Newsroom

These Cards, Though Rare, Are Not Ones for Collectors

As reported by the New York Times:

With so many businesses moving toward paperless operation nowadays, it would seem to be only a matter of time before the world’s oldest profession followed suit.

But in Corona, Queens, around 4:30 p.m. on May 21, there stood a throwback to the old days, in front of a travel agency on 104th Street near busy Roosevelt Avenue.

He was holding “chica cards.” On each card was a picture of a nearly naked woman, and a telephone number.

Three years ago, on Roosevelt Avenue, the cards seemed to be everywhere.

“The kids were picking them up and trading them like baseball cards,” said State Senator José R. Peralta, whose district includes that neighborhood and who introduced the bill in 2011. “The parents came to me complaining about this issue. They brought to the office dozens and dozens of cards.” The pictures required little imagination.

For full article, click here.

June 2, 2014
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May 2014 Newsletter – DREAM Act

Please click the file below to view the DREAM Act newsletter.

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DREAM Act

May 29, 2014
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Domestic Violence Victims See Delays in Pursuit of Permanent Housing

As reported by WNBC News:

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.

To view full video, click here.

May 27, 2014
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Voto histórico pro marihuana

Según ha informado Telemundo 47:

El Comite de Salud del Senado de Nueva York aprobó el proycto de ley que que permitirá el uso de marihuana con fines medicinales en el estado de Nueva York.

Para el vídeo completo, haga clic aquí.

May 22, 2014
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Nueva York tiene estancada su agenda migratoria

Según ha informado El Diario:

Nueva York – Cuando parecía olvidada, la propuesta de ley para que inmigrantes indocumentados soliciten licencias de conducir sumó el respaldo de la organización Transportation Alternatives, que promueve el uso del transporte público, y The Worker's Justice Center of NY, entidad pro trabajadores agrícolas del norte del estado.

El apoyo de esta última es clave por el área donde opera ya que puede sumar el respaldo de residentes y legisladores de Albany, Kingston y Rochester.

El senador José Peralta (D-Queens) argumenta que su propuesta de licencia para indocumentados aborda dos asuntos críticos, "oportunidad económica y seguridad en las calles, y por eso el apoyo a esta legislación seguirá creciendo".

Sin embargo, hasta ahora ese no ha sido el caso. Las dos principales legislaciones migratorias presentadas, el Dream Act y las licencias para indocumentados, se han estancado en la legislatura a pesar que Nueva York es un estado demócrata y progresista.

Ambas propuestas han sido introducidas más de una vez pero según expertos, ni los políticos ni los activistas han sabido articular su importancia económica.

Para el artículo completo, haga clic aquí.

May 21, 2014
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Jacob Worrell

Jacob Worrell grew up in Nashua, New Hampshire, and graduated from Nashua High School in 2001. In 2003, Jacob enlisted in the United States Army to protect his fellow citizens. He completed Basic and Advanced training at Fort Knox, graduating five months later.

After attaining the rank of Sergeant, Jacob served as a team leader in the 172nd Stryker Brigade, headquartered in Fort Wainwright, Arkansas. He served one 16-month combat deployment to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While in Iraq, he performed numerous mounted and dismounted patrols in cities such as Mosul, Baghdad, Rawah, and others.

May 17, 2014
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Senator Peralta Honors 2014 Woman of Distinction - Seema Agnani is the Executive Director of Chhaya Community Development Corporation

Seema Agnani is the Executive Director of Chhaya Community Development Corporation and was one of the initial founders when it was officially formed in 2000.

May 14, 2014
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Transportation Alternatives supports bill to allow illegal immigrants to get driver licenses

As reported by the Daily News: 

Saying it would increase traffic safety, a leading anti-car organization has thrown its support behind a bill to allow illegal immigrants in New York to get driver's licenses.

"Non-citizen drivers with verifiable, reliable forms of identification could then by tested on New York’s rules of the road, and be required to obtain auto insurance coverage, have their car inspected and maintain their vehicle’s registration," the non-profit advocacy group Transportation Alternatives wrote in memo in support of the bill.

Transportation Alternatives estimates that "tens of thousands" of illegal immigrants are driving without licenses on the streets of New York.

"Because these drivers are not subject to the same training and accountability standards as other drivers, they pose a significant public safety threat," the memo says. "Unlicensed drives are dangerous."

The memo cites a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Study that found unlicensed drives five times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes and more likely to flee the scene of an accident.

Eleven states in the U.S., including California, Washington, Colorado, Connecticut and Maryland, allow undocumented immigrants to get drivers licenses. 

