12/19/13

Mapping Suffolk County's Uninsureds


This is a map of Suffolk County's uninsured population. Overall, just 10.1% of county residents are uninsured. Unacceptable by any standard but better than most parts of the nation. What's truly appalling are the huge rates of uninsureds in pockets of the county, including: Riverhead (36.4%), Greenport (35.1%), a section of Brentwood (31.6%), a section of Central Islip (32.3) and Wyandanch (30.6%), Note, too, that the areas with the higher rates of uninsureds also have higher concentrations of Latino families.

Unacceptable in a nation that bills itself as 'exceptional', no?

Check out the NYTimes' Mapping Uninsured Americans widget. 

12/17/13

Strain - Yin Chang's Film About The Consequences Of Bullying

From left, sisters Lelina, Yin and Melora Chang

Speaking of talented young Long Islanders of color...STRAIN is a short film about bullying that was written and produced by the Chang sisters of Great Neck. It's a beautifully made film with a powerful and urgent message.

For more information about this film and its producers, see:

StrainFilm.com
Silent anti-bullying short film 'Strain' speaks volumes - 9/19/13, Newsday 
Yin Chang


Photo: Chang Sisters (Newsday)

11/20/13

Suffolk County and Immigrants: Changes for the Better Five Years After a Hate Crime

Writen by Steve Bellone & Javier Valdes 
Five years ago this month, Marcelo Lucero was killed in the Village of Patchogue by a band of hate-filled teenagers.  These teens, who regularly went “beaner-hopping” (their offensive term for riding around and attacking people they took to be Mexican immigrants), surrounded Lucero, an Ecuadorian immigrant.  When Lucero sought to defend himself, one teen, Jeffrey Conroy, stabbed him, causing Lucero’s death.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (via stevebellone.com)
Lucero’s death brought Suffolk County into the state and national spotlight as a hot spot for anti-immigrant politics and sentiment. The Southern Poverty Law Center, one of the nation’s pre-eminent anti-hate-group organizations, described a “Climate of Fear” where toxic politics—fueled and driving fears of demographic change at a time of economic uncertainty—rendered such violence permissible, and Latinos throughout Suffolk lived in fear.
Five years later, what have we learned, and where do we stand as a county and a region?
Demographic change has continued, and Suffolk is more diverse than ever.  According to the 2010 Census, roughly one out of four Suffolk residents are people of color. And roughly one out of seven was born outside of the United States. This diversity is a boon for our county—bringing with it rich cultural traditions and exchanges, not to mention the economic contributions of immigrants to our local economy.
Thankfully, we seem to be learning from our past, and this continued demographic change has not provoked another anti-immigrant surge. Instead, it appears that the dawn of a new era is upon us. Instead of vilifying immigrants, many of Suffolk County’s elected officials are now working hand-in-hand with immigrant communities to begin identifying and addressing their needs.
For instance, one year ago, Suffolk’s new administration (which one of us leads) adopted Executive Order 10, which guaranteed that residents with limited-English proficiency (LEP) would be able to access free translation and interpretation services in all county government offices. And county government has since worked closely with community organizations to ensure the effective implementation of the order, which took effect on November 14th.
Moreover, during this year’s debate on comprehensive immigration reform, the loudest voices across Suffolk County, and all Long Island, have been those of immigrants and their allies. The marches, rallies, forums and other actions that have occurred have all supported a path to citizenship. Long Island’s congressional delegation has taken note, with all of the region’s House of Representatives members publicly supporting comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Make The Road Co-Executive Director Javier Velez (via whitehouse.gov)
Make The Road Co-Executive Director Javier Valdes (via whitehouse.gov)
In short, the toxic “climate of fear” is slowly but surely being replaced by a climate of tolerance and respect, in which immigrant communities have entered into a productive dialogue with their elected officials. In this new dialogue, scapegoating immigrants is unacceptable, and we have opted instead to work together to identify points of commonality and work towards solutions that work for all Suffolk’s residents.
Quite some time has passed since the days of extremist anti-immigrant groups rallying in Suffolk County, in some cases with the support of national anti-immigrant groups. And, mercifully, we have not recently seen the same type of violence that tragically took Marcelo Lucero’s life.
This does not mean that all the animus that fueled that violence has been eliminated; we must, of course, remain vigilant.
But we feel confident that a new chapter in Suffolk County’s history has begun—one in which our communities and leaders embrace diversity and the contributions of all residents. This would be the best possible conclusion to a tale that began with unspeakable tragedy.

Steve Bellone is the Suffolk County Executive. Javier H. Valdes is the co-executive director of Make the Road New York, the largest participatory immigrant rights organization in New York.

