2016-08-03 / Features

Peralta’s Constituent Svcs.

The Constituent Services Graph shows the number of constituent cases per year and month since 2011 until June 2016. The horizontal axis shows the years and months, while the vertical axis shows the constituent count. The Constituent Services Graph shows the number of constituent cases per year and month since 2011 until June 2016. The horizontal axis shows the years and months, while the vertical axis shows the constituent count. When Francisca Reyes, a Jackson Heights resident, received a bill for more than $40,000 from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, she was shocked.

However, after seeking assistance from the office of state Senator Jose Peralta, the state agency corrected the mistake. “I want to