Peralta called the support from Transportation Alternatives and the Worker Justice Center For New York "significant."

For full article, click here.

May 13, 2014
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Seema Agnani

Seema Agnani is the Executive Director of Chhaya Community Development Corporation and was one of the initial founders when it was officially formed in 2000.

Under Chhaya, Ms Agnani works with New Yorkers of South Asian origin to advocate for and build economically stable, sustainable, and thriving communities. Using a strategy that combines direct services and community organizing, backed by critical research and policyadvocacy on core areas of housing and economic development, Chhaya is able to impact a range of social outcomes including education, employment, civic participation, community pride, as well as mental health and well-being.

May 13, 2014
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Peralta lands crossing guard for dangerous intersection

As reported by The Times Ledger: 

It took more than a year and a half and dozens of letters and phone calls, but state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) will finally get a crossing guard replaced near PS 206 in Rego Park.

The NYPD Transportation Unit announced last Friday the 112th Precinct had finally assigned a crossing guard to the dangerous intersection of Junction Boulevard and Horace Harding Expressway, just south of the Long Island Expressway.

“There’s simply no substitute for the direct, hands-on traffic control and help that a crossing guard provides,” Peralta said. “There’s no question that there are a number of dangerous intersections in the area, with the LIE, Queens Boulevard, Junction Boulevard and the Horace Harding Expressway all intersecting or running parallel to each other in close proximity.”

Peralta explained that hundreds of children and parents navigate the dangerous crossways, making their way from LeFrak City to PS 206, at 61-02 98th St. The intersection saw 24 pedestrianinjuries between August 2011 and February 2014, according to Juan Martinez, of the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives.

“It’s very heartening to see the city respond with a crossing guard there,” Martinez said. “The mayor’s Vision Zero plan should lead us to expect immediate action at these problematic intersections.”

The new crossing guard will be hired in early June, according to a Peralta spokesman.

For full article, click here

May 2, 2014
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Dangerous school intersection finally gets new crossing guard

As reported by the New York Daily News:

Rego Park can cross this safety measure off its list.

The NYPD will finally reinstate a crossing guard at an unsafe Rego Park intersection near an elementary school as part of its “Vision Zero” plan, The News has learned.

“There’s simply no substitute for the direct, hands-on traffic control and help that a crossing guard provides,” said state Sen. Jose Peralta, who has been lobbying for help at Horace Harding Expressway and Junction Blvd. since 2012.

The intersection — the closest major crossway near Public School 206 — drew the ire of the school’s principal, who penned a letter in February seeking a review of the site.

The intersection saw 24 injuries between August 2011 and February 2014, according to Transportation Alternatives.

A spokesman from Peralta’s office said the new crossing guard would be hired by early June.

For full article, click here

April 30, 2014
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April 2014 Newsletter – Health Care Proxy & Living Will Information

Please click the file below to view the Health Care Proxy & Living Will Information Newsletter.

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Health Care Proxy & Living Will Information

April 23, 2014
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Local Merchants Discuss New Regulations at Queens Forum

As reported by NY1 News:

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.

For full video, click here.

April 23, 2014
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Peralta discusses bills to fight sex trafficking

As reported by The Times Ledger:  

Few politicians aspire to bring the ambiance of Times Square to their districts, but state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) said a stretch of Roosevelt Avenue that has grown saturated with prostitution could use some of the sterilization that transformed Times Square in the 1980s.

While speaking at Queensborough Community College April 3, Peralta described various legislative endeavors to crack down on sex traffickers and prostitution businesses and fund organizations that provide pathways out of the industry for victims.

The senator said afterward he believed recruiting Disney to open a store in Times Square anchored commercial development and ushered in an era of strict policing.

“We don’t need to bring in the big, big box store on Roosevelt Avenue — a mid-size box store,” Peralta said, noting he wanted to “keep the flavor of the mom-and-pop shops” nearby.

But the senator emphasized that wooing Disney took assistance from federal, state and local officials, and he is hoping Mayor Bill de Blasio would join him and U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) in scouting for a Roosevelt Avenue anchor.

As Times Square spurned prostitution, the industry migrated along the No. 7 train line, and Peralta said businesses began offering free car service to patrons from midtown to Corona and Jackson Heights.

For full article, click here 

April 14, 2014
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Peralta decries human trafficking

As reported by The Queens Chronicle:  

State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) addressed an audience of over 200 students and faculty at Queensborough Community College in Bayside last Thursday on “Human Trafficking in Our Own Backyard,” drawing a near-capacity crowd.

