Peralta, IDC angers Planned Parenthood group and constituents in Jackson Heights
A Planned Parenthood group is complaining that their logo was used improperly by state Sen. Jose Peralta and the Independent Democratic Conference.

A non-profit advocacy organization for Planned Parenthood is disavowing a mailer released by state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) which uses the Planned Parenthood logo and a quote from the group. The flier features a photo of Peralta, who defected to the Independent Democratic Conference in January, and touts his support for reproductive rights and investing in Planned Parenthood.

“It has come to our attention that a mailer has been disseminated creating the appearance that Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts has endorsed members of the Independent Democratic Conference,” PPESA President and CEO Robin Chappelle Golston said. “PPESA is a 501(c)(4), non-profit organization that advances public policy to increase access to reproductive health care. PPESA does not endorse any New York State or local elected officials or parties. We were blindsided and disheartened that the PPESA logo was used in a way that creates the appearance of an endorsement for a candidate or committee. This was done without our consent.”

The mailer was not produced by Peralta’s office but the IDC.

“This is an issue-based mailer, not a campaign mailer,” IDC spokeswoman Candice Giove said. “It is meant to convey that the IDC is the only conference that universally supports a woman’s right to choose. That’s why we are calling on the minority Democratic conference to state where they stand on women’s productive rights and call the roll.”

Senate Democratic Communications Director Mike Murphy dismissed Giove’s claim.

“Senator Peralta and his cohorts in the IDC are lying to the people of New York,” he said. “The reality is by empowering Trump’s allies in New York they are blocking crucial legislation to protect women’s rights.”

Peralta also angered more than 150 constituents who packed the Jackson Heights Jewish Center Monday night for a “Where’s Peralta?” town hall meeting by attending a meeting of the Ericsson Street Block Association in East Elmhurst instead. During a contentious town hall meeting in February, when Peralta tried to explain his reasons for joining the IDC, Peralta promised to hold a second town hall after the state budget was finished, but failed to schedule one,

“My office constantly receives invitations to attend events to have conversations about issues affecting our communities. I regularly attend meetings like this because it’s important to me to listen to the people I represent, and deliver results for them. Unfortunately, “Citizens for District 13' —a group that my office has never hear of in the many years of dealing with community organizations — appears more focused on furthering a counterproductive anti-Independent Democratic Conference agenda than taking any action that has to do with a

healthy and constructive debate about the future of this district.”

Susan Kang, a Jackson Heights resident and organizer with the organization No IDC, called his reason for skipping the town hall disingenuous.

“It’s too bad that Peralta seems scared to meet with his constituents,” Kang said. “I sent out the original invite from my email to his scheduler, and since I was one of the original citizens to demand the first town hall, Peralta knows who I am. We are further disappointed that his office never wrote me back or gave any other constituents a yes or no response regarding his attendance. In the end, it is Peralta’s loss to refuse to meet with his constituents. One hundreds people were locked of his February town hall and he promised to continue the conversation on the IDC. If Senator Peralta doesn’t know us now, he will certainly get to know us well because we will not stop holding him accountable.”

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

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