrat with a future in politics - John P. Spata, the Vice Chair of the Southampton Town Democratic Committee. After John's untimely death in his early twenties, his mother and long time political activist, Joan Farrell, became the Club's second President, and Committee Chair Baranello named the Club in honor of John. Subsequent Presidents Marion Boden, Charleen Murphy, Thomas Henry, Grania Brolin, and Joy Flynn (current) have pursued the Club's established goals of providing a forum for discussion of issues of concern to Southampton Town residents.
Meeting ten times a year to present informed speakers on a range of social and political issues, the John P. Spata Southampton Democratic Club has evolved into a strong organization with considerable impact on the community. The Club supports local candidates by offering them a public forum and through financial contributions. In addition the Club has supported a number of charitable organizations by helping to raise funds in support of their activities.
Recent programs offered at the John P. Spata Southampton Democratic Club’s monthly meetings demonstrate the diversity of our members’ concerns.
Does NYS Need to Amend Its Constitution?
Speaker: Jerry Goldfeder, Special Counsel, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, LLP
Should Democrats Join Republicans in Tax Reform?
Speaker: Steve Abramson
Being Muslim in America
Veterans' Benefits: A Primer
Speaker: Joseph Sledge, Public Affairs Office, Northport VA Medical Center
A Day at the Office of a Congressperson
Speaker: The Honorable Tim Bishop, Former District I Congressman, with Dr. Shivaji Sengupta, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Boricua College, NYC as Moderator
Protecting Human Rights Close to Home
Speaker: Dawn Lott, Executive Director of the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission
Meet the Democratic Candidates for the 1st Congressional District
Speakers: Anna Throne-Holst and David Calone
The ins and outs of the presidential nominating process and electoral college
Speaker: Jerry Goldfeder, Special Counsel, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, LLP
Speaker: Dr. Mary Bushnell Greiner, Associate Professor of Social Foundations of Education at Queens College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Big Brothers Big Sisters: Changing Lives for the Better, Forever
Speakers: Felecia Wilson, Woman of the Year for Big Brothers Big Sisters of LI; Vice President Judicial Title, Nancy Travers, Director of Services, Big Brothers Big Sisters of LI
The Government Closest to You: The Structure, Power and Adaptability of New York State's Local Governments
Speaker: Tommy John Schiavoni, Social Studies Teacher, Center Moriches High School, Trustee, Village of North Haven Board and Sag Harbor School Board
Food Future: A discourse on GMO, Industrial, Organic and Artisanal Food
Speakers: Dr. Mark Fasanella, Visiting Professor of Environmental Art, Architecture and Design in the Sustainability Studies Program at Stony Brook University (SBU), & Dr. Sharon Pochron, Lecturer & Researcher in the Sustainability Studies Program, SBU
Documentary Film: Mr. Civil Rights, Thurgood Marshall & the NAACP
Introductions by Lucius Ware, President of Eastern Long Island NAACP
Democrats Unite! It's Time to Stop the Bullies from Taking over!
Speaker: Dr. Mark Naison, Professor of African-American Studies & History, Fordham University
A Friendly Conversation with Your Candidates
Speakers: Candidates on the Ballot for November 3, 2015
How Do We Strengthen Suffolk County's Future?
David Calone, Chairman, Suffolk County Planning Commission
How To Make Irresponsibility Pay Off!
Jules Feiffer, Author, Cartoonist
Shinnecock, a Documentary about the Shinnecock Nation
Thom Hoffman, filmmaker
Domestic Violence: Why Doesn’t She Just Leave?
Minerva Perez, Director of The Retreat: Domestic Violence Prevention Services
Rosemary Mascali, Manager of Transit Solutions
The Comfortable Landscape: How We Should Be Creating Ecological Architecture, Infrastructure, and Community Design
Dr. Marc Fasanella,Visiting Professor of Environmental Art, Architecture and Design in the Sustainability Studies Program at Stony Brook University
How to make students hate school and teachers hate their jobs: The testing catastrophe that has descended upon New York State
Why Long Island's Energy Model Doesn't Work
The Right to Vote Under Fire
The Latino Voter
NYS Assemblyman Phil Ramos; Co-Chairs, Suffolk County Black & Hispanic Democratic Committee: Dafny Irizarry, Board Chair, Suffolk Community College, and Shirley Coverdale, Executive Director, Family Community Life Center; Minerva Perez, Director of The Retreat's Domestic Violence Shelter and local voting Latina
Meet the Candidates!
