Queens Lawmakers On The Move Oct. 7, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Dromm, Elected Officials Unveil State Senator Jose Peralta Way 

City Council Member Daniel Dromm

City Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights) and a number of Queens and state lawmakers honored the memory of the last State Sen. Jose Peralta yesterday with the co-naming of 79th Street between 37th Avenue and 35th Avenue in Jackson Heights as “State Senator José R. Peralta Way.”

Peralta made history by becoming the first Dominican-American elected to the New York Senate when he assumed office in District 13. He served from 2010 until his untimely death in 2018.  

Peralta’s tenure was marked by a focus on immigration justice, support for working-class families, access to quality education for all children and advocacy for LGBT rights.  Peralta was most notable as his chamber’s leading champion for undocumented young people whom he believed deserved equal opportunity to achieve the American Dream. He introduced the New York State DREAM Act in 2013 and increased its support over the following years. 

The Act, renamed the José Peralta New York State DREAM Act in the senator’s honor after his untimely death, passed the state legislature and was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo earlier this year. This law will help ensure the success of young immigrants eager to grasp the American Dream for themselves and give back to our diverse community in which the senator always believed.

Prior to his election to the Senate, Peralta served in the New York State Assembly from 2002 to 2010.  Peralta was a member of the New York Senate Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian caucuses, and of the Puerto Rican Hispanic Task Force.  As a state legislator, Peralta advocated for working families and had fought to ensure that a quality public education is available to all. His sponsorship of gun-control legislation and a bill requiring microstamping on bullet-casings drew the ire of the National Rifle Association.  Peralta was a champion of economic development and job creation and was a fighter for immigrants’ rights. 

New York political history will remember Peralta as a legislator of principled advocacy and genuine kindness. 

Other elected officials on hand for the co-naming ceremony included NYS Attorney General Letitia James, U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., State Senators Jessica Ramos, Toby Ann Stavisky, Luis R. Sepulveda, Assemblymembers Catalina Cruz, Michael DenDekker, David Weprin and Karines Reyes, City Council Member Francisco Moya, NY State Supreme Court Justice Carmen Velasquez and former U.. Rep. Joe Crowley.

Maloney Committee Report Finds Economic Power of Latinos Growing 

U.S. Rep Carolyn Maloney

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), jointly released a new report last week examining the economic state of the Latino community in the United States. 

The study was prepared in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15th through October 15th.

The study finds that the almost 60 million Latinos in the United States already account for $2.3 trillion in economic activity, which on its own would rank as the eighth largest economy in the world. The economic clout of Latinos is expected to rise as about one in four Americans will be of Latino or Hispanic heritage by 2060. 

This increase – combined with high rates of labor force participation among Latinos, their relative youth and increased level of educational attainment – will be a key driver of overall U.S. economic growth. That will help offset downward pressures on the U.S. economy stemming from the rising number of retirements and plateauing labor force.

“For too long, too little attention has been paid to the economic contributions of Latinos. This report helps dispel the fog of ignorance surrounding the fact that not only our future, but our present as well, depends upon Latino economic contributions to make America thrive,” said Maloney. 

“Latinos are more likely to be in the workforce than the population as a whole. They are more likely to be entrepreneurs, as nearly one in four new businesses in this country are Latino-owned. These are but two examples demonstrating how our future economic success is created by Latinos in every part of the nation,” she added.

Vallone to Announce Restart of Free Senior Transportation Program

City Council Member Paul Vallone

City Council Member Paul A. Vallone (D-Alley Pond Park, Bay Terrace, Bayside, College Point, Douglaston, East Elmhurst, Flushing, Fresh Meadows, Little Neck, Whitestone) today will announce the start date of the Senior Transportation Program, which gives Queens seniors access to free and reliable transportation to and from their medical appointments. 

Vallone first launched the program four years ago and seniors have scheduled thousands of free rides to date. 

The launch is slated for 10 a.m., today, Oct. 7 at the Selfhelp Clearview Senior Center, 208-11 26th Avenue in Bayside.

Constantinides, Barnwell to Announce New Traffic Light  in Woodside

City Council Member Costa Constantinides

City Council Member Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria, East Elmhurst, Long Island City, Rikers Island, Woodside) will join with Assembly Member Brian Barnwell (D-Maspeth, Woodside, Middle Village, portions of Astoria, Sunnyside, Elmhurst, Rego Park, Long Island City) today to announce the Department of Transportation (DOT) has agreed to install a traffic light at Hobart Street and 30th Avenue. 

Woodside residents, particularly those who live in the Boulevard Gardens complex, have called for this safety measure for decades with limited success. Since 2014, the Council Member has worked with community stakeholders and the DOT to find a solution. 

The announcement is slated for 10 a.m., today, Oct. 7 Hobart Street and 30th Avenue in Woodside.

Addabbo Brings Jaza With Joe To The Rockaways

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside, The Rockaways) will be bringing his brand new event series, Java with Joe, to the Rockaways this month.

Addabbo invites everyone to come to Georgina’s, grab a cup of coffee, and chat with their Senator about any community or personal issues they would like to bring up. As a way to give back, a portion of all sales made from the attendees purchases will be donated by the owners of Georgina’s to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

“I have always tried to make myself more available to my constituents since being elected to the Senate in 2008,” Addabbo said. “These events, like my Mobile Office Hours, give those residents who cannot make an appointment at one of my three district offices during normal business hours a chance to meet with me and let me know what issues they are facing that they may need help with. I invite everyone to come out on October 12, support a local business and in turn donate to a great cause like St. Jude’s.”

The Java with Joe event is slated for 10-11:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 12 at Georgina’s Bakery & Café, 165 Beach 116th Street in Rockaway Park. For more information, contact Addabbo’s office at 718-738-1111.

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