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New York to set aside $10M of state budget for immigration legal services in light of Trump’s policies

ALBANY — Looking to fight back against President Trump’s immigration policies, the state is set to dedicate $10 million in its emerging new budget for immigrant legal services, the Daily News has learned.

The commitment, to be announced by Gov. Cuomo and the eight-member Senate Independent Democratic Conference, is said to be the largest of its kind in state history.

“The story of New York is the story of immigrants and this funding builds upon this administration’s long-standing work to protect those seeking a better life as New Yorkers,” Cuomo said. “Through this first in the nation public-private partnership, we will fight to ensure all immigrants have access to their rights under the law and that New York continues to be a beacon of hope and opportunity for all.”

IDC Leader Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx) said that “these vital funds knock down the financial wall immigrants face during deportation hearings by providing free legal assistance.”

Click Here for the Entire Article.

Peralta, SCA Unveil New Design For School Trailer Replacement

Years after proposing the construction of a permanent addition to PS 143 in Corona to alleviate chronic school overcrowding, state Senator Jose Peralta and the School Construction Authority, unveiled on March 16th the design of the new building to more than 100 parents in the school’s auditorium. The new structure will replace the current decades-old classroom trailers located in the surrounding area. It will be constructed on land owned by the city Parks Department.

“Like I said many times, no child – no child should be educated in a trailer, and I hope once this project is completed, overcrowding at PS 143 will just be a chapter of its history,” said Senator Peralta, who two years ago stood on school grounds with parents demanding the construction of this permanent addition. “Almost 1,000 new seats to replace the mini-building and the rundown trailers will help our students learn in the environment they deserve. It will give them a better opportunity to succeed.”

Click Here for the Entire Article.


New 5-Story Building at P.S. 143 To Replace Trailers With Labs and Art Room : DNAInfo

Story about the news conference I held last week to unveil the layout of the building that will remove classroom trailers at PS 143 in Corona.

New 5-Story Building at P.S. 143 To Replace Trailers With Labs and Art Room

State Sen. Jose Peralta, who has worked for years with the Parent Teacher Association at the school, said he hopes the new building will make overcrowding at the school “a chapter in its history.”

“Almost one thousand new seats to replace the mini building and the run-down trailers will help our students learn in the environment they deserve. It will give them a better opportunity to succeed,” Peralta said in a statement.

Peralta Gets A Leadership Post: State of Politics

From State of Politics: Peralta Gets A Leadership Post

Sen. Jose Peralta, the Queens Democrat who moved at the start of the year to the Independent Democratic Conference, was given a leadership title on Tuesday. Peralta will be the vice chairman of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee. The post comes with a $12,500 stipend, a decline from the $14,500 lulu he received as the mainline conference’s whip. In an interview, Peralta insisted the move wasn’t a financial one — an allegation that had been raised in a New York Post article soon after Peralta moved to the IDC.

“This is not about a pay raise,” he said, pointing to the reduction in the stipend from the previous leadership position in the mainline conference.

“In fact, I took a pay cut,” Peralta said. “I joined the IDC for principles not over a pay raise.”

Peralta said he hoped the post would help him pursue issues such as consumer concerns like prepaid phone cards, utility fees and broadband internet access. “These are the issues I’m going to be fighting for and, again, from a consumer perspective it’s about trying to insure I can protect the people that I represent.”

Read full article by following this link.


Queens pols introduce bill to regulate restaurant inspections: TimesLedger

Queens pols introduce bill to regulate restaurant inspections

TimesLedger: Co-sponsor Peralta said this legislation will save restaurants from being taken advantage of by abusive inspectors. “I represent a big part of Roosevelt Avenue where people can walk up and down the avenue and taste the different eclectic dishes from all over the world,” he said. “Unfortunat­ely, what happens is that from time to time you get these overzealous inspectors that walk in and will try to shut down a business. These restaurants are the economic engines of our neighborhoods. When an inspector comes in and tries to shut a restaurant down because they happen to be bad apples, it becomes a problem.”

TimesLedger: NYPD retakes Travers Park from alleged drug gang

Senator Peralta was quoted in an article regarding Travers Park published by Times Ledger. “Rivalry among gangs in and around Travers Park have led to a spike in violence, making our streets less safe,” state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) said. “We are not going to allow gangs to take over Travers Park, the only park in Jackson Heights. It is our park.

Click here for the entire story.

City will add 980 seats to an overcrowded Corona school that has used trailers for decades

Corona‘s P.S. 143 (the Louis Armstrong School) has been overcrowded for years — so much so that it uses six trailers, a mini-building and annex to accommodate a student population twice the capacity of the original school building.

Finally, some relief is in sight.

 On March 16, state Senator Jose Peralta and the School Construction Authority (SCA) unveiled the design for the permanent annex at P.S. 143’s auditorium in front of more than one hundred parents. The new building, which is being built on land owned by the Parks Department, will be five stories and add 980 seats with science laboratories, art and music rooms and a cafeteria.
Click Here for the Entire Article.

Queens Chronicle: Pols aim to prevent unfair inspections

The Queens Chronicle wrote an article about efforts Senator Peralta and Assemblymember Kim put in place to establish a fair health inspection system.

Chronicle: “Peralta, the main sponsor in Albany’s upper chamber, discussed an overzealous inspector he saw at a restaurant on Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights. The business owner had trouble communicating with the inspector due to a language barrier, he said, and stopped the man to demand that he show ID after he walked right into the restaurant’s kitchen.” Please, read the entire article here.

Peralta Shields Immigrant Communities With “Sanctuary District 13”: Tribune

The Queens Tribune and other publications wrote about Senator Peralta’s creation of Sanctuary District 13.

This is part of the article by the Tribune: Peralta Shields Immigrant Communities With “Sanctuary District 13”

In the wake of recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids, state Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) held an immigration forum at PS 19 on Wednesday night, where he announced “Sanctuary District 13,” a program to protect immigrants in his district.

Peralta bill would require photo proof of violations: Times Ledger

Entire article regarding Sen. Peralta’s proposal to require city agencies to obtain photo evidence when issuing summonses for civil violations.

Times Ledger:

Santiago Bonilla, the owner of Love Bakery and Cafe, is fighting a $300 summons for an unclean sidewalk for garbage he couldn’t clean because it was lodged beneath an parked car. Two years ago, the owner of the deli next door was issued a summons for the same reason.

Last week their neighbor on Junction Boulevard, state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), unveiled a measure requiring city agencies to obtain photographic evidence when issuing summonses for certain civil violations that are reviewed by the city’s Office of Administrative Trails and Hearings.

“This legislation is about fairness, it is about transparency. This is another example of how government can catch up with technology,” Peralta said. “New Yorkers already document everyday life situations with their cell phones or other electronic devices. There is no reason that enforcement officers cannot have proof of a violation by snapping a quick photo with a cell phone or tablet.”

Peralta’s bill would mandate that city agencies develop a list of violations where photographs could serve as evidence of violations, such as the presence of vermin at eateries, or states of disrepair that violate the city’s Construction Code. The accumulation of garbage on sidewalks, for example, as well as vermin and disrepair, all lend themselves to proof through the use of photos by enforcement officials, he said. Once a city agency determines that a particular violation should appear on a list of those covered by the legislation, a photograph of the conditions underlying the violation must be obtained.

Using the website already maintained by OATH, respondents will then have the ability to easily view photographs collected by enforcement officials, should they wish to proceed with an appeal.

“While justice dictates that respondents should have the ability to ascertain the nature of the evidence against them, it is also important that the city is able to prove its case and uphold a summons when it has been properly issued,” Peralta said. “The use of photographic evidence will level the playing field and allow all parties to accurately address the substance of cases appearing before the OATH tribunals.”

In 2016, the Hearing Division of the Environmental Control Board of OATH reviewed more than 700,000 summonses of which nearly 60 percent were dismissed.

“My bill will focus on improving the quality of summonses issued,” Peralta said. “With the use of photographic evidence, summonses may be more difficult to challenge for respondents, but it is also my hope that the city will sharply reduce the number of summonses issued improperly. There is simply no reason for these matters to continue to be adjudicated by a legal standard of ‘he said, she said.’”

Assemblyman-elect Brian Barnwell (D-Woodside) joined Peralta and said he would carry the bill to the state Assembly when he is sworn in next month.

“This bill will promote transparency and justice,” Barnwell said. “The government can say this is what you violated and this is the evidence. The government can easily take a photo. That solves a lot of problems and that is why I signed on to this bill.”