Jose Peralta's posts related to Economic Development

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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A better way to pay workers

As reported by the Daily News:

BY STATE SENATOR JOSE PERALTA

Most of us devote little thought to where our paychecks go: the bank account, of course. And when we need that money, we simply go to an ATM.

But that’s not the case for some of our fellow New Yorkers. More than 13% of households in the five boroughs do not have a bank account, according to the city Consumer Affairs Department. That translates into nearly 1 million unbanked adult city residents.

For full article, click here. 

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New soccer stadium heading to Queens?

As reported by the New York Daily News:

Queens has a big appetite for world-class soccer - and ticket demand for Wednesday's Chile-Ecuador friendly at Citi Field is proof - but can the borough support a Major League Soccer franchise and a $300-million stadium? MLS executives and elected officials who are pushing for construction of the facility in Flushing Meadows Corona Park say yes -- but they acknowledge the deal is far from done, and it might be years before a MLS team plays its first home game in north-central Queens. 

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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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Crece apoyo a estadio MLS

Según ha informado El Diario:

NUEVA YORK — La construcción del estadio de fútbol en el parque Flushing Meadows Corona, va ganando terreno.

Más de 1,000 pequeños negocios han firmado cartas de apoyo a la edificación del escenario que sería sede del equipo número 20 de la MLS.

Así lo dieron a conocer ayer directivos de la liga de fútbol de Estados Unidos durante una reunión con la prensa en el restaurante 'Sabor Latino', en Queens.

Para el artículo completo, haga clic aquí

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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.

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Senator Peralta Invites All Children To Join His Summer Reading Program

Senator Jose Peralta is inviting all students in kindergarten through eighth grade to participate in the New York State Senate's Summer Reading Program.  This program is aimed at assisting children keep their reading skills honed and minds sharp during their time away from school.

With the end of the school year in sight, many students are anxiously awaiting the summer months. To keep school age children in the mindset of learning, the New York State Senate, in conjunction with the New York State Library, offers the Summer Reading Program to students across the State.

Participating students will use an online journal to keep track of their reading progress throughout the summer. Children who submit a completed journal will receive a Summer Reading Certificate. To have the children register, please visit www.nyread.com.

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Senator Launches Legislation To Boost Queens Tourism

As reported by NY1:

As part of an effort to attract more tourists to Queens, state Senator Jose Peralta unveiled legislation on Tuesday that would give up to 4 percent of the state's hotel occupancy back to the boroughs, money which would be used toward promoting unique attractions citywide.

To view full video, click here. 

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Queens lawmaker seeks more state funding to promote outer borough tourism

As reported by the Daily News:

A Queens lawmaker is trying to carve out more cash for promoting tourism in the outer boroughs.

State Sen. Jose Peralta introduced a bill that would take a chunk of the state’s hotel occupancy tax and redistribute it to local groups.

“What’s being promoted — outside of the big landmarks in Manhattan?” said Peralta (D-East Elmhurst).

Each borough’s allocation would cap at $300,000 and be distributed through the city’s official tourism arm, NYC & Company.

Organizations, such as the Queens Chamber of Commerce and Queens Economic Development Corp., would coordinate with NYC & Co. on advertising blitzes.

For full article, click here.

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Queens Officials Want Cut Of Tourism Revenue To Help Attract Visitors

As reported by WCBS 800:

A Queens lawmaker has proposed giving the outer boroughs more money from the state hotel occupancy tax.

State Sen. Jose Peralta has unveiled legislation to send up to $300,000 a year from the hotel tax to the outer boroughs to promote tourism.

“People who come to New York also want to go elsewhere besides Manhattan,” Peralta told reporters including WCBS 880′s Ginny Kosola. “When you talk about Citi Field, when you talk about the Louis Armstrong Museum.”

For full article, click here.

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