(Source: City & State)

7/19/13

Photo: Jessica and Joshua of Valley Stream

Photo: Hanging with the big bro... No hay mas na!!

Some photos convey more than intended, right? This is one!

A photo of a brother and sister, but it's really a portrait of familia, warmth, fun and classic Boricua good looks.

Muchas gracias to Jessica and Joshua for allowing us to post their cool pic!

7/5/13

A Third of Jones Beach-goers Are Latino

Beachgoers at Jones Beach's Field 6 make the

A survey by the Alliance for New York State Parks found that nearly half of the visitors to Long Island's Jones Beach are from NYC and one third from Nassau and Suffolk counties. Also, a third of all visitors to the state's 2nd most popular park -- behind Niagara Falls, 33%, identified as Latino; 46% as White; and 11% as Black. 

Article 

5/10/13

Town of Hempstead: The Changing Demographics

"In many parts of Hempstead, more than a third of residents are foreign-born, coming primarily from Central and South America, according to the coalition. Those statistics should be no surprise. From 2000 to 2010, the Hispanic voting-age population grew across the county by more than 45,000, or 48 percent, to nearly 138,500. Hispanics now account for 13.5 percent of Nassau’s voting-age population, up from 9.3 percent in 2000." 

Article

4/4/13

Manuel Marquino Clavel: Immigrant Day Worker 1929

Manuel Marquino Clavel was a 43 year old 'day worker' when he joined the Spanish Benevolent Society of New York City in 1929. An immigrant from Cordoba, Spain, Manuel lived in many places including Brooklyn, Massapequa Park and Lindenhurst in the 1950s.

Cuban Immigrant in Brooklyn 1927

BEFORE THE GREAT DEPRESSION, C. 1927...Angel Alonso (far right) in Brooklyn, New York. Angel had migrated from Havana, Cuba to Tampa, Florida to Ohio to Brooklyn. 

3/26/13

Dafny Irizarry: Somos El Futuro - Advocate Of The Year


Dafny Irizarry (Central Islip) is this year's recipient of Advocate Of  The Year Award, Somos El Futuro Conference. Ms Irizarry is a teacher at the Central Islip School District and the president of the Long Island Latino Teachers Association (LILTA). 

LILTA is a membership organization committed to increasing graduation rates and higher education enrollment, retention and completion of Long Island Latino students. It holds two conferences a year -- one for boys and one for girls -- dedicated to teaching the importance of education and personal accountability. 

Dafny Irizzary with Assemblyman Phil Ramos

2/23/13

Islip's Latino Community Fights Pool Closures

“It is important for the community to stand up and send a message to the authorities that our communities are concerned about the pools, and more importantly, that we need them. These parks are safe spaces which our families deserve, they should be kept as a right." Renee Ortiz



Article

2/10/13

Long Island vs Connecticut



Did you know that Long Island (Kings, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk counties) has more than double the population of Connecticut, 7.5MM vs 3.5MM? Or that it has triple the number of Latino residents, 1.5MM vs 495K? Or that the island's residents have per capita income totaling $204 billion vs $135 billion for its LI Sound neighbor? Or that Long island is 28 miles longer than Connecticut? Or that if Long Island was a state it's capitol would be the City of Brooklyn (2.5 million) to Connecticut's Hartford (125K)? Or that Long Island has 4 major league sports franchises (Mets, Nets, Islanders, Lizards -- and soon the Cosmos), US Open (tennis), Belmont Stakes and US Women's Open (golf) vs Connecticut's Travelers PGA Tournament? Or that Long Island has 8 full and 6 partial congressional districts vs 5 for Connecticut?

Of course, Connecticut does have many advantages including: four times the space, 5540 square miles versus 1400 for Long Island (though LI is bigger than Rhode Island at 1200 sq mi); its own governor and legislature; and its own two US senators. 

2/7/13

Patchogue-Medford HS Students of the Month

Twenty eight percent (28%) of Patchogue-Medford School District students are Latino. So it's great to see that 15 of the 40 students, 37%, recognized as 'students of the month' are of Latino heritage. Very nice! The scholars are: Josue Sorto-Reyes, Abigail Gonzalez-Medina, Charleen Colon, Michael Rivera, Abril Costanza, Venessa Callejo, Carla Castro, Milton Jara, Aaron Rodriguez, Marc Negrin, Fedrik Durao, Noe Martin, Juliana Garcia, Sean Acosta and Yamnia Pena-Peguero. Congratulations!
Patchogue Patch Article

2/5/13

Rise of the Dreamers: Pivot Point in US History


Rise of the Dreamers! The US and the world will be hearing from this class of bright, courageous young leaders for a long time. We may also be witnessing an historical pivot point, or course correction, in which the dreams, ideas and energy of our newest members reanimate the 'American Dream' and helps propel the nation to new heights. 

