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.
Senator Peralta currently represents the 13th State Senate District, covering Jackson Heights, Corona, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, and parts of Woodside and Astoria, the most diverse district in the United States. It is the United Nations of all State Senate districts, and that is why Senator Peralta has worked to ensure that all ethnic groups that he represents work together and are informed about their rights.
Prior to holding his Senate seat, he was elected to the New York State Assembly at the age of 30. Senator Peralta served in the New York State Assembly from 2002 to 2010, representing the 39th Assembly District. Before representing the 39th District, Senator Peralta was a tireless advocate for immigrant workers’ rights at the New York City Central Labor Council.
As a first generation Dominican-American, his parents, like so many others before, came to the United States in search of the American Dream and a better life for their children. His father, a bank teller, and his mother, a seamstress, worked hard to provide for their family.
Jose has lived in Queens since he was 7, when his parents moved from Manhattan. He is a product of the public school system in Queens, having attended PS 14, Leonardo da Vinci Intermediate School 61, Flushing High School, as well as Queens College, where he graduated in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. At Queens College, Jose Peralta was the student body president, a position that allowed him to work on issues pertaining to higher education, issues he continues to fight for on the Higher Education Committee of the Senate.
As a state legislator, Senator Peralta has been an advocate for working families and has fought to ensure that a quality public education is available to all. Jose has been the leading advocate in the fight to provide state financial aid to undocumented immigrants. He is the main sponsor of the DREAM Act and promises to continue the struggle in Albany until the DREAM Act is enacted.
He is also a strong advocate for gun violence prevention as the sponsor of legislation that would require microstamping on bullet-casings that has drawn the ire of the National Rifle Association. Five of the Senator’s gun bills were part of the New York Safe Act Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law in 2013.
Senator Peralta has continuously been a champion of economic development and job creation, throughout his time as a legislator. He spearheads the drive to rejuvenate Roosevelt Avenue and has worked to heighten awareness of domestic violence and protect battered spouses from further abuse.
Senator Peralta champions working families’ values, economic development, job creation and is a fighter for immigrants’ rights. He has been working to protect the rights of new Americans by ensuring that those who have come searching for the American Dream and work hard get the respect they deserve.