The talk was the culminating event of a three-week-long ongoing series of related activities, all part of the college’s Common Read Initiative, inspired this year by the featured text, “The Road to Lost Innocence,” the true story of a Cambodian woman who overcame great obstacles and used her experiences to help others stand up for human rights.

The book, written by Somaly Mam based on her own life of abuse in Cambodian brothels, had become a shared reading experience by some 1,300 students and over 35 faculty members from across academic disciplines.

The senator focused on problems relating to human trafficking which, he indicated, runs rampant along Roosevelt Avenue, particularly between 69th and 112th streets.

So-called chica cards, featuring what Peralta described as “degrading pictures of women,” are commonly distributed in the area, so commonplace that “children trade them like baseball cards.”

Peralta indicated that “many women from around the world are brought to Queens and enslaved. The victims are very afraid,” and sometimes seen by the law as criminals. He pointed out that some members of the taxi industry are known to have been “involved in moving these women along. There are those bad apples that perpetuate this crime.”

He said that often these women who come to this country to live the American dream instead “live that American nightmare.” There is a need, he said, to “toughen laws.”

For full article, click here.

April 11, 2014
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State Senate not discussing DREAM Act in budget talks

As reported by The New York Daily News:

State Senate leaders are balking at efforts to give the DREAM Act a second life as part of the state’s budget.

The measure, which came two votes short of approval in the Senate earlier this week, is not being discussed in budget negotiations, said Bronx Sen. Jeff Klein, leader of the Independent Democratic Conference.

The DREAM Act would enable the children of undocumented immigrants to receive state tuition assistance. After the bill failed in the Senate, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) said he would push to include as part of the budget.

Students and activists rallied outside Gov. Cuomo’s office Thursday pushing for him to include the DREAM Act in the budget.

Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) and Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Queens) also sent a letter to Cuomo urging him to push for the measure in the budget.

For full article, click here

April 9, 2014
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Schools must expand for charters and pre-K

As reported by The Queens Chronicle:

By State Senator Jose Peralta 

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.

For full article, click here.

April 9, 2014
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Despite lower penalties, fines are set to rise

As reported by Crain's New York Business: 

Mayor Bill de Blasio campaigned on a promise to lower fines against small businesses, criticizing what he deemed the punitive, "revenue-focused" enforcement of city laws.

But his preliminary budget indicates that his administration plans to collect even more in levies than city agencies did under Michael Bloomberg last year.

Revenue from fines soared 72% during the Bloomberg administration, to $799 million in 2013 from $467 million in 2002. The initial de Blasio budget unveiled last month indicates that fine revenue will grow to $807.5 million this year. That's just $5 million less than the Bloomberg administration had projected for 2014.

"There was a sigh of relief among small business owners when this mayor was elected," said Queens state Sen. Jose Peralta. "There hasn't been much to show so far, though, and a lot of business owners are getting nervous. You have to give the mayor time to breathe and soak it all in, but it's now time to tackle this in a positive way."

A day after Mr. de Blasio signed the legislation, the City Council issued rules putting into effect a law signed by Mr. Bloomberg to reduce fines against restaurants. Those changes are part of a wider overhaul of the city's letter-grading system for eateries and the suspected quota system that has led to an outcry from inspectors and restaurateurs. 

In the meantime, Mr. Peralta has called on the mayor to adopt an amnesty program under which proprietors can seek to have fines incurred during the Bloomberg administration dismissed by the new mayor.

For full article, click here.

April 9, 2014
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State Senate's 30-29 vote against DREAM Act is hardly a 'fatal blow' for bill to grant state tuition aid to undocumented immigrants

As reported by New York Daily News:

By State Senator Jose Peralta

I would call them the legion of gloom and doom, but that would greatly exaggerate their numbers and significance.

I am talking about the people trying to sell the idea that Monday’s state Senate vote on the DREAM Act — 30 in favor, 29 opposed — was somehow a “near-fatal blow” or an “enormous setback” because the bill, which would grant state tuition aid to undocumented immigrants, fell two votes short of passing.

That prognosis is entirely blind to political reality or is the product of wishful thinking.

The conventional wisdom back in the summer, when planning for the current legislative session began, was that election-year dynamics would keep the DREAM Act from making any kind of progress during the 2014 legislative session.

What nobody saw coming back then was the wave of progressive zeal that would be ushered in by the election of Mayor de Blasio.

For full article, click here

March 20, 2014
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Peralta On Senate Budget Resolution

Statement From State Senator Jose Peralta

“Where there is a will there is a way.

"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 opportunity we have here in New York to build on the growing national consensus around the need for immigration reform and the obvious economic benefits of doing right by our young people.”

March 13, 2014
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