Jose Peralta

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José Peralta
2008 02 27 Jose Peralta 01 cropped.jpg
Peralta in 2008
Member of the New York Senate
from the 13th district
Assumed office
March 17, 2010
Preceded by Hiram Monserrate
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 39th district
In office
January 1, 2003 – March 17, 2010
Preceded by Frank Seddio
Succeeded by Francisco Moya
Personal details
Born José Rafael Peralta
(1971-11-10) November 10, 1971 (age 44)[1]
New York City[1]
Nationality United States
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Evelyn[2]
Children two[2]
Residence Jackson Heights, Queens, New York
Alma mater Queens College, City University of New York
Profession Politician
Website NY Senate website

José Rafael Peralta (born November 10, 1971)[1] represents District 13 in the New York State Senate, which includes the Queens neighborhoods of Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Woodside.[3] He previously represented District 39 in the New York State Assembly, which is located in Queens, New York and includes Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights.[4]

On March 16, 2010, he was elected in a landslide to the New York State Senate.[5] According to the Associated Press, Jose Peralta won the special election, outpolling Hiram Monserrate 65 percent to 27 percent and Republican Robert Beltrani with 8 percent.[3]

Early life and family[edit]

Peralta is a first-generation Dominican-American.[6] After immigrating to the United States from the Dominican Republic, Peralta's father was employed as a bank teller.[6] His mother, Rose Hernandez,[7] worked as a seamstress.[6] At the age of 8, Peralta moved with his family from Washington Heights, New York to Queens.[8] Peralta attended public elementary school in New York City, and graduated from Flushing High School in 1989.[6][8][9] He enrolled at Queens College, City University of New York, and became the first Latino Student Body President at the college.[6] Peralta graduated from Queens College in 1996, with a degree in psychology.[9][10]

After graduating from Queens College, Peralta was a community liaison in the New York State Assembly.[4][11] Peralta represented the interests of immigrants on the New York City Central Labor Council,[11][12] serving in the position of Director of the Commission on the Dignity for Immigrants.[4][6]

Peralta was a political staffer on campaigns in New York including Brian McLaughlin's campaign for New York State Assembly, Toby Stavisky's campaign for New York State Senate, Alan Hevesi election bid for New York City Comptroller and Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign for United States Senate.[11] Peralta has two sons, Myles and Matthew, and he is married to Evelyn.[2]

Political career[edit]

New York State Assembly[edit]

In the November 5, 2002 election, Peralta won a seat in the New York State Assembly representing District 39.[11] He ran as a Democrat, and beat candidate Charles Gonzales, a Republican.[11] Peralta received 76 percent of the votes cast.[13][14][15] He was the first Hispanic from Queens, New York who won an election to serve in the state Assembly.[16][17][18] The 39th Assembly District in New York was created in 2002, as a result of the significant increase in immigrant population in the region.[16][19] During his campaign for Assembly, Peralta focused on the issue of registering new voters and increasing first-time voter motivation in the election process.[20] "Over the years, this district has had a very low turnout. I think especially in our district, it's very important because we need to let individuals know how to get involved in the process," said Peralta.[20] Of his reasons for entering the race, Peralta commented, "I want to bring a voice back to the community. I think we haven't received our fair share of resources".[20] He stated after winning a seat in the Assembly, "I definitely want to focus on economic development, because that is what is needed in the community, as well as education."[8]

Peralta was sworn in as a member of the Assembly by Civil Court Judge Diccia Pineda, also of Dominican heritage.[7] Judge Diccia was the first Hispanic from Queens to become a member of the Civil Court.[7] Peralta took the oath of office in Corona, New York, at the New York Hall of Science.[7] In attendance at Peralta's swearing-in ceremony were United States Senator Charles Schumer, Speaker of the New York State Assembly Sheldon Silver, and Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin.[7] He began his career in the Assembly with a focus on job creation.[21] In February 2003, Peralta was selected to become a member of five special Committees in the Assembly, including labor, banks, correction, cities and election law.[22][23] In March 2003, the city council Black, Latino and Asian Caucus recognized Peralta with an honor for "his outstanding work as a new lawmaker, including his advocacy of immigrant rights and his efforts on behalf of minority working class groups".[24]