Mark Bonilla: Toys for the Children Album



Mark Bonilla, Hempstead Town Clerk, had a very busy holiday season bringing joy and toys to his youngest constituents. Here he is at the Three Kings Day Celebration sponsored by Inwood's Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish on January 6th.

Holiday Photos

2/2/13

Latino Enrollment % @ Nassau County School Districts



63% WESTBURY SD
58% HEMPSTEAD SD
(57% EVERGREEN CS)
56% FREEPORT SD
44% GLEN COVE SD
43% ROOSEVELT SD
41% UNIONDALE SD
39% LAWRENCE SD
30% VALLEY STREAM 24 SD
29% WEST HEMPSTEAD SD
28% ISLAND PARK SD
28% SEWANHAKA HS DISTRICT
28% VALLEY STREAM 30 SD
24% VALLEY STREAM HS DISTRICT
22% ELMONT SD
22% HICKSVILLE SD
21% LONG BEACH SD
20% BALDWIN SD
19% VALLEY STREAM 13 SD
19% MALVERNE SD
18% MINEOLA SD
17% ISLAND TREES SD
15% EAST MEADOW SD
15% EAST ROCKAWAY SD
15% OYSTER BAY-EAST NORWICH SD
15% PORT WASHINGTON SD
14% FARMINGDALE SD
13% CARLE PLACE SD
13% FRANKLIN SQUARE SD
12% FLORAL PARK-BELLEROSE SD
11% HEWLETT-WOODMERE SD
11% LEVITTOWN SD
11% NEW HYDE PARK-GARDEN CITY PARK SD
10% LOCUST VALLEY SD
10% OCEANSIDE SD
10% ROCKVILLE CENTRE SD
(10% ROOSEVELT CHILDREN'S CS)
9% LYNBROOK SD
(9% ACADEMY CS)
7% BETHPAGE SD
7% GREAT NECK SD
7% NORTH MERRICK SD
6% NORTH BELLMORE SD
6% ROSLYN SD
5% BELLMORE SD
5% BELLMORE-MERRICK HS DISTRICT
5% HERRICKS SD
5% MERRICK SD
4% NORTH SHORE SD
4% PLAINEDGE SD
4% SEAFORD SD
3% EAST WILLISTON SD
3% MANHASSET SD
3% PLAINVIEW-OLD BETHPAGE SD
3% WANTAGH SD
2% JERICHO SD
2% MASSAPEQUA SD
2% SYOSSET SD
1% GARDEN CITY SD

*NYS Ed Dept data for 2010-11 school year

2/1/13

Michaelle Solages: NY's 1st Haitian American State Legislator


Michaelle Solages became NY's 1st Haitian American state legislator when she easily defeated her primary and general election foes last year in her first bid for office. She's a Nassau County suburban gal and her Assembly District 22 covers a chunk of the West Central portion of the county...from Bellerose to North Woodmere and includes Valley Stream, Elmont, South Floral Park and part of Franklin Square. Assemblywoman Solages is the sister of attorney CarriĆ© Solages (left) who also won his race bid for county legislator. 

1/30/13

Latino Enrollment % @ Suffolk County Public Schools



75% BRENTWOOD SD
52% CENTRAL ISLIP SD
50% TUCKAHOE SD
47% COPIAGUE SD
47% SPRINGS SD
42% HAMPTON BAYS SD
38% EAST HAMPTON SD
(38% CHILD DVLPMNT CENTER CS)
35% AMITYVILLE SD
33% BAY SHORE SD
33% GREENPORT SD
32% HUNTINGTON SD
32% WYANDANCH SD
31% BRIDGEHAMPTON SD
(29% RIVERHEAD CS)
28% MONTAUK SD
28% PATCHOGUE-MEDFORD SD
25% SOUTH COUNTRY SD
25% SOUTH HUNTINGTON SD
25% SOUTHAMPTON SD
24% RIVERHEAD SD
19% BROOKHAVEN-COMSEWOGUE SD
19% FIRE ISLAND SD
18% WAINSCOTT SD
18% WILLIAM FLOYD SD
16% ISLIP SD
16% NORTH BABYLON SD
15% DEER PARK SD
14% LINDENHURST SD
14% SAG HARBOR SD
(13% LITTLE FLOWER SD)
13% LONGWOOD SD
13% WEST BABYLON SD
11% AMAGANSETT SD
11% EAST ISLIP SD
11% ELWOOD SD
11% MIDDLE COUNTRY SD
11% SOUTHOLD SD
10% WESTHAMPTON BEACH SD
9% EAST QUOGUE SD
8% BABYLON SD
8% CENTER MORICHES SD
8% OYSTERPONDS SD
8% REMSENBURG-SPEONK SD
7% CONNETQUOT SD
7% SACHEM SD
6% HAUPPAUGE SD
6% ROCKY POINT SD
6% SAGAPONACK SD
6% WEST ISLIP SD
5% HALF HOLLOW HILLS SD
5% HARBORFIELDS SD
5% MATTITUCK-CUTCHOGUE SD
5% QUOGUE SD
5% SHELTER ISLAND SD
4% COMMACK SD
4% EAST MORICHES SD
4% EASTPORT-SOUTH MANOR SD
4% MILLER PLACE SD
4% NORTHPORT-EAST NORTHPORT SD
4% SAYVILLE SD
3% BAYPORT-BLUE POINT SD
3% FISHERS ISLAND SD
3% MT SINAI SD
3% PORT JEFFERSON SD
3% SHOREHAM-WADING RIVER SD
3% SMITHTOWN SD
3% THREE VILLAGE SD
2% KINGS PARK SD
1% COLD SPRING HARBOR SD
0% NEW SUFFOLK SD

