Jose Peralta's Press releases

Statement From State Senator Jose Peralta On Passing Of Staff Member And Long-Time Colleague Steve Pezenik

“Family, friends and colleagues of Steve Pezenik gathered this morning to bid farewell and celebrate the wonderful life of a loving father and husband, someone who was as selfless and caring an individual as any of us have ever come to know.

“Steve was a great friend and trusted colleague.  He will be dearly missed by the many of us whose lives he touched.”

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May 28, 2013
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Sen. Peralta, Housing Advocates Condemn ‘Bait-and-Switch Tactics’ Used To Win Support For Willets Point Development

State Senator Jose Peralta and affordable housing advocates are calling for the mayor and Willets Point developers to provide “rock-solid assurances” that affordable housing will be built in the quantity and within the time frame specified in the plan approved by the City Council.

The Willets Point development plan agreed to by the Council included the construction of 1,920 units of affordable housing.  Construction was to begin at the outset of the development process, or after the initial remediation.  Under the revised plan, construction of 875 affordable units will not begin until at least 2025, if at all,

“These bait-and-switch tactics cannot be tolerated,” Sen. Peralta wrote in a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.  “I will be urging community boards that approved the original plan to reconsider their support in light of the significant changes made to it.  I urge the City Council to do the same.

“It is imperative that the Council, community boards and all of the public receive from the city and the developers rock-solid assurances that the number of affordable units originally called for in the plan be built and made available in a timely manner,” Sen. Peralta added.

Ivan Contreras, the coordinator of the Queens Housing Coalition, an alliance of seven community-based organizations whose objective is to preserve and advocate for the development and preservation of affordable housing in Queens, is also troubled by the changes in the plan and shifting accountability.

“Most importantly, the city and developers have attempted to appease community concerns by making mere verbal promises, but have yet to commit to contractual obligations to follow through with their commitments,” Contreras said.  “Such a lack of accountability in this long-term project means that the community faces an immense risk of losing out on the potential benefits of the project—namely, affordable housing, which is so desperately needed in the surrounding communities.”

As it stands now, there may be no affordable housing ever constructed as part of the Willets Point development.  That's because housing construction may not begin until the city builds additional exit ramps off the Van Wyck Expressway.

The problem is that the city appears to have no intention of completing such construction before 2024, delaying the building of affordable housing until at least 2025.  Moreover, if the ramp construction is not completed by December 1, 2025, the developer, the Queens Development Group, is under no obligation to build any affordable housing whatsoever.  And, ultimately, it could be the Queens Development Group deciding when the ramps are built, should the developer undertake the job.

But even if the ramps are built in a timely manner, the developer may buy its way out of its affordable housing obligation.

“These conditions put the construction of any affordable housing units in serious doubt,” Sen. Peralta noted.  “My community and other communities affected by the Willets Redevelopment simply can’t afford to wait or rely on conditional promises.  We need answers and we need results.”

The Queens Housing Coalition is an alliance of seven community organizations—Centro Hispano Cuzcatlan, Queens Community House, Catholic Migration Services, Woodside on the Move, Chhaya CDC, MinKwon Center for Community Action and Asian Americans For Equality.

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Attachment: Letter from Peralta to Bloomberg, Quinn and Marshall.

May 22, 2013
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Hundreds Turn Out for Corona Job Fair

Nearly 400 job seekers met with employers Saturday at a job fair sponsored by State Senator Jose Peralta in conjunction with Elmcor Career Pathways and United Healthcare.

Thirty-five of the attendees were offered jobs at the fair, held at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Corona.

“The economy is improving, but many families are still struggling to make ends meet,” Senator Peralta said.  “We were able to immediately help at least some of them at the fair.  From past experience, I think a number of others will end up landing jobs thanks to the contacts they made at the fair.”

Some of the 24 employers on hand included Time Warner Cable, Resorts World Casino, Council for Airport Opportunity, New York Life, Coca Cola and a variety of government agencies, including the New York police and fire departments.

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May 15, 2013
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Peralta: State Seems Determined to Shrink Middle Class

Statement From State Senator Jose Peralta

“We seem determined to shrink our middle class, grow the ranks of the impoverished and widen the gap between the richest and poorest.  It’s the only way to explain the minimum wage debacle that’s playing out and why immigrants who want to go to college, work and pay taxes are treated like social outcasts.”

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March 21, 2013
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Peralta to Gov.: Your Leadership Needed On Dream Act

Statement From State Senator Jose Peralta

 “It took great courage and leadership to achieve marriage equality in New York and to pass the toughest gun laws in the country.  Rather than wait on the federal government to do something, Governor Cuomo instead showed the federal government how to get big, important, meaningful things done.

“On behalf of all Dreamers, I am urging Governor Cuomo to again bring to bear his great courage, considerable political skills and extraordinary leadership abilities in getting something big, important and meaningful done.  And make no mistake: Immigration reform is important and most certainly needs to get done. 

