Wednesday, December 09, 2009

It's On....And Hiram Will Be The First To Go

Gay New Yorkers, hell, any New Yorker who supports non-discrimination and equality for all Americans, were a bit furious after the defeat of marriage equality by the New York state legislature. And they were even more irate at some of those Democrats who voted No; like Hiram Monserrate, who said he supported marriage equality and yet voted against it.

Well, now the Empire State Pride Agenda has endorsed José Peralta to replace Hiram Monserrate. Peralta has proven time and again that he is an ally for the LGBT community and that he understands that, as it stands today, not all Americans, or New Yorkers, are treated equally.

For the record, José Peralta has voted three times to pass the marriage equality bill in the Assembly, and has voted twice to pass the transgender civil rights bill. He has also voted many times to seek passage of the Dignity for All Students Act, which combats bias-based bullying and harassment of youth in public schools.
José Peralta is the type of politician we need to see that equality does not continue to fail, in New York, and around the country.
In his own words, Assemblyman José Peralta:

“Civil rights for all of my constituents and for all New Yorkers has always been a priority for me. I have worked towards full equality for LGBT New Yorkers in my seven years as an Assemblymember, and I will be proud to continue this work as a member of the State Senate. I think my record in the Assembly demonstrates that when I take a principled stand on an important human rights issue like marriage equality, I don’t suddenly change my mind when the bill comes up for a vote.”

We need less Monserrate-type politicos who say one thing and then do another, and more like José Peralta, who understand equality for all is what's right and fair and needed.


Wonder Man said...

I hope he sticks to his word.

Anonymous said...

Assemblyman Jose Peralta scored $500,000 in taxpayer funds for inactive nonprofit
Juan Gonzalez - News

Wednesday, December 9th 2009, 4:00 AM

Gabel for NewsQueens Assemblyman Jose Peralta snagged $500,000 in taxpayer money for a nonprofit that has no employees and has been inactive for two years. Related NewsEditorial: Total condemnationEPA chief: Obama to work with Congress on climateGeithner: Bailout program extended to OctoberYetiv and Feld: Think big on clean energySoros: Finance gap could 'wreck' climate talkQueens Assemblyman Jose Peralta landed more than $500,000 in taxpayer money for a nonprofit that never filed federal tax records, has no employees and has been inactive for more than two years.

Peralta helped organize the Corona-Elmhurst Center for Economic Development after joining the Legislature, and for years it was located in the same building as his campaign office.

This year, he and his chief political consultants have continued to lobby state and city lawmakers for additional grants for the dormant group, the Daily News has learned.

Until a month ago, the Corona-Elmhurst group maintained an office at 104-01 Roosevelt Ave., in a two-story commercial building, where Peralta rents space for his election committee.

The building is owned by Dr. Mercedes Mota-Martinez, a dentist who runs a clinic on the building's upper floor and who also employs Peralta's mother, Rosa Hernandez, as an office manager.

The dentist, Peralta and Hernandez share another connection: All were listed for years on voter rolls as living at the same address - a multifamily house a few blocks from the clinic.

Peralta moved out of the house in 2005. His mother continues to live there with Mota-Martinez. She and the dentist also co-own another Queens property.

In 2005 and 2006, according to Peralta's campaign reports, Hernandez provided his committee monthly in-kind contributions of $1,300 - a total of almost $30,000. She also donated another $6,000 in cash, while Mota-Martinez gave nearly $5,000, making the two women his biggest individual contributors.

Peralta said yesterday the $1,300 monthly contributions from his mother represent the market value of his campaign's free office space from the health center. The Board of Elections requires all such in-kind help to be listed.

But his mother is not the actual owner of the building, just a worker there, he was reminded.

"She's the office manager, so we put her name down as the contributor," Peralta said.

As for the Corona-Elmhurst group, Peralta secured its first $125,000 grant in 2004 from the state's Economic Development Corp., for technical assistance for neighborhood businesses. The money was an earmark from the fund for pet projects of individual legislators.

That year, he swore in the group's board of directors. Since then, its storefront sign has proclaimed: "Sponsored by NY State Assemblyman Jose R. Peralta." The sign came down last month.

More than $350,000 in federal and state funds followed the first big grant. The group's director Fernando Fernandez resigned in late 2006. After that, questions arose about the lack of financial reports, several community leaders say, and the group ceased to function.

"The director got sick and we had to put the organization's work and its funds on hold till we can find a replacement," Peralta said.

Meanwhile, the Audubon Partnership for Economic Development, a northern Manhattan nonprofit founded by Peralta's political consultant and mentor Luis Miranda, stepped in and applied for several state and city grants in the name of the Corona-Elmhurst group.

"We are assisting them because we do the same type of work," Audubon's executive director, Carmen Diaz-Santiago, said.

But Corona-Elmhurst has no staff, no phone, and no visible presence in Queens, Diaz-Santiago was told.

"My understanding is they are in the process of relocating," she said.