More than 50 job seekers were hired on the spot during a job fair sponsored by State Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), Queens Center and Woodside on the Move. A total of 45 employers conducted 2,140 interviews with candidates on site and scheduled another 1,145 interviews to be later conducted with applicants. About 1,200 job seekers participated in the job fair, which was held Thursday, July 9th, at Queens Center. In addition to the employers, several organizations provided career counseling and résumé preparation to job seekers.
About 40 employers will be interviewing job seekers and accepting résumés at a job fair sponsored by Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), Woodside on the Move, and Queens Center. The event will take place Thursday, July 9th, between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Queens Center Food Court, located at 90-15 Queens Boulevard.
In light of the expiration of the rent regulation laws that affect more than two million New Yorkers, State Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) issued the following statement:
“I have approximately 40,000 rent regulated units in my district, and the tenants are standing by concerned about what could happen to them because no agreement has been reached to renew our state’s rent laws. I continue to urge my colleagues to strengthen these laws to protect hundreds of thousands of hard working families who have fallen victim to skyrocketing rent prices in recent years.”
In a very emotional ceremony, 2015 CUNY DREAMers celebrated their First Annual CUNY DREAMers Convocation titled “Lifting the Barriers to Education” on Friday, June 5th. Held at the CUNY Graduate Center, a representation of the graduates told the audience about the financial and social hurdles they had to overcome to finally receive their college degrees.
Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) and Assemblymember Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria) introduced corresponding bills in the State Senate and the Assembly to regulate the operation of motor-driven cycles only for commercial purposes. The legislation (S.4814/A.7360) requires the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to maintain a registry of this particular kind of vehicle and to establish regulations pertaining to their safe operation and relative minimum liability insurance.
The bill would also require drivers of the motor-driven cycles (delivery scooters) to register them with the DMV.
State Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), joined by Assemblyman Luis Sepúlveda (D-Bronx), Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr., and Wildlife Conservation Society Executive Vice President John Calvelli today unveiled at the Bronx Zoo a bill that would provide each New York City borough with a portion of city hotel occupancy tax it collects to promote local tourism. Senator Peralta is the prime sponsor of the bill in the Senate and Assemblyman Sepúlveda is carrying the measure in the Assembly.
State Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) recognized Cristina Furlong, a founding member of Make Queens Safer, with a Women of Distinction 2015 award given by the New York State Senate during its 18th annual award celebration. Senator Peralta gave Ms. Furlong the distinction during the event held Tuesday evening at the Capitol in Albany. A reception followed the ceremony.
“Ms. Furlong has worked tirelessly to advocate for pedestrian safety and to fight against reckless driving,” Senator Peralta said. “Ms. Furlong and her group, Make Queens Safer, have been and continue to be relentless in their efforts to make our streets safer for New Yorkers.”
The Senator added, “This is a great opportunity to honor Ms. Furlong for her exemplary service to our community, our borough, our city, and our state. She and her group deserve the utmost recognition.”
“I am thrilled to be selected as a 2015 Woman of Distinction by State Senator Peralta. On behalf of my group, Make Queens Safer, it is an honor not just for us, but for advocates for social change in any arena,” Ms. Furlong said.
State Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), joined by about 100 parents, today proposed to build a permanent addition to Corona’s Public School 143, The Louis Armstrong Elementary School, to alleviate the chronic overcrowding at the facility. The new annex would replace the current mini-building and the six temporary classroom units (trailers).
“No child should be educated in a trailer,” Senator Peralta said. “Especially in 21st Century New York City, to have kids learning in trailers is just unthinkable and it must stop.”
Senator Peralta noted the area where the building would be constructed belongs to the Parks and Recreation Department. Senator Peralta has continually reached out to Parks, the Department of Education and the School Construction Authority starting two years ago asking the city agencies to work together and consider his proposal.
In response to the proposal, then Deputy Chancellor Kathleen Grimm wrote: “We agree that one potential solution to the overcrowding at P.S. 143 would be to build a permanent addition on site where the mini-building and temporary classroom units (TCUs) are currently located. As you are aware, that land is owned by the Parks Department.”
Last April, in relation to the proposal to build a permanent addition to PS 143, the Parks Department wrote to Senator Peralta and said, “my staff has been in discussions with the School Construction Authority regarding the proposed school expansion that would result in the permanent elimination of a portion of a jointly-operated playground.” The Department added, “Parks and the SCA agreed to work together to address the open space requirements for the school and surrounding community should a permanent school annex be constructed.”
