Peralta Mounting Formidable Support To Unseat Monserrate
In his bid to unseat state Senator Hiram Monserrate from the 13th District seat covering Jackson Heights next year, Assemblymember Jose Peralta is steadily building an army of support to back his effort.
The list of backers is heavy with labor organizations, Democratic Party officials from every level of the organization and local community organizations, including Latino groups that will be a vital cog in the battle between two leading Latino public officials.
Meanwhile, there has been little word from Monserrate since his conviction on assault charges involving his girlfriend, Karla Giraldo. Monserrate since then has been threatened with expulsion from the senate. The special senate committee that will determine his fate has already held its first meeting and possibly when the primary for the 13th Senate District seat rolls around next year, Monserrate will have been booted out of the chamber.
Peralta, 37 and a member of the Assembly representing Corona and Jackson Heights since he was elected in 2002, was propelled into the battle against Monserrate shortly after the assault conviction when Queens Democratic Leader Congressmember Joseph Crowley endorsed him to carry on the fight against Monserrate.
The party’s elected officials immediately flocked into the Peralta camp to pledge their support. The latest flurry came as Assemblymembers Jeffrion Aubry (East Elmhurst) and Michael Den Dekker and Councilmember-elect Daniel Dromm (both Jackson Heights) announced their endorsements of Peralta.
Veteran lawmaker Aubry spoke for all three when he hailed Peralta as “a Senator that will bring all communities together to achieve common goals”.
At the same time, more Democratic district leaders from within the 13th Senate District and beyond announced their support for Peralta. Just as important, among the latest endorsements were those from Marlene Tapper, former vice president of the National Women’s Political Caucus and Miguel Lopez of the International Alliance of Latinos and the Si Se Puede Democratic Club of Corona.
Also among the supporters joining the Peralta parade were labor organizations such as the United Association of Plumbers, Local 1, the Laborers Union, Local 79 the Enterprise Association of Steamfitters, Local 638, and the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association.
CROWLEY FUNDRAISER: Looking ahead to Congressmember Joseph Crowley’s bid for re-election to a seventh term next year, Assemblymember Michael Gianaris (D–Astoria) will host a fundraiser for the Elmhurst lawmaker next Monday evening, November 30, at the Pancyprian Sports Lounge, 23-15 31st St., Astoria at 7:30 p.m.
Joining Gianaris in this effort for Crowley are Philip Christopher, Nikos Mouyiaris and Peter Papanicalaou. The event announcement portrays Crowley as “a committed and strong advocate” for his Queens/Bronx district and quotes Roll Call, a Washington weekly: “Crowley has gained respect from his caucus for coalition building and legislative know-how;” the Congressional Quarterly: “He plays important roles in the Democratic caucus;” and the New York Times: “He’s considered a hard-working representative and an impassioned advocate for his district.” The district covers parts of The Bronx and Sunnyside, Woodside, Maspeth, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst and College Point in Queens.
ADDABBO: AVOID SCHOOL, HEALTH CARE CUTS: While opposing Governor David Paterson’s deficit reduction 2010 budget plan, “which would disrupt and dismantle our classrooms in midyear,” state Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr.(D–Howard Beach/Ozone Park) has been working to close a $3.7 billion budget gap, “while maintaining the quality of our educational and healthcare systems that are of paramount importance to every New Yorker”.
MAYOR SIGNS LIZ CROWLEY BILL: Last week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley’s bill which increases the penalty for leaving a motor vehicle running and unattended. Crowley (D–Glendale) said the violation “seems like a minor, careless mistake, but it is irresponsible, dangerous and potentially deadly”.
Crowley introduced the bill after an unoccupied van left in reverse in Chinatown mounted a sidewalk and killed two children and in another instance in Middle Village, a thief stole an idling unoccupied car and fatally struck two people.
LIU SETS UP TRANSITION OFFICE: Looking forward to assuming stewardship of the city comptroller’s office in January, John Liu announced that present Comptroller William Thompson Jr. has provided space and equipment in the Municipal Building so Liu can employ a full-time staff to run his transition office and have it in working order when he’s sworn in. The transition office is led by former Comptroller H. Carl McCall.
Liu said job applicants should submit resumes and information via a Web site, www.liutransition 2010.com or via e-mail at info@liutransition 2010.com. Liu said that due to high volume, information submitted via e-mail or phone at 212-669-7147, may require more time to process.
CUOMO FUNDRAISER FEATURES TOP ENTERTAINMENT: When a birthday/ fundraiser is held for New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo on December 17, rock star Jon Bon Jovi will perform for the probably gubernatorial candidate in 2010. The affair will be held at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers in Manhattan. Tickets to the 8 p.m. event begin at $1,000.
BILL ATTRACTS STUDENTS TO PUBLIC SERVICE: A bill has been introduced by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–New York) to encourage outstanding undergraduate and graduate students in “mission-critical fields of study” to pursue a career in the federal government. Mission-critical fields of study include medicine, law or information technology and students and graduates are in short supply. As a result, the federal government is unable to effectively compete with the more attractive salary and benefits packages available to such highly skilled individuals in the private sector. But through September 2012, federal agencies will be required to fill 273,000 mission-critical positions, Gillibrand said.
Her Roosevelt Scholars Act would help address this hiring challenge by establishing a scholarship program to provide tuition assistance and a small stipend to outstanding undergraduates and graduate students in mission-critical degree programs. In return, Roosevelt Scholars would fulfill three to five years of service with a federal agency in a mission-critical position.
THOMPSON STYMIES BLOOMY: With a chance to exert some remaining revenge against his recent campaign opponent, Comptroller William Thompson Jr. last week refused for the third time to approve a $34 million design contract for a plan to reopen and expand the Brooklyn House of Detention from 750 to 1,500 inmates. Thompson even refused to approve the contract despite an official order from his mayoral rival to do so.
Thompson stated, “This boondoggle has been a disaster since day one,” as he blasted the mayor for demanding citywide expenditures while pushing the $450 million project. He also called the contract an “unnecessary project” and “fundamentally flawed”.
The expansion plan has aroused criticism from the local community.