A life-long democrat, and resident of Queens for more than 30 years, Senator Jose Peralta became the first Dominican-American elected to the New York State Senate in March 2010. As a product of the borough's public schools, including Queens College, Senator Peralta's relentless work has provided his constituents with high achieving schools, good jobs, safe streets, criminal justice reform and affordable housing.
"We are working tirelessly to make sure our immigrant communities stay vibrant. They are the very fabric of our society, a staple of who we are as a city, as a state, as a nation.” -Senator Jose Peralta
Senator Peralta was one of the leading voices in New York to bring the best Paid Family Leave and Minimum Wage Increase program in the nation.
As of January 1, 2018, New Yorkers have job-protected time off culminating in up to 12-weeks and $15 in minimum wage increase. This milestone triumph also includes protections for employees who utilize the Paid Family Leave program but are penalized by employers, thus providing the financial security and stability they deserve and have long waited for.
Senator Peralta believes that every person should feel welcome in Queens, regardless of where they came from. To ensure that immigrant families receive equal opportunities Senator Peralta secured $10 million dollars designated to launch free legal counseling services that focus on housing and immigration for constituents. This critical funding along with the immigration help emergency hotline and “Know Your Rights" Immigration forums Senator Peralta has established, are essential to defend District 13. Senator Peralta is also the prime sponsor of the DREAM Act, in New York State which would help alleviate the cost of higher education for children of immigrants by eliminating potential financial obstacles to obtaining state financial aid for undocumented students looking to achieve a higher education.
FIGHTING FOR WOMEN'S RIGHTS
Women’s Rights are at the top of the Senator's priority list, especially because his first campaign for the Senate focused on battling domestic violence and ensuring survivors had the resources to escape their abusers. As a 100% pro-choice legislator, he is a co-sponsor of the New York Reproductive Health Act, a proposal to codify Roe v. Wade, and of the Comprehensive Contraceptive Care Act, a proposal that will guarantee access to birth control and FDA-approved contraceptive methods. Under the proposal, insurance companies will have to provide at least one free FDA-approved contraceptive methods. Furthermore, the Senator has led the charge to achieve pay equity by prohibiting employers from paying women less than men for having the same responsibilities. He supported the Governor’s Women’s Equality Act, a package of laws intended to which includes laws to end discrimination and gender inequality.
FIGHTING FOR THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY
Senator Peralta was a key vote in the passage of the New York State same-sex marriage law despite the opposition from most Republicans and some Democrats. The bill had previously failed under a Democratic majority. Moreover, Senator Peralta's fight for gender equality includes tougher penalties on human trafficking, banning the Chica Cards, the baseball-like cards that pimps distribute along Roosevelt Avenue to promote prostitution and pushing to regulate massage parlors to combat prostitution. Certainly, when it comes to protecting equal rights, Senator Peralta is no novice, a long time advocate for the protection of women’s rights as well as the LGBTQ community. He is a co-sponsor of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), has allocated funds to organizations such as APICHA, which provides services to gay senior. In addition, he secured a state allocation for HER Justice, which provides legal services for women.
We can't do it alone. Everyone has something of value they can contribute in our effort to make our community a better place to live, work, and raise a family.