“As of today, there has been no response to the proposal and obviously no action has been taken,” Senator Peralta lamented. “I understand the need for recreational area, but PS 143 is atypical to schools in my community in that there is a good deal of open and recreational space on its grounds and immediately nearby.”
PS 143 was built for about 900 students, and today enrolls about 1,800. Because of this acute overcrowding, the first lunch period begins at 9.50 a.m.
“We, as parents, support Senator Peralta’s proposal. And if the new building becomes a reality, I am sure the academic achievements of our kids will improve because there would be less students per classroom,” said Angelica Salgado, mother of a first and third graders at PS 143 and president of the Parent-Teacher Association. “We need this annex. Our kids deserve better.”
“Our children deserve better,” Senator Peralta, member of the New York Senate Committee on Education, said. “I will not rest until there is a seat for every child. That is the least I can do to ensure that our kids are educated in a decent environment and not in run-down trailers. Good intentions are fine, but time has come to act. And again, I hope the Department of Education, the School Construction Authority and the Parks Department go beyond good words and make the proposal to build a permanent addition to PS 143 real.”
There were many unrelated items thrown into the Education Budget Bill that Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) disagrees with, but his main reason for voting no on the Senate floor was because of the exclusion of the Dream Act, a measure that would make thousands of undocumented immigrant college students eligible for the state’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).
“Today is the birthday of the great labor leader César Chávez, and how appropriate, but yet sad, we have to talk about how decades later after his struggle, we still have to talk about the lack of dignity and the lack of respect for immigrants who came to this country to work hard and live the American Dream,” Senator Peralta said. “Here we go again. Another year, another budget that does not include the DREAM Act. This is beginning to look and sound like the movie Groundhog Day, in which the same day gets repeated over and over and over again. Another year of false fear mongering propaganda lead by the majority perpetuating an intolerant ideology that the sky will fall if we allow these undocumented kids to receive money from the Tuition Assistance program.”
“César Chávez would have turned 88, and to mark this day, dozens of CUNY and SUNY students ended the hunger strike they went on last week in an effort to have the DREAM Act included in this year’s budget. The DREAM Act is excluded from it, and for that reason, I am voting no on the education bill,” Senator Peralta said.
“I am sick and tired about being sick and tired of having my vote taken for granted, so therefore, I vote Nay,” said Senator Peralta on the Senate floor Wednesday night. “New York State and the DREAMers lost out here.”
Senator Peralta noted he lost the battle but not the war. “I call upon governor Andrew Cuomo to make the DREAM Act a priority as he said throughout this entire budget process. I call upon the Governor to keep his promise and use his political capital to ensure the DREAM Act is passed before the end of this session. When he put the DREAM Act in his executive budget it lit a spark in the eyes of every DREAMer. He sent an infusion of hope and inspiration, but yet much to the dismay of all those DREAMers, the DREAM Act was taken out of the budget. I was disappointed, infuriated and devastated by this move.”
“We rather give tax credits to the rich so they can buy a yacht or a plane, or both, and keep thousands of hard-working undocumented immigrants from receiving financial aid to help them pay for their college tuition costs and obtain their degree as a path to a better life,” Senator Peralta added. “We are just trying to help our kids go to college, work and pay taxes. In other words, we must pave the way so they too can live the American Dream.”
Senator Peralta said, “I anxiously anticipate the day when I open a newspaper or click on a link to an article with a headline that reads: New York Dream Act, after years of broken promises, is now a Reality. CUNY and SUNY DREAMers wake up from their long-lasting nightmare.”
State Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), the lead sponsor of the Senate Dream Act bill in the Senate, said he was extremely disappointed and infuriated because the DREAM Act was taken out of the State’s budget. “It’s déjà vu all over again,” he said.
But Senator Peralta noted that who really lost today with this unfair and unjust action were New York State and the DREAMers. “New York State and the DREAMers have really lost out today, again. New York State because we had an opportunity to really live up to our distinction of being a state of innovators and progressive thinkers, and the DREAMers because they had hoped to attend and graduate college and pave the way for the next generation.”
Senator Peralta added, “I, as well as many others, were extremely disappointed, infuriated and devastated by this move.”