Peralta worked with fellow members of the Assembly to pass the New York budget in 2003-2004, and he urged then-Governor George Pataki to support it.[18] "The Assembly passed a budget that makes the right choices for young students across the state by helping schools avoid cutting essential educational programs, laying off teachers and increasing local property taxes. Without a sound investment in our children and their education, New York would face crumbling school buildings, overcrowded classrooms, and few opportunities to excel," commented Peralta.[18] In March 2004, Peralta requested that state Republican leadership pass legislation which proposed to increase the state's minimum wage to $7.15 per hour.[25] Peralta attended a Dominican-American heritage event Merengue Night at the New York Mets Shea Stadium in July 2005, where general manager Omar Minaya was honored.[26] "It's the spirit of Dominicans coming out and the pride that we have in our music and our baseball players. Dominicans love two things: politics and baseball. When we're not talking politics, we're talking baseball," said Peralta.[26]

In April 2007, Peralta introduced anti-gang legislation in the Assembly, that focused on creating "Gang Free School Zones" surrounding schools in New York.[27] "We are here to say that if you are evil enough to threaten the life of a child, if you are evil enough to interfere with their education, and if you are evil enough to place in danger the future of our communities, you ought to be punished in a very special way," said Peralta at a meeting regarding the proposed legislation outside Department of Education headquarters in New York City.[27] In June 2007, Peralta was among a majority of the Assembly that voted to support passage of a same-sex marriage bill in New York.[28] Peralta commented on the legislation, "as a Catholic and a Latino, I was raised conservatively", and pointed out that according to practice he was taught to treat "my neighbor just as I would like to be treated."[29] In September 2007, Peralta spoke in support of a proposal to have a city-wide identification card for all residents, "An ID card should dispel the concerns of all those who fear an underground society of undocumented immigrants that no one can identify,” Peralta said. “Now we will know who is who. In terms of security, it is a very positive step."[30]

In January 2008, Peralta co-signed legislation with Sheldon Silver, Audrey Pheffer and Rory I. Lancman, which put forth a proposal of $150 million in funding for families that had the possibility of their homes being foreclosed upon.[31] In 2008, Peralta's anti-gang legislation had been passed by the Assembly, but Republicans in the Senate did not move on the legislation because they asserted it was too costly.[32] After five people were hurt by gunfire during the daytime hours, Peralta commented on his legislation, "After the shooting, I asked the Republicans in the Senate to approve this bill without delay. Saving lives is worth whatever expense needs to be made."[32]

Peralta worked with fellow Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry to change the Rockefeller drug laws.[4] Peralta served in the Assembly as Chair of the Subcommittee on Banking in Underserved Communities.[4] He worked to encourage banks to move into underserved regions, through his Banking Development District legislation.[4] As an Assemblyman, Peralta has frequently made public statements against domestic violence.[33] In March 2010, Peralta spoke out against rate hikes by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York.[34][35]

New York State Senate[edit]

In October 2009, Peralta stated his intention to run for the New York State Senate, for a seat representing District 13.[36] The Queens Democratic Party lent support to Peralta in his campaign for the Senate seat.[36] An article in The New York Times in October 2009 described Peralta as "one of the party’s rising stars".[37] Politician Hiram Monserrate was expelled from the Senate on February 9, 2010 by a 53-8 vote of his former colleagues after being convicted of misdemeanor assault on his girlfriend Karla Giraldo.[36] Peralta became a candidate for the March 16, 2010 special election to fill the Senate seat left vacant due to Monserrate's expulsion.[36] United States Congressman Joseph Crowley, the chairman of the Queens Democrats, issued a statement in support of Peralta, commenting, "Now more than ever we need a strong voice in the state Senate and Jose Peralta will be a senator we can be proud of."[38]

The Police Benevolent Association of the New York State Troopers endorsed Peralta on February 26, 2010.[39] Civil rights activist Al Sharpton endorsed Peralta in February 2010.[40] On March 2, 2010, Peralta received an endorsement from New York City Council member Julissa Ferreras.[41] Peralta received the endorsement of the Empire State Pride Agenda (ESPA), due to his support for LGBT rights.[42] Peralta also received endorsements from groups including the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women,[43] building services workers union the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) sector 32BJ,[44] and Fight Back New York.[45] "Peralta has a strong record of advocating for working families in the [Assembly]. Working families can count on him to be a leader in the fight for good jobs, affordable housing and an affordable state," said SEIU sector 32BJ president Mike Fishman.[44] An editorial in The New York Times commented favorably regarding Peralta's campaign for the New York State Senate, "Elected in 2002 to the Assembly, he has a strong record of supporting immigrants and working people in the community. He has a long list of Democratic endorsements, from almost every union and public official who counts. Among the most enthusiastic are women’s groups."[46]

