Simotas shares her Greek immigrant experience

Simotas Speaking-Queens Historical_20171017As part of the Queens Historical Society’s “Immigrant Voices” series, last week, Astoria Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas shared her experience as a Greek immigrant.

Simotas arrived in Astoria when she was a baby. Fast forward to 2010, when she made history by becoming the first woman elected to office in her district.

The assemblywoman spoke about the early waves of Greek immigrants who came to Queens in the 1970s, many of whom settled in Astoria.

“Families would settle down, open small businesses around Astoria, educate their children and save up to buy a home,” she said. “It is now very difficult to immigrate and very, very difficult to get a green card, plus it’s now cost prohibitive for immigrants to think about purchasing a house in Astoria.”

She spoke about her own close-knit family. Her brother owns a home across the street from her house, and she sees her mother everyday.

“When the Assembly is in session and I’m up in Albany, my mom has been caring for my daughter, since she was born in 2012,” Simotas said.

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