Meet the candidates for Supervisor, Town Council, Town Justice, Highway Superintendent, and Town Trustee who will appear on the ballot Election Day, November 5, 2013
The Past & Future of the Hamptons
James E. Tolan, Campaign Advance Man for the Robert F. Kennedy for President Campaign, 1968
Growing up with Eleanor Roosevelt
Grania Brolin, President Emeritus, John P. Spata Southampton Town Democratic Club
The Great Fracking Debate: Why Natural Gas Is Not the Answer to Our Energy Future
Patti Wood, Executive Director, Grassroots Environmental Education
Affordable Housing: Two Approaches with a Common Denominator
Les Scheinfeld, Director of Development, Habitat for Humanity
Richard Blowes, Executive Director, Town of Southampton Housing Authority
Guest Speaker: Karl Grossman, investigative journalist and professor of journalism,
Can We Not
Guest Speaker: Gwen O'Shea, President & CEO of the Long Island Health and Welfare Council
How Media Endorsements Are Made: A View from the Inside
Joe Shaw, Executive Editor, Southampton Press
Suffolk County’s Financial Outlook
Regina Calcaterra, Esq., Chief Deputy for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone
How Occupy Wall Street Has Reinvigorated Progressive Policies and Made Conversations
about Inequality Acceptable in Polite Circles
Mark Naison, Ph.D.
The First Amendment: The Plumbing of America’s Democracy
Andrea Harum Schiavoni, Southampton Town Justice and Sag Harbor Village Justice
Suffolk County's Future
Steve Bellone, Babylon Town Supervisor and Candidate for Suffolk County Executive
Anna Throne-Holst, Southampton Town Supervisor
After Steve Levy and Before Rick Perry: A Cold Sober Look at the 2011 and 2012 Elections
Bob Keeler, Pulitzer Prize winning writer
The State of Preservation in Our Town
Sally Spanburgh, Southampton Landmarks & Historical Districts Board
PDDs: Public Input = Community Benefit
Bob DeLuca, President & CEO, Group for the East End
Frank Zappone, Deputy Town Supervisor Southampton
De-mystifying the Health Care Bill
Jeanne Alicandro, M.D.
David N. Posnett, M.D.
Walking the Talk: Balancing personal values & beliefs
Emily Wurgaft, Director of Majority Council, Emily’s List
Brette McSweeney, Executive Director, Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee
Vivian Viloria-Fisher, Suffolk County Legislator
Moving Forward: post-election perspective
Sue Hornik, Regional Director, Organizing for America
Maureen’s Haven: A Regional Model
Peter Soros, Exec. Director, Peconic Community Council
Kay Kidde, Mardythe DiPirro, Lorry Werner
Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Sylvia Baruch, Chair, Neighbors in Support of Immigrants
Luis Valenzuela, Exec. Director, Long Island Immigrant Alliance
Joseph M. Gergela III, Executive Director of Long Island Farm Bureau
Joaquin Luis Mendez, Director of English as a Second Language (ESL) & Dual Language Program in Southampton Schools
Thirteenth Grade or a Very Smart Move?
Richard Morse, Ph. D., Adjunct Professor of Psychology, Suffolk County Community College
History You Should Know
Elizabeth Thunder Bird Haile, Shinnecock Nation Elder and Educator
An Insider’s View of NYS Government and Politics
Judith Hope, Esq., former Chairwoman of the NYS Democratic Committee, Founder of the Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee
Our Bays Under Siege: A Call to Action
Kevin McAllister, Peconic Baykeeper
Southampton’s Organic Renaissance
Brian Halweil, Senior Fellow, World Watch Institute and Editor, Edible East End
Other guest speakers include current and former elected officials and candidates on the national, state, county and local levels. Elected officials who have recently addressed Southampton Democratic Club breakfast meetings include U.S. Congressman Tim Bishop, Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, Town Board Member Bridget Fleming, Esq., Town Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor, Town Trustee Bill Pell.