On March 16, 2010, Peralta was elected in a landslide to the New York State Senate.[5] He was sworn in on March 17.[47]

Election results[edit]

Jose R. Peralta (DEM - WOR) ... 5,782
Charley S. Gonzalez (REP - IND - CON - RTL) ... 2,085
Jose R. Peralta (DEM - WOR) ... 12,415
Giash U. Ahmed (REP) ... 1,966
Jose R. Peralta (DEM - WOR) ... 7,081
Jose R. Peralta (DEM - WOR) ... 12,664
Jose R. Peralta (DEM - WOR) ... 10,337
Robert Beltrani (REP) ... 1,162
Hiram Monserrate (YWC) ... 4,223
Jose R. Peralta (DEM - WOR) ... 23,962
Richard La Salle (REP - IND - CON) ... 4,979

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "State Senate: Jose Rafael Peralta (D), District 13". Capitol Info. Archived from the original on March 29, 2011. Retrieved April 4, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Santos, Fernando; Rebecca White (March 16, 2010). "Monserrate and Peralta Hit the Polls in State Senate Race". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). p. City Room. Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  3. ^ a b Trapasso, Clare; Feeney, Michael J.; Standora, Leo (2010-03-16). "Ousted state Sen. Hiram Monserrate loses bid to regain seat as Assemblyman Jose Peralta triumphs". New York: Associated Press. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Cruz, Claudia (March 2, 2010). "Special Election Profile: Jose Peralta". The Queens Courier (Schneps Publications, Inc.). Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  5. ^ a b Santos, Fernanda (March 16, 2010). "Monserrate Loses Bid to Regain Seat". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Biography". Jose Peralta for State Senate ( 2010. p. Bio. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Toscano, John (February 5, 2003). "Weiner Wins Key Transportation Panel Post; 1st Queens Hispanic Assembly Member sworn". The Queens Gazette ( Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  8. ^ a b c Bertrand, Donald (November 7, 2002). "Peralta plan: Biz, Ed, Jobs - Boro's 1st Hispanic state lawmaker eager to start". New York Daily News ( Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  9. ^ a b "State Assembly 39th District - Voters Guide". Newsday (Long Island, New York, Queens edition). November 3, 2002. p. G22. 
  10. ^ "Alumni Relations". QC Queens College (Queens College, City University of New York). 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  11. ^ a b c d e "Biographies - Jose Peralta". Gotham Gazette (Citizens Union Foundation). 2002. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  12. ^ Virasami, Bryan; Ron Howell (February 15, 2002). "Putting Latinos, Asians On Map". Newsday ( Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  13. ^ Murphy, William (January 3, 2003). "Pataki Moving To Latin Beat". Newsday (Long Island, New York, Queens edition). p. A16. 
  14. ^ Silvestre, Edmund M. (November 14, 2002). "Gonzales loses bid for assembly". Filipino Reporter. 
  15. ^ Campo, Antonio C. (December 12, 2002). "Piece of cake: Dream of Fil-Am political empowerment dies in Qns". Filipino Reporter. 
  16. ^ a b Ruiz, Albor (January 23, 2005). "Dem club embracing its future". New York Daily News ( Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  17. ^ Howell, Ron (August 20, 2002). "Who Will Be the First Latino? - Three Assembly hopefuls vie to make history in Queens". Newsday (Long Island, New York, Queens edition). p. A29. 
  18. ^ a b c Toscano, John (May 21, 2003). "Eye on politics - DA Brown, Council Candidates Get Dem Nod". The Queens Gazette ( Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  19. ^ Toscano, John (February 2, 2005). "Onorato: GOP State Senate Changes Add Up To 'Real Reform Rejected'". The Queens Gazette ( Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  20. ^ a b c Woodberry Jr., Warren (August 15, 2002). "Candidate's trying to woo new voters". New York Daily News ( Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  21. ^ Toscano, John (November 13, 2002). "Council Seeks Alternatives To R.E. Tax Hike". The Queens Gazette ( Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  22. ^ "Neighborhood report: Peralta tapped". New York Daily News ( February 9, 2003. Retrieved 2010-03-05. 
  23. ^ Toscano, John (February 12, 2003). "Vallone Sr. Warmly Received At State Of The City Speech". The Queens Gazette ( Retrieved 2010-03-05. 
  24. ^ Toscano, John (March 26, 2003). "Queens Councilmember May Have Shot At Speaker". The Queens Gazette ( Retrieved 2010-03-05. 
  25. ^ Woodberry Jr., Warren (March 18, 2004). "New York Assemblyman Pushes Republicans to Pass Minimum-Wage Hike". New York Daily News (Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News). 
