Jose Peralta

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Awarded Stolen Wages, Workers Struggle to Collect

As reported by the New York Times:

After due consideration of records and testimony, the State of New York found that Marco Lino, who chopped vegetables and mopped floors and hoisted crates six days a week in a Bayside, Queens, greenmarket, was owed $51,025.20 in unpaid wages. For Gregoria Geronomina Jimenez and 34 other workers at three restaurants in Upper Manhattan run by the same owners, the Industrial Board of Appeals ruled that $385,364.34 in earnings had not been paid over four years. Jin Ming Cao, a waiter at a Chinese restaurant in Midtown Manhattan, was underpaid by $142,812.05, part of $1.8 million that a federal judge decided was due to 26 employees of that restaurant and two others run by the same people.

No one has collected.

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February 20, 2015
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Forum pushes end to solitary confinement

As reported by Queens Chronicle:

After the recent passing of two policies aimed toward improving quality of life on Rikers Island — one that removed trailers for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and another that prohibited solitary confinement for detainees 21 and younger — a forum last week at the Jackson Heights Jewish Center called for doing away with solitary confinement altogether.

The talk, hosted by the New Visions Democratics Club, including state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) and City Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), invited speakers from Incarcerated Nation, an organization advocating for more humane inmate treatment.

Dromm said following the event that one speaker reinforced how solitary confinement beyond 15 days has been declared torture by the United Nations.

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February 20, 2015
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Airport baggage handlers protest

As reported by Queens Chronicle:

Injustice is the one thing they can’t handle.

About 30 baggage handlers formed a picket line outside Terminal 7 at John F. Kennedy International Airport last Thursday to protest what they called unfair labor practices, meager wages, no healthcare coverage and no paid vacation.

“We feel that as workers, Aviation Safeguard has violated our right of workage,” Pedro Gamboa, who has worked as a baggage handler for four and a half years, said at the picket line. “In terms of wages, respect, dignity and situations where some of us end up working for year after year without paid vacations.”

Baggage handlers for years have been calling on Aviation Safeguard, a subcontractor at JFK, to improve work conditions at the airport and allow the workers to join Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union.

For full article, click here.

February 20, 2015
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Trailers soon to be removed from PS 19

As reported by Queens Chronicle,

PS 19 was overcrowded when Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D-Jackson Heights) was a student there.

As a temporary solution in 1994, the Department of Education placed trailers at the school located at 98-2 Roosevelt Ave. in Corona. But the trailers are still there and the issue of the school’s overcrowding has not been addressed.

Until now.

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, education and elected officials announced last Friday that the school would be getting an extension as part of the School Construction Authority’s 2015-19 capital plan and that the trailers would be removed from the campus next year.

For full article, click here.

February 12, 2015
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Residents urge a revamped Bruson Building

As reported by the Queens Chronicle:

Residents eager to help decide the fate of the reconstructed Bruson Building crowded into the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights Thursday evening, causing the town hall’s organizers to add extra chairs and bump out the back wall to make room.

The meeting, spearheaded by state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), was organized to gather community input regarding the fate of the Bruson Building, which burned down in a five-alarm fire last April, displacing tenants such as Plaza College, which has a new campus in Forest Hills, Armondo’s Italian Restaurant, which will reopen in February on Northern Boulevard and Frank’s Pharmacy, which reopened three blocks away in October.

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February 11, 2015
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Fire safety campaign launched at LeFrak City after deadly blaze

As reported by the Times Ledger:

In response to the New Year’s Eve fatal fire that killed three members of a Lefrak City family, the FDNY and elected officials launched a fire safety campaign to try to prevent similar tragedies from happening.

Louise Jean-Charles, 59; her husband Napoleon Michel, 69; and cousin Nadia Donnay, 37, died in the blaze while they were cooking a traditional Haitian soup to celebrate the new year.

“New Yorkers awoke on New Year’s Day to the news of the horrific tragedy that struck LeFrak City just as we were ringing in 2015,” said state Sen. José Peralta (D-East Elmhurst). “If not for the courage of our firefighters in the face of difficult conditions, it might very well have been an even worse tragedy.”

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February 11, 2015
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State Senator Hosts Annual Coat Drive

As reported by NY1:

NY1 VIDEO: Queens residents come together to make sure needy families have something warm to wear during the freezing weather.

To view full video, click here.

January 12, 2015
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Queens Coat Drive Aims To Help Those In Need

As reported by WINS:

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Help is coming for more than 1,200 people who need coats in Queens.

Boxes and bags of coats have been donated at local businesses and is being distributed through churches, shelters and family outreach centers.

Sen. Jose Peralta helped organize the coat drive and explained to CBS2 why it is so important.

