Special Election Profile: Jose Peralta

Name: Jose R. Peralta

Occupation: State Assemblymember 39th District

Party: Democrat

Background: Peralta has lived in Queens for more than 25 years. After graduating from Queens College, Peralta worked in the New York State Assembly as a community liaison and then served as the Director of the Commission on the Dignity for Immigrants at the New York City Labor Council. He has served as an Assemblymember since 2002.

What was your greatest legislative accomplishment in 2009?

“I was heavily involved in reforming the Rockefeller drug laws with my colleague, Assemblymember Jeffrey Aubry. My Banking Development District legislation became law, to help bring banks into underserved banking areas like Corona and East Elmhurst. This law gives financial incentives to any bank willing to open up a new branch in traditional under banked areas. As the chair of the subcommittee on banking in underserved communities, this was a great achievement for the Corona area that allows the Latino [community] get the same banking treatment that the rest of city gets.”

What’s the number one reason voters should choose you in the election?

“I’m running because, since January of last year, my community has been functionally unrepresented in the Senate – because Hiram Monserrate has been more concerned with making backroom deals and staying out of jail than serving his constituents. Now the Senate has expelled him as unfit to serve. I’m running because we need to move past the trials, tribulations, and dysfunction and get back to serving the people of Queens.”

The winner of the election will be thrust right into the budget negotiations. What would be your number one priority for the community?

“My number one priority for the community would be to ensure that we restore the $1.2 billion that the Governor has cut in education. These cuts would lead to massive layoffs and in turn would hurt our children and their ability to succeed in a global economy.” – Claudia Cruz