  26. ^ a b Couch, Ben. "Mets set for Merengue Night honor - GM Minaya accepts state citation for club's outreach efforts". (MLB Advanced Media, L.P.). Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  27. ^ a b Toscano, John (April 11, 2007). "Gang Menace In Schools Addressed By Peralta Bill". The Queens Gazette ( Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  28. ^ "Gay-Marriage Bill Passes, Fails, and Freaks Out a Bronx Dem". New York Magazine ( June 20, 2007. Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  29. ^ Schindler, Paul (July 3, 2007). "In an emotional vote, Assembly O.K.s gay marriage". The Villager (Community Media LLC) 77 (4). Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  30. ^ Tung, Larry (September 2007). "A City ID Card for All". Gotham Gazette ( p. Immigrants. Retrieved 2010-03-02. 
  31. ^ Hampton, Matt (January 10, 2008). "Politicians Attack Foreclosure Crisis". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  32. ^ a b Ruiz, A (May 29, 2008). "Cop need brought to light by shootings in Jackson Heights". New York Daily News ( Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  33. ^ Belden, Willow (February 25, 2010). "Monserrate appeals court decision". Queens Chronicle ( Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  34. ^ Orovic, Joseph (March 4, 2010). "Crowd’s Pleas Fall On Deaf MTA Ears". Queens Tribune ( Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  35. ^ King, Samuel (March 2, 2010). "Public Sounds Off In Two Boroughs On MTA Cuts". NY1 ( Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  36. ^ a b c d Davis, Pete (March 2, 2010). "A truly Special Election in Queens". The Queens Courier (Schneps Publications, Inc.). Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  37. ^ Confessore, Nicholas (October 28, 2009). "Queens Party Is Expected to Dump Monserrate". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  38. ^ Walsh, Jeremy (February 19, 2010). "Judge upholds Monserrate's expulsion from Senate". New York Post ( Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  39. ^ Benjamin, Elizabeth (February 26, 2010). "Department Of Questionable Timing". New York Daily News ( Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  40. ^ Benjamin, Elizabeth (February 25, 2010). "Odds and Ends". New York Daily News ( Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  41. ^ Benjamin, Elizabeth (March 2, 2010). "Ferreras E-mails For Peralta". New York Daily News ( Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  42. ^ Chang, Ailsa (March 1, 2010). "Religious Groups Endorse Monserrate". WNYC ( Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  43. ^ "Sears Out, Beltrani GOP Choice In Special Election; Peralta Support Swells". The Queens Gazette ( March 3, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  44. ^ a b Velte, Marcy L. (March 1, 2010). "Same-sex marriage advocates gunning for Monserrate". Legislative Gazette ( Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  45. ^ Rovzar, Chris (March 4, 2010). "Is Hiram Monserrate Just Running Against Gay People Now?". New York Magazine ( Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  46. ^ Editorial (March 10, 2010). "Meet the Candidate: A Convicted Abuser". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). p. A26. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  47. ^ Benjamin, Elizabeth (March 17, 2010). "Sen. Peralta". Daily News. Retrieved March 17, 2010. 
  48. ^ "General Election Results, State Senate: November 5, 2002" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. December 13, 2002. 
  49. ^ "General Election Results, State Senate: November 2, 2004" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. December 6, 2004. 
  50. ^ "General Election Results, State Senate: November 7, 2006" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. December 14, 2006. 
  51. ^ "General Election Results, State Senate: November 4, 2008" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. December 4, 2008. 
  52. ^ "Special Election Results, 13th Senate District: March 16, 2010" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. 2010. 
  53. ^ "General Election Results, State Senate: November 2, 2010" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. December 13, 2010. 

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Frank R. Seddio
New York State Assembly, 39th District
Succeeded by
Francisco Moya
New York State Senate
Preceded by
Hiram Monserrate
New York State Senate, 13th District
Political offices
Preceded by
Hiram Monserrate
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Consumer Protection
March 2010–December 2010
Succeeded by
Lee Zeldin