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With his special election victory in March 2010, José Peralta became the first Dominican-American ever elected to the New York State Senate. He was later re-elected with more than 82 percent of the vote in the general election.
Senator Peralta is the Ranking Democrat on the Labor Committee and also serves as a member of the Finance, Investigations and Insurance Committees.
Prior to his election to the senate, Senator Peralta served in the New York State Assembly from 2002 to 2010, representing the 39th Assembly District.
As a state legislator, Senator Peralta has been an advocate for the state’s working families and has fought to ensure that a quality public education is available to all. His sponsorship of gun-control legislation and a bill requiring microstamps on bullet-casings has drawn the ire of the National Rifle Association. Senator Peralta has worked to heighten awareness of domestic violence and protect battered spouses from further abuse. He also has been a champion of immigrants’ rights.
In his district, one of Senator Peralta’s long-term goals is to develop Roosevelt Avenue into a thriving commercial area, a destination for city residents, visitors and tourists. Tapping Roosevelt Avenue’s great potential, however, is easier said than done. Prostitution has thrived there for decades, despite numerous anti-prostitution crackdowns by police over the years. Roosevelt Avenue is also a market for drugs and false documents.
Senator Peralta recently introduced a bill banning the distribution of lewd ads for prostitutes—a common sight on Roosevelt Avenue sidewalks—and announced the launch of a campaign to claim Roosevelt Avenue for local residents, families and legitimate businesses. As part of the effort, Senator Peralta secured a grant for the Doe Fund to help keep parts of Roosevelt Avenue clear of trash, litter and graffiti.
Senator Peralta has lived in Queens more than 30 years and is a product of the borough’s public schools, including Queens College. He and his wife Evelyn and their children live in Jackson Heights.
Standing Committee Assignments 2010: Consumer Protection (Chair); Finance; Insurance; Banks; Crime Victims, Crime and Correction.