Senator Peralta blamed the Republicans for the exclusion of the DREAM Act from the budget. “Another year of false fear mongering propaganda led by the Senate majority, perpetuating an intolerant and xenophobic ideology that the sky will fall if we allow these undocumented kids to receive money from the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). Republicans are just promoting lies,” Senator Peralta said.
The DREAM Act will cost up to $27 millions in an almost $142 billion budget. “To understand how illogical Republicans are on this issue, the Dream Act will pay for itself in a few years. And to translate into what it would cost to help undocumented college students for taxpayers, it amounts to 87 cents a year. You cannot even buy a cup of coffee with 87 cents,” Senator Peralta said.
Senator Peralta called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to use his political clout, just like he did with Marriage Equality, the Safe Act and even ethics reform. “I call upon the Governor to keep his promise and use his political capital to ensure that the DREAM Act is passed before the end of this session,” Senator Peralta said. “I will do anything in my power to help Governor Cuomo make the DREAM Act a reality and right a wrong for our DREAMers.”
Coexistence between street vendors and brick-and-mortar retailers is critical to the social and economic development of our neighborhoods and communities. This is why State Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) introduced a bill in the Senate calling for the creation of a street vendor policy commission to modernize the regulation that govern street vending.
“Street vendors and mom-and-pop stores sustain families and are a established fixture and essential parts of our communities,” Senator Peralta said. “I strongly believe street vendors and brick-and-mortar businesses can peacefully coexist. My bill calls for a revamped Street Vendor Review Panel that includes all stakeholders to study the problems and provide recommendations.”
Senator Peralta noted, “Nobody is happy with the current system. Local residents complain, street vendors complain, small retailers complain. The system is in disarray. A decade of inaction on issues surrounding street vendors has highlighted the urgent need for reform.”
Senator Peralta said the commission to regulate street vending would be composed of nine members: five representing relevant city agencies (director of the Department of City Planning or designee; commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs or designee; commissioner Department of Transportation or designee; commissioner of the Department of Small Business services or designee; and the commissioner of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene or designee), two members representing street vendors’ interests, and two members representing the interests of small business owners.
The street vendor policy commission would evaluate and make recommendations, among other subjects, on the following:
Lifting the caps on street vendor permits;
Establishing a mechanism to rescind licenses of those who illegally rent out credentials;
Creating zoning regulations and structures to reduce sidewalk and street congestion;
Create a letter grading system for the street vendors similar to that of the restaurants;
Reducing fines for minor violations and focus on serious health, safety, traffic and sanitation violations; and
Establishing a mediation process in which street vendors and business owners can resolve conflicts.
“Leaving the system as is will only lead to more frustration. Inaction is not an option, and establishing a street vendor policy commission with a clear mandate would go a long way to regulate the system,” Senator Peralta said. The Senator’s district includes Roosevelt Avenue from 75th to 114th streets, a stretch filled with mom-and-pop operations, streets vendors, and vehicle and foot traffic.
State Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) said today it was unacceptable that Governor Andrew Cuomo is considering removing the DREAM Act from the State’s $141 billion budget. Senator Peralta said he was extremely disappointed about this possibility, especially after the Governor argued in favor of making the Dream Act a reality during the Somos El Futuro Conference that took place in Albany this past weekend.
“Majority leader Dean Skelos has turned his back on addressing the current injustice in our state’s student aid financial assistance program,” Senator Peralta said. “It’s déjà vu all over again. Another year and the same outcome thanks to the intolerant views perpetuated by the Senate majority. They rather promote fear mongering propaganda that the sky will fall if we, as a State, help the children of undocumented immigrants to obtain a higher education.”
Senator Peralta continued, “it seems to me that New York is no longer the land of opportunity for these hard-working college students because instead of enabling them to succeed, we just added more hurdles to their paths.”
Senator Peralta noted, “The DREAM Act would have leveled the playing field for all of our college students regardless of their immigration status. Extending TAP (Tuition Assistance Program) to our DREAMers would not only provide an opportunity to thousands of hard-working young new Yorkers, but also create jobs, boost future tax revenue, and give our state the kind of diverse, educated, multi-talented workforce we will need to compete in tomorrow’s economy.”
“With this potential action, I understand New York does not want to follow in the footsteps of California, Minnesota, New Mexico, Texas and Washington State,” Senator Peralta said. “These states already provide state college aid to undocumented immigrants, but New York does not want to right a wrong by offering all of our immigrant college students basic financial aid. “I will not give up the fight until we ensure that our DREAM becomes the reality it should be. This is unacceptable.”
