By Mark Hallum
In his bid to fend off Jackson Heights activist Jessica Ramos in the Sept. 13 primary, State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) received endorsements from three different Democratic clubs across the city.
The endorsements came from Ridgewood-based Democratic Association of the 21st Century, Harlem-based Frederick Douglass Club and the Queens-based Pan-American Club, which made waves as being the first Democratic association to break their support from U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) ahead of his landmark defeat to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“These three organizations represent the dedication and active civic engagement of passionate members of our vibrant communities. To have their support shows me that we are accomplishing something big in Albany,” Peralta said.
First elected in 2010, Peralta has so far collected support from unions and other groups within the city, namely IBEW Local 3 and UNITEHERE! Local 100 in the past week.
“Our mission as an organization is to help get strong, bold leaders who will fight to produce an agenda that will help hardworking New Yorkers. We look towards leaders who will work to create a country that is fair and just for all. We are proud to endorse Sen. Jose Peralta for his re-election, for he has proven himself committed to the hard- working people he represents. We need more elected officials who show Senator Peralta’s dedication to a just and progressive society,” said Barbara Jackson, of the Democratic Association of the 21st Century.
Peralta has intensified his calls to make New York a sanctuary state and joined other voices urging Congress to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement in favor of establishing a new agency in its place.
“We support Sen. Jose Peralta in his re-election campaign because of his great work so far within our community. As a an organization that values the safety and education of our children, Senator Peralta’s continued efforts to add speed cameras in school zones has reflected his devotion to New York’s future leaders. Accompanied by the unprecedented $1.1 billion school funding increase and establishment of universal pre-kindergarten, Senator Peralta is surely the best option for improving our communities,” said Antwaun Gavins, of the Frederick Douglass Club.
Peralta is a co-sponsor of the Dream Act and has fought to pass what he claims to be the strongest paid family leave program in the country, a $15 minimum wage, immigrant legal defense funding, and an increase in education funding.
“Senator Peralta continuously stands up for his constituents by advocating for better communities and a united district. We are proud to endorse his re-election campaign and look forward to working with him as he fights for New Yorkers in Albany. We continue to advocate for the election of leaders who actually do the job they were elected to do. Senator Peralta will continue his public service as a leader in the Pan-American community as well as all other New Yorkers,” said William Salgado, of the Pan-American Club.
Peralta is a former member of the Independent Democratic Conference, a breakaway democratic group that caucused separately from both the mainline party and the Republicans, but negotiated with the conservative majority with the goal in mind of passing progressive legislation.
The IDC dissolved in April 2017 after a peace agreement was struck between the warring Democrats.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall