Two days after state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) described Roosevelt Avenue as the city’s new version of once crime-ridden Times Square, a 33-year-old man was found with gunshot wounds to his head and neck just steps away from where the legislator had stood.
“The Police Department has done great with the limited resources they have, but we need more,” Peralta said at a news conference at the corner of 90th Street and Roosevelt Avenue Sept. 18. Peralta and western Queens officials - Councilman Daniel Dromm, Comptroller John Liu, Assemblymen Michael Den Dekker and Francisco Moya - had gathered to denounce the fatal stabbing of 69-year-old Ever Orosco at the same intersection Sept. 16.
Proposed legislation would allow undocumented immigrants access to New York state driver's licenses. Sen. Jose Peralta, has submitted legislation he says would bring the undocumented into the economic mainstream and improve safety on New York roads.
"A driver's license will provide undocumented immigrants much more employment flexibility," said Peralta, D-Queens. "In moving out of the shadows and into the economic mainstream, they will be less isolated and less vulnerable to predators and their scams. This legislation will also help make all New Yorkers safer by allowing us to identify everyone who drives on our roads and ensure that they are properly credentialed, educated and operating registered, inspected and insured vehicles."
The recent incidents of deadly violence on Roosevelt Ave. — two murders committed in broad daylight within days of each other last month — underscore the fact that we need a lot more than trash bins and video cameras to make Roosevelt Ave. safe.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m in favor of the proposed expansion of the 82nd St. Business Improvement District, which would cover more than 800 businesses on Roosevelt Ave. from 81st St. to 104th St. Fresh paint, additional trash cans and video cameras are certainly welcome. And banding together under the banner of the BID would be good for the small merchants and vendors along the avenue.
But Roosevelt Ave. is referred to as the old Times Square, and for good reason. When police successfully cracked down on prostitution in Times Square and midtown in the 1980s, much of the business simply moved to Roosevelt Ave., where it is fueled, in part, by the sale of foreign-born women into sexual slavery.
Sen. Jose Peralta, a member of the mainstream Senate Dems, actually sent a verbal bouquet the way of the four breakaway Democrats who help control the chamber with the Republicans.
Peralta (D-Queens) thanked the four for signing on to his bill to create a state DREAM Act.
But he also tried to put the pressure back on the four to secure whatever Republican votes are needed to ensure its passage.
“I look forward to working with them in helping our Republican colleagues understand that the DREAM Act is the smartest investment that we can possibly make in workforce development and our state’s future, one that would pay for itself many times over.," Peralta said. “Their help in getting my bill to the Senate floor for a vote when the time comes will be critical to making the DREAM Act a reality.”
There has been a great deal of heated debate recently about the place of charter schools in the public education system and how to best pay for making full-day prekindergarten available to every eligible child.
Often lost in the rhetorical bomb throwing and lawsuit filing is this: Adding charter schools and finally making prekindergarten truly universal calls for more school buildings. Lots of them.
If all children, no matter where they live or how much money their parents have, are to get a genuine chance to succeed in school, we need to provide them with real classrooms in which to learn.
For decades — not years, but decades — the children of hardworking immigrant families in the Corona and Elmhurst neighborhoods I represent have had to try to learn in deplorable facilities no one would expect to find in the wealthiest city in the richest country on the planet.
Forget state-of-the-art technology, the dilapidated “temporary” classroom units many of our kids are stuck in do not even have bathrooms. Stories of elementary schoolchildren straining to “hold it in” for hours — not always successfully — are not unusual.
How can a poor kid feeling as if his bladder is about to burst possibly pay attention to anything a teacher says? That kind of situation is as unacceptable as it is disgraceful for a great city like ours.
As a state legislator, charter school parent and graduate of the city’s public school system, I have an enormous stake in the ongoing debate on prekindergarten and charter schools.
Nearly one-third of New York City’s homeless population are victims of domestic violence who have made the difficult decision to walk away from a bad situation. But when they turn to the city for help, some say they’re facing risky, sometimes life-threatening red tape. Government Affairs Reporter Melissa Russo reports.
Inside City Hall hosted a debate on the merits of the state Dream Act, a bill that would give college financial aid to undocumented immigrants with State Senator Jose Peralta, a Democrat from Queens and a leading opponent, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican whose Assembly district covers parts of Staten Island and Brooklyn.
QUEENS — Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights is “a mecca of human trafficking” where women from countries including Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela are being sexually exploited, elected officials said Thursday.
And Queens is the center of the city's trafficking problem, with nearly 60 percent of the city's victims who come forward looking for help.
Roosevelt Avenue has a number of brothels, state Sen. Jose Peralta, who represents Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, said at a press conference where he discussed an initiative to provide foreign-born victims of sex trafficking with free legal representation on immigration issues.
“Roosevelt Avenue is a mecca of human trafficking in Queens and throughout the five boroughs,” Peralta said.