Senator Peralta added, “I call on the Governor to reconsider the possibility of dropping the DREAM Act from the budget and help our DREAMers.”
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.
"The good news is that millions of upstanding, hardworking undocumented immigrants will now be able to continue contributing to our economy without having to live and work in fear of deportation.
"The bad news is that millions of other upstanding, hardworking undocumented immigrants will remain in the shadows of our economy and society.
"President Obama is to be applauded for taking a strong first step toward long-overdue reform of our broken immigration system. Like the president, we in New York should not wait on Congress to make additional necessary repairs.
"The DREAM Act is sensible, compassionate public policy. It is the law in Texas, a red state, California, a blue state, and New Mexico, a purple state. Here, the New York DREAM Act is supported by editorial boards throughout the state, including those at newspapers as different as the New York Post, The New York Times and the Daily News.
"Let’s follow the bipartisan example of the five states that have already passed a DREAM Act. Let's collaborate in New York on making an investment in our young people, our economy and our state’s future that will pay for itself several times over."
“Published reports and a City Council hearing today are shining a long overdue light on NYCHA’s broken system for providing emergency shelter to victims of domestic violence.
“It is a travesty to require women to risk their lives to produce the paperwork needed to qualify for emergency housing—and then not provide that housing.
“The expansion of the list of crimes that would not require a second documented instance of abuse is a welcome change, but more needs to be done to protect those who are unable to go to the police in the first place.”
“I have introduced a bill that would enable domestic violence victims to be considered for emergency NYCHA housing without having to first contact authorities and put themselves in danger of retribution from their batterers.
“What my bill can’t do is make NYCHA cut wait times of as long as 10 years. That is something NYCHA needs to address.
“The many advocates for domestic violence victims who support my bill do so because the lack of safe, affordable, permanent housing is one of the biggest impediments victims face in their effort to escape an abusive environment. NYCHA has taken a small first step toward cutting red tape for victims, but much, much more needs to be done to fix the system.”
Thirty-five employers conducted more than 800 interviews, hired 16 applicants on the spot and scheduled close to another 200 meetings with candidates they met at a job fair Thursday in Elmhurst sponsored by State Senator Jose Peralta in conjunction with Queens Center.
“We were able to help some people still struggling to make ends meet on the heels of the Great Recession,” said Senator Peralta. “From past experience, I expect that a number of others will also end up getting offers in the near future as a result of the interviews they scheduled and contacts they made at the job fair.”
More than 1,000 job seekers turned out for the fair, held at the Queens Center. In addition to employers such as the Coca Cola Company, Time Warner Cable and United Parcel Service, the New York State Department of Labor and non-profit organizations were on hand to provide career counseling, as well résumé writing and interview preparation advice.
The fair was held at the Food Court, located on the lower level of the JC Penney wing of the Queens Center.
"And clearly there is the political will for campaign financing, but not for helping young immigrants get a college degree.
“Senate Republicans argued against using tax dollars for campaign financing, just as they had previously argued against spending tax revenue on the DREAM Act.
"But whereas the Senate’s house budget features campaign financing, it excludes the DREAM Act, kicking to the curb, yet again, the hopes and aspirations of young people whose zeal to live, work, pay taxes and prosper in this great country is being held against them.
"I am happy about the inclusion of campaign financing, which I wholeheartedly support. I am deeply disappointed and frustrated by the exclusion of the DREAM Act.
"I call on the governor and my Republican Senate colleagues to seize the opportunitywe have here in New York to build on the growing national consensus around theneed for immigration reform and the obvious economic benefits of doing right by our young people.”
"Finally making prekindergarten truly universal and adding charters calls for more school buildings. Lots of them. In my district, schools aren't equipped to meet the demand for kindergarten seats, let alone offer prekindergarten to every eligible child. School overcrowding has been severe here decades.
"In a place as densely populated as New York City, space for classrooms, or anything else, is hard to come by and expensive.
"But whether we want to expand prekindergarten, add charters or finally relieve the suffocating overcrowding that has long plagued my community's schools, we have no choice but to find the space and the money to pay for it.
"Accuse me of stating the obvious, but this seems to be an especially good time to again plead the case for more classrooms."