“As a sound investment in our state’s workforce and future that would eventually pay for itself many times over, the Dream Act belongs in the budget.

“The Dream Act means far too much to far too many people to continue to be ignored.”

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March 20, 2013
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Senator Peralta Calls DOT’s Attention To Dangerous Queens Intersection

State Senator Jose Peralta is urging the city’s Department of Transportation to ensure the safety of children who must cross a dangerous Queens intersection to get to and from school without the help of a crossing guard.

“I am writing to urge you to take a close look at the intersection of Junction Blvd. and Horace Harding Expressway in Queens with an eye toward improving pedestrian safety, particularly that of the children of nearby P.S. 206,” wrote Senator Peralta in a letter to Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, whom he is calling upon after learning that neither of the local precincts is assigning a crossing to the intersection.

“This is a very dangerous intersection for students and it is imperative that we have proper supervision at this corner,” wrote P.S. 206 Principal Joan Thomas last summer in requesting the reinstatement of a school crossing guard at the location.  “As the principal of P.S. 206, I am very concerned about the safety of my children.”

"We applaud Senator Peralta for his leadership on street safety. Every neighborhood needs safe streets to thrive—that’s why Junction Boulevard and Horace Harding Expressway in Queens need to be made safe for local children, families, and seniors," said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives.

In the letter to the transportation department, Senator Peralta recommends that the intersection be among the locations at which the proposed speed camera program is piloted.  He also asks the commissioner to do whatever else she thinks is needed to protect the children of P.S. 206, many of whom navigate the intersection to get to and from Lefrak City, where they live, and school.

“There is no substitute for the direct, hands-on traffic control and help that a crossing guard can provide to children,” said Senator Peralta.  “In the absence of a crossing guard, however, any measures you deem necessary and can launch promptly to ensure the safety of the P.S. 206 children will be most welcome.”

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March 20, 2013
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Peralta to US Senate: Confirm Thomas Now

Statement From State Senator Jose Peralta

“I urge the United States Senate to swiftly confirm Thomas Perez as the next Secretary of Labor.  Mr. Perez is a stalwart champion of worker and immigrant rights who has the skill and experience to be an excellent Secretary of Labor.  Confirming Mr. Perez would be historic, as he would be the first Dominican-American to ascend to a cabinet-level position.”

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March 18, 2013
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Senator Peralta Urges Schools Chancellor Walcott Not To Co-Locate Programs Within Newtown and Flushing High Schools

State Senator Jose Peralta is urging Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott not to co-locate programs within Newtown and Flushing High Schools, arguing that the Department of Education's plans for these schools fail to recognize the strides they have made in the face of challenging circumstances, including "overcrowding and the continuous instability that the years-long threat of closure has created."

In a letter to Schools Chancellor Walcott, Peralta says that, "More than anything else, what the communities I represent and the entire borough of Queens need from the Department of Education is more schools, more classrooms and more seats for our children and youth.

March 1, 2013
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Senator Peralta Calls On City To Renegotiate Marriott Marquis Lease

On the heels of a scathing audit report released today, State Senator Jose Peralta joined City Comptroller John Liu in calling on the Bloomberg Administration to renegotiate the city’s lease with the Marriott Marquis Hotel.

Located on a prime tract of Manhattan real estate—Broadway between 45th and 46th Streets—the hotel was built on city-owned land in 1982.  Comptroller Liu’s audit found that new terms the city agreed to in 1998, including a drastic cut in rent, will end up costing taxpayers at least $344.9 million by the time the lease expires in 2017.

February 12, 2013
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Statement From State Senator Jose Peralta About Proposal to Build Casino At Willets Points

“You have questions being asked about affordable housing and when it will be built as part of the Willets Points development.  Instead of an ironclad guarantee that would put those concerns to rest, we hear of a plan for a large, Las Vegas-style casino.   

“If the goal is to further mire the Willets Point plan in controversy, confusion and uncertainty, floating the casino idea will certainly do the job.”

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February 5, 2013
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Statement From State Senator Jose Peralta On BP Marshall’s Last State of the Borough Address

“Borough President Helen Marshall’s tenure has been bookended by tragedy, beginning in the wake of September 11th and coming into a final year where the devastation wrought by Superstorm Sandy looms large.

“Her message that 2013 will be the Year of Hope will serve as inspiration to all Queens residents as we face the enormous challenges of the coming year.

January 22, 2013
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Statement From State Senator Jose Peralta On Newly Enacted Gun Legislation

Below is a statement from State Senator Jose Peralta, five of whose gun bills are part of the gun legislation passed tonight.

"As the sponsor of 14 gun bills, I couldn’t be happier to see long overdue action finally taken on common-sense measures to protect New Yorkers from gun violence.  A good deal of the legislation I have sponsored and fought for is in this package.

"I applaud the governor for his perseverance and commitment.  Tonight's enormous victory is a result of his leadership.  

"Making it harder for criminals to get guns, and keeping firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill, are essential steps in the fight against gun violence.

