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

Black Lives Do Matter
Speaker: Willie Jenkins

Should Democrats Join Republicans in Tax Reform?

Speaker: Steve Abramson

Being Muslim in America
Speaker:  Fizzah Idrees


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



Supporting the Latino Community on the East End
Speaker: Sister Margaret Smyth, Executive Director, North Fork Spanish Apostolate 


The ins and outs of the presidential nominating process and electoral college

Speaker: Jerry Goldfeder, Special Counsel, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, LLP


How to really make America great again: Being a fierce advocate for public education
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 WilsonWoman of the Year for Big Brothers Big Sisters of LI; Vice President Judicial Title, Nancy TraversDirector 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



Let's Get Quizzical!
Angela Careccia

How To Make Irresponsibility Pay Off!


Jules Feiffer, Author, Cartoonist


Shinnecock, a Documentary about the Shinnecock Nation


Thom Hoffman, filmmaker


Corruption in America from the Historical Perspective
Zephyr Teachout, Former Candidate for Governor of New York State & Associate Professor of Law at Fordham University

Gun Control:  Do New York's Gun Laws Affect the National Debate?
Jackie Hilly, Past Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence

Domestic Violence: Why Doesn’t She Just Leave?


Minerva Perez, Director of The Retreat: Domestic Violence Prevention Services



Transit 101:  Is There a Future for Mass Transit on Long Island?
Rosemary Mascali,
Manager of Transit Solutions
Derek Kleinow, Hampton Hopper

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

East End Veterans Court: A New Mission for Some
Andrea Harum Schiavoni, Southampton Town Justice and Sag Harbor Village Justice

Local Everything: Building Resilience Into Our Communities
Eric Cohen, Member of the Core Hamptons in Transition (HiT) Team; Virginia Gerrardi, Blogger at ecoliving4theeastend; 
Bobbie Cohen, Board Member of Women's Initiative for a Sustainable Earth (WISE)
Josh Belury, Executive Director of the Conscience Point Shellfish Hatchery

Washington Update:  The Latest News from Capitol Hill
Congressman Tim Bishop, First District of New York

How to make students hate school and teachers hate their jobs: 
The testing catastrophe that has descended upon New York State
Dr. Mark Naison, Professor of African-American Studies & History, Fordham University

Water We Going to Do?
Richard Amper, Executive Director, Long Island Pine Barrens Society

Why Long Island's Energy Model Doesn't Work
Thomas Bjurlof, Managing Director at Bruguel Advisors

The Right to Vote Under Fire
Guest Speakers:
Lucius Ware, President, Eastern Long Island NAACP
Amol Sinha, Director, Suffolk County Chapter of New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU)
Jason Starr, Director, Nassau County Chapter of NYCLU

The Latino Voter
Guest Speakers:
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
Guest Speaker:
Dan Rattiner, President and Editor-in-Chief of Dan's Papers

Can the Country Be Brought Together? A Ripple of Hope
Guest Speaker:
James E. Tolan,
Campaign Advance Man for the Robert F. Kennedy for President Campaign, 1968

Growing up with Eleanor Roosevelt

Guest Speaker:

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

Guest Speaker:

Patti Wood, Executive Director, Grassroots Environmental Education


Affordable Housing: Two Approaches with a Common Denominator

Guest Speakers:

Les Scheinfeld, Director of Development, Habitat for Humanity

Richard Blowes, Executive Director, Town of Southampton Housing Authority


What Can You Do About Money$ in Politics?
Guest Speakers:
Lauren Carmichael & Steven Lupo, Co-Founders, Move to Amend Brookhaven
David Stonehill, Esq., Voter Protection Advocate

Fifty Years of Journalism with Karl Grossman
Guest Speaker: Karl Grossman, investigative journalist and professor of journalism,
State University of New York at Old Westbury
Democracy and Public Education
Guest Speakers: Superintendent Lars Clemensen, Hampton Bays Public Schools, and
Dr. Anael Alston, Principal, Great Neck North Middle School

The Affordable Care Act: Can We Afford It? Can We Not Afford It?
Guest Speaker: Gwen O'Shea, President & CEO of the Long Island Health and Welfare Council

The War on Women: Real or Not?
Guest Speaker:
Gina D'Andrea Weatherup, Community Affairs and Advocacy Manager, Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, Inc.
Sustainable Southampton Advisory Committee: Achievements & Plans
Guest Speaker:
Tip Brolin, M.S., Former Chair, Sustainable Southampton Advisory Committee
Immigration Today: Views from the National to the Local Level
Guest Speakers:
Melinda A Rubin, Esq., Cheryl Keshner, M.S.W., Senior Paralegal/Community Advocate, Empire Justice Center, Mary Beth Moore, S.C., Associate Director, Centro Corazón de Maria

How Media Endorsements Are Made: A View from the Inside

Guest Speaker:

Joe Shaw, Executive Editor, Southampton Press


Suffolk County’s Financial Outlook
Guest Speaker:
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

Guest Speaker:
Mark Naison, Ph.D.

The First Amendment: The Plumbing of America’s Democracy
Guest Speaker:
Andrea Harum Schiavoni, Southampton Town Justice and Sag Harbor Village Justice

Suffolk County's Future
Guest Speakers:
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
Guest Speaker:
Bob Keeler, Pulitzer Prize winning writer

The State of Preservation in Our Town
Guest Speaker:
Sally Spanburgh, Southampton Landmarks & Historical Districts Board

PDDs: Public Input = Community Benefit
Guest Speakers:
Bob DeLuca, President & CEO, Group for the East End
Frank Zappone, Deputy Town Supervisor Southampton

De-mystifying the Health Care Bill
Guest Speakers:
Jeanne Alicandro, M.D.
David N. Posnett, M.D.

Walking the Talk: Balancing personal values & beliefs
Guest Speakers:
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
Guest Speaker:
Sue Hornik, Regional Director, Organizing for America

Maureen’s Haven: A Regional Model
Guest Speakers:
Peter Soros, Exec. Director, Peconic Community Council
Kay Kidde, Mardythe DiPirro, Lorry Werner

Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Guest Speakers:
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?
Guest Speaker:
Richard Morse, Ph. D., Adjunct Professor of Psychology, Suffolk County Community College

History You Should Know
Guest Speaker:
Elizabeth Thunder Bird Haile, Shinnecock Nation Elder and Educator

An Insider’s View of NYS Government and Politics
Guest Speaker:
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
Guest Speaker:
Kevin McAllister, Peconic Baykeeper

Southampton’s Organic Renaissance
Guest Speaker:
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.


  P.O. Box 384, Westhampton, NY 11977, Tel: (631) 470-6121 E-mail: info@shdemclub.com

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