*NYS Ed Dept data for 2010-11 school year

1/18/13

Bellone Takes Suffolk County From Intolerance To Bellwether On Immigration



"I’d say Bellone’s action—and other steps taken in his first year as county executive to embrace Suffolk’s minority populations—have come from open-mindedness and compassion in a man raised in the very diverse community which is Babylon Town.

Still, there indeed is a new demographic in Suffolk County and the nation—and any public official or political party insensitive to this (as was part of the national GOP in last year’s election for president) will end up the loser." 

Karl Grossman

Renee Ortiz: "A Moment of Overwhelming Pride"



“Today I had the privilege of attending the 24th Annual Suffolk County Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, Inc. Awards Luncheon. It was a lovely tribute to the legacy of Dr. King. But what I wanted to share with you was the moment of overwhelming pride I experienced there.

First, a member of the Central Islip Concert Choir sang the National Anthem followed by our very own LEEP* family member Kaliah (Princess of Zamunda) Greene who sang ‘Lift Every Voice & Sing’ and finally a performance by the entire Central Islip Concert Choir.

With each POWERFUL performance I was overcome with pride and moved to tears. So many negative stereotypes and stigmas are often permeated about our community.

Still, it's moments like this, when the best of the best from our community are before you…when you see the committed, talented representation I saw today, and you just fill with pride. And you remember why you chose to come back to what is truly your home. And why as long as you call this home, you will fight with all you have to make this the best community it could possibly be for our families and all our children.”

Chief Deputy Clerk
Suffolk County Legislature

* Leadership towards Empowerment through Education and Participation is a Central Islip, Brentwood and Bay Shore forum for civic engagement and leadership development. 





1/17/13

Making A Difference: Osman Canales



My name is Osman Canales and I was born in EL Salvador.

I'm a resident of the Town of Huntington and attend Suffolk Community College where I'm majoring in psychology. 

I am the founder and president of Long Island Immigrant Students Advocates, an organization that advocates for immigrant rights and access to higher education for all immigrant students.

What I like most about Long Island is its diversity and beautiful places. What I like least is its segregated communities.  

My message to young Latinos: Be proud of your culture and who you are; never forget where you came from; always remember what others did for us to be here; never give up on your dreams -- nothing can stop you from pursuing your dreams! Also, get active, give back to your community and advocate for the rights of Latinos, immigrants and all Long Islanders. 

(Know someone worthy of a mention on Latino Long Island? Let us know! Send your nomination as a 'Latino Long Island' Facebook page message, a comment on this blog, or via email to LatinoLINY@gmail.com. Thanks!) 

1/13/13

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez: First Latino Leader to Give Keynote at Dr. King Commemorative Service


Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, who was named one of America’s 7 most influential Hispanic Leaders by the Wall Street Journal, will be the First Latino leader to serve as keynote speaker at the Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Commemorative Service.

1/11/13

La Finca Restaurant in Hicksville, Long Island NY



La Finca in Hicksville: What a delightful little eatery! I was treated to lunch there by a friend who's a big fan -- and I can see why! It's a cozy place with a Latin ambiance, friendly staff, and quick service. The food is tasty, nicely presented and the prices a bargain. 

1/9/13

Migrant Camp, Cutchogue, 1947


Source: Diasporas in Suburbia: Long Island’s Recent Immigrant Past Joshua Ruff, St. Joseph’s College-Long Island Museum, 2009

Dr. J. Robert Aguayo and Aida Aguayo, c. 1955, Brentwood, NY


“Diasporas in Suburbia: Long Island’s Recent Immigrant Past”, Joshua Ruff, St. Joseph’s College/Long Island Museum 2009