January 15, 2013
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Statement From State Senator Jose Peralta On Governor Cuomo's State of the State Address

“I can’t help but feel proud to be a Democrat after listening to Governor Cuomo.  I stand ready to join him in fighting the good fights for sensible gun regulation, an increased minimum wage, job creation, good schools, affordable housing, rebuilding after Sandy and the rest of his progressive agenda.

“After what we saw happen in Newtown, Ct., and in Rochester, strengthening New York’s assault weapons ban became an urgent and pressing priority.  But with handguns used in 58 percent of all homicides in New York last year, the focus has to be on more than just assault weapons.

January 9, 2013
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Statement From State Senator Jose Peralta On Senate Republican Gun Proposal

“The Senate Republican plan is entirely inadequate and falls far short of what New Yorkers expect their elected officials to do about the gun violence and bloodshed that has become frighteningly common.

“Republicans talk about ‘illegal guns’ and increasing jail sentences after criminals have been caught.   The fact is, guns are not illegal until they end up in the hands of criminals.  Our focus needs to be on keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the violently mentally ill in the first place, and on using available technology to catch criminals after using a firearm.  Only after gun criminals are caught will sentencing be relevant.  

January 7, 2013
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State Senator Peralta Distributes Turkeys To Churches, Seniors and Nonprofits

 State Senator Peralta Distributes Turkeys To  Churches, Seniors and Nonprofits

State Senator Jose Peralta is providing free turkeys to local churches, senior centers and nonprofit agencies, including First Baptist Church, Make the Road New York, Woodside on the Move and the Corona Senior Center.

By Thanksgiving, Senator Peralta will have distributed 478 turkeys, including 24 that will go to the Rockaways in coordination with the office of State Senator Malcolm Smith.

November 19, 2012
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Statement on Hurricane Sandy

"Thankfully, the worst has passed," said State Senator Jose Peralta, who throughout the day Monday sent e-mails conveying information from the city Office of Emergency Management to his constituents in Jackson Heights, Corona, Elmhurst and East Elmhurst. "Many homes in my district lost power because of fallen trees taking down power lines and utility poles toppling.  There was property damage, also because of fallen trees.  Thank God, though, that the storm did not cause any fatalities or serious injuries in this area.

"I extend my condolences to the family of the man killed in Flushing and the loved ones of the others who lost their lives to this storm."  

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October 30, 2012
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Peralta Renews Call for Bipartisan Action on Guns‏

State Senator Peralta Renews Call for Bipartisan Action to End Gun Violence      

State Senator Jose Peralta today renewed his call for bipartisan action to combat gun violence, proposing as a first step three "commonsense" measures that he believes Republicans and Democrats in the state legislature should be able to agree on.

"Now is the time and gun violence is the issue for Republicans and Democrats to do everything possible to find common ground," Senator Peralta said.  The three bills that he has introduced and is recommending be considered immediately are:

August 1, 2012
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Statement From State Senator Jose Peralta on Con Edison Lockout

"Con Edison needlessly took an exceptionally hard-line approach with a loyal, skilled and dedicated workforce.  The lockout threatens the safety of the city, especially the well being of our most vulnerable.  Con Edison needs to end the lockout and settle this contract now."

 

 

July 3, 2012
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Statement From State Senator Jose Peralta On President's Executive Order To Help 'Undocumented Americans'

"For many undocumented immigrants, America is the only country they know.  In their hearts and minds they are American.  Sadly, Republicans either can't, or choose not to understand this.  By blocking the Dream Act, they denied millions of undocumented Americans the opportunity to achieve the American Dream.

"The president's executive order will at least afford undocumented Americans the chance to come out from the shadows and enter the economic mainstream.  

"Thank you Mr. President."

June 15, 2012
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State Senator Peralta’s Fake ID Bill Passed By Senate

State Senator Jose Peralta’s bill to crack down on mills churning out fake IDs and other forged official documents was passed Thursday by the State Senate.

The bill creates the crime of sale of a forged instrument and upgrades the manufacture of official government documents, such as passports and driver’s licenses, from a Class D to a Class C felony, roughly doubling jail sentences.  It would also make forging a government document a more serious offense than other forgeries—say of a metro card, for example.

“A terrorist plot to do us harm might be hatched in another country thousands of miles from here, but some of the tools to make it happen are being produced right in our own backyard,” said Senator Peralta, whose district includes the stretch of Roosevelt Avenue that investigators have called the East Coast “epicenter” of fake ID production and sale.  Forged documents available on Roosevelt Avenue include passports, driver’s licenses and social security cards

“The quality of the forged documents and the fact that they’re so easy to obtain undermines the hard work of homeland security and law enforcement to keep us safe,” added Senator Peralta.  “With this ready availability of high-quality forged official documents, it should come as no surprise that we’re seeing fake identifications at the heart of a number of criminal enterprises, scandals and tragedies, from identity theft, to college entrance exam cheating, to deaths on our roadways.”

June 5, 2012
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