“People really can’t afford a coat and now, especially now during the winter months, the early winter months where temperatures are falling to single digits, we need to make sure that people have coats,” Peralta said.

The coat drive has been an annual event since 2011 and is growing bigger each year.

For full article, click here.

January 12, 2015
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The New York Immigration Coalition has once again unveiled its Immigrant Equality Agenda for the state

As reported by the Daily News:

Passing the New York State DREAM Act, supporting border children and making sure that New Yorkers can apply for administrative relief are the three items at the top of this year’s Immigrant Equality Agenda. But with Republicans in full control of the state Senate, implementing them seems like a distant possibility.

Compiled annually by immigrant community leaders under the umbrella of the New York Immigration Coalition, the agenda lists what they think are the 10 most important state budget and policy priorities for immigrants. It was unveiled Jan. 5 at simultaneous press conferences on the steps of City Hall, in Westchester and on Long Island.

This was the 18th consecutive year in which immigrant community leaders got together with state and local representatives to urge them to adopt the agenda as a blueprint for state initiatives.

For full article, click here.

January 12, 2015
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FDNY to Hold Fire Safety Classes at LeFrak City Following Deadly New Year's Day Fire

As reported by NY1:

NY1 VIDEO: A deadly New Year's Day fire prompted state Senator Jose Peralta to bring fire safety education to that neighborhood, and the FDNY will be hosting two fire safety classes to LeFrak City residents on January 14 and January 21.

To view full video, click here.

January 12, 2015
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Fire safety education campaign launched at LeFrak City following fatal New Year’s Eve blaze

As reported by Queens Courier:

A new campaign has been launched at LeFrak City to help educate residents to prevent a tragedy like the New Year’s Eve fire, which killed three people, from occurring again.

Just minutes before ringing in 2015, an unattended pot of a traditional Haitian soup cooking on a stove sparked a fire that left three dead in their Corona apartment and sent flames shooting from the ninth-floor balcony, officials said.

The FDNY determined the blaze was accidental and no working smoke detectors were found in the home.

Police identified the victims, all residents of the apartment, as Nadia Donnay, 37, Louise Jean-Charles, 59, and Napolean Michel, 69.

In response to the fire, state Sen. Jose Peralta, together with the FDNY, LeFrak City Organization and Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras, announced on Thursday the launch of a fire safety education campaign for the apartment complex.

For full article, click here.

January 12, 2015
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Talks over fate of Bruson Building

As reported by Queens Chronicle:

With an estimated 72,000 square feet spread over four floors, the Bruson Building in Jackson Heights is a prime piece of real estate. The building is also undergoing reconstruction following a fire last April, and the public is being called upon regarding how to best put the space to use.

All interested parties are invited to attend a town hall meeting on Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. at the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights, located at 37-06 77 St.

Spearheading the meeting is state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights).

“For the past several months, many members of the community have approached me about the kinds of tenants they’d like to see occupying the vacant spaces after renovations are done,” Peralta said in a statement. “After speaking to some potential tenants and the building’s owner, I thought a town hall meeting would be the best way to exchange ideas.”

For full article, click here.

January 12, 2015
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Construction Slated For Armstrong Annex

As reported by Queens Tribune:

An expanded Louis Armstrong House Museum is ready for its downbeat.

A curving, glassy annex to the Corona museum is expected to break ground this spring or summer, director Michael Cogswell said. The project has support from Community Board 3 and local officials, and the Board of Standards and Appeals granted variances permitting its construction last year. Construction plans were filed on Dec. 26 with the Dept. of Buildings.

This project has broad support from local officials, including State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), who called the planned center “a magnificent addition to the Borough’s increasingly vibrant cultural scene.”

“The center will be a glittering jewel in the Queens crown, another compelling attraction to what is already recognized as the country’s best tourist destination,” he added.

For full article, click here.

January 12, 2015
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Fire safety campaign launched at Queens complex after tragic New Year's Eve fire

As reported by the Daily News:

Knowledge is power — and it could save lives.

That’s the message behind a fire safety campaign a Queens lawmaker is launching Thursday at the housing complex where a tragic New Year’s Eve blaze killed three people cooking a traditional Haitian soup.

The FDNY will lead a series of workshops at LeFrak City to educate residents.

“Sometimes these lifesaving tools are as simple as making sure the battery of a smoke detector works,” said state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Queens).

For full article, click here.

January 12, 2015
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Let’s Make Students’ DREAMs Reality

As reported by the Daily News:

By State Senator Jose Peralta and State Comproller Thomas DiNapoli:

There is an injustice that needs to be corrected in our state’s Tuition Assistance Program. Currently, the program does not provide assistance to all the young men and women who need it, because it does not accept applications from undocumented students who were brought into this country at a young age.

New York State’s proposed DREAM Act would right this wrong and make the Tuition Assistance Program available to undocumented students across the state. As the new legislative session starts tomorrow, the governor and the state Legislature should swiftly enact this legislation.

New York was one of the first states in the nation to offer in-state tuition rates to undocumented students. We have always been a destination for ambitious and hardworking people in search of opportunity. We can help New York remain a destination of opportunity by expanding the Tuition Assistance Program and extending assistance to undocumented students.

For full article, click here.

January 6, 2015
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NY Sens. Diane Savino and Jose Peralta oppose mayor's bid to shutter horse drawn carriage industry

As reported by the Daily News:

Two Democratic state senators are the latest to come out in opposition to Mayor de Blasio’s push to ban horse-drawn carriages in the city.

Sens. Diane Savino, the chairwoman of the Senate Labor Committee, and Jose Peralta, the panel’s ranking minority party member, have drafted a letter to de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito expressing their vehement opposition to the council bill to enact the mayor’s plan.

For full article, click here.

December 15, 2014
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Reward doubles to $12,000 for information in finding man wanted for killing pregnant Queens woman

As reported by Daily News:

As police hunt for the suspect who killed a pregnant Queens woman to cover his tracks, civic leaders and merchants have doubled the reward.

Information leading to the arrest and conviction of Orlando Plummer, 39, for the murder of Brandee Massey has risen to $12,000, State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Queens) announced Tuesday. He said the Food Bazaar supermarket chain and the Queens Center Mall helped grow the financial enticement.

“This community has come together not just to mourn Brandee's tragic loss, but to help bring justice to her family," the Queens legislator said.

For full article, click here.

December 11, 2014
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Reward Doubled in Pregnant Queens Woman's Death

As reported by NY1:

While police continue to search for whoever killed a pregnant woman in Queens last month, the reward in the case is being doubled.

State Sen. Jose Peralta says anyone with information leading to the arrest of Anastasia Brandee McFarlane's killer will be given $12,000.

The 27-year old, who was six months pregnant, was killed just outside her apartment at the Lefrak City houses in Corona the day before Thanksgiving.

Her baby was delivered later at the hospital, but did not survive.

Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

For full article, click here.

December 11, 2014
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Reward For Information About Pregnant Women's Killer Doubled

State Senator Jose Peralta today announced that the reward for information leading to the arrest of Brandee Massey’s killer has been doubled, to $12,000, after securing commitments from Food Bazaar Supermarkets, which is contributing $4,000, and Queens Center, which will donate $2,000.

The pregnant Massey was shot the Wednesday morning before Thanksgiving in her LeFrak City apartment building.  Her baby was later delivered, but died within hours.

On the heels of the murder, Senator Peralta announced he was offering a $2,000 reward for information about the shooting and that he had secured a matching donation from the LeFrak City Organization.  Added to the police department’s $2,000, the total reward stood at $6,000.   The contributions announced today raise the total to $12,000.

“This community has come together not just to mourn Brandee’s tragic loss, but to help bring justice to her family,” Senator Peralta said.  “Food Bazaar Supermarkets and Queens Center have deep roots in this community and understand that the most important thing we can do right now for the Massey family is to help law enforcement bring Brandee’s killer to justice and make whoever is responsible pay for this brutal crime.”

The owners of Food Bazaar Supermarkets said that, “We at Food Bazaar Supermarkets are stunned and saddened to hear about the fatal shooting of Brandee Anastasia Massey and her child.  The Food Bazaar Supermarket chain has been a part of this community since 1988 and would like to pledge its support for information leading to the arrest of Brandee’s killer.  We are offering $4,000.  We hope that this will help those people who know something step forward and help justice be served on behalf of this young woman, her child and her grieving family.

In  statement, Queens Center Mall said that, “The Queens Center family extends its deepest condolences to the Massey family.  We thank Senator Peralta for his leadership at this difficult time and hope that our contribution to the reward will help bring a measure of consolation to Brandee’s loved ones.”

Anyone with information is urged to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers, at (800) 577-TIPS, or text to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIPS577.  A tipster's cell phone number will not be displayed or traced.  A tip can also be submitted online, at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

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December 9, 2014
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Children of pregnant woman killed outside Queens apartment still do not know of her death: family

As reported by the Daily News:   

They still don’t know what happened to their mommy.

Three days after a gunman blasted away at a pregnant Brandee Massey — killing both her and the baby girl — her children haven’t been told of her death, family supporters said Friday.

“I don’t know how to explain it to my children,” state Sen. Jose Peralta said Massey’s grief-stricken husband, Joseph, told him.

“He is very distraught,” Peralta (D-Queens) said Friday.

For full article, click here.

December 1, 2014
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