State Senator Jose Peralta hosted a forum for restaurateurs and small business owners to learn about proposed changes to the restaurant letter-grade and fine system, the new paid sick leave law and securing access to capital.
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.
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 July 10 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 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.”
"I applaud the mayor's decision to bring in new leadership at the Human Rights Commission. Instead of tackling the thousands of citizen-initiated complaints it receives annually, for the past several years HRC was disproportionately focusing its limited resources on fining businesses for using unintentionally gendered language in job recruiting advertisements," (i.e. posting an ad for a ‘waitress’ or ‘hostess’).
“Of the 53 discrimination settlements reported by the Commission in 2014, 18, or more than a third of all settlements, are for this sort of case. Of those 18, only two appear to have been tested to show actual discriminatory intent. There is a similar pattern in 2012 and 2013, where employment ads allegedly showing gender discrimination made up 40% and 30% of total settlements respectively and only a few were tested to prove actual discriminatory intent.
"Many of the cases don’t come out of actual complaints, but rather from college students getting paid by HRC to troll on-line classifieds.
"It is extremely troubling that this kind of questionable case comprises a third or more of the Commission’s enforcement output when so many complaints of actual discrimination go unanswered.
“New Yorkers expect and deserve a Human Rights Commission that helps bring justice to those who have been wronged, not one focused on generating revenue through petty fines.”
"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."
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.