Patch is excited to announce a new series,”Dispatches: The Changing American Dream,” an ongoing narrative that will look at how members of our various communities are not only coping with these trying times, but adjusting to them.
Throughout our nation, issues such as unemployment, foreclosures, a weak housing market, tight credit, volatile stock markets, government gridlock, social and ideological debates and business upheavals have had different effects on people. Even our Long Island-wide issues including high property taxes, brain drain, lack of affordable housing, sprawl and government complexities that slow down, if not stop, smart growth, affect different families in different ways.
The American Dream contends that if you work hard enough and play by the rules, anyone can prosper. But for each of our community members, the type of work it takes to prosper, and rules that have so drastically changed in the past decade, has led them to adopt their own American Dreams. Throughout the next year, Patch plans to highlight each one.
For example, in Kings Park, a few small business holdouts are work tirelessly to preserve Main Street as surrounding businesses continue to close shop. Meanwhile, in Commack, small businesses are struggling to exist in the shadow of corporate big-boxes that also employ a bulk of the local work force. It’s a similar situation in Smithtown, where a dangerous main street is also fighting for a balance between sole proprietors and franchises.
The challenges go on. In communities such as Hauppauge, Three Village and Port Jefferson, high property taxes are forcing couples to rethink retiring locally, though many of them are still supporting their children into their twenties in basement apartments due to a paltry rental market and a dearth of affordable homes.
At the core of these stories are the people, working hard for their family’s prosperity. “Dispatches” will bring their stories to the community, with compelling narratives, photos and insightful video packages.
As with everything at Patch, community participation in our platform is just as valuable to us as our original reporting. To join the narrative, sign up to be a blogger on your local Patch and let us know how you define the American Dream.
And if you have a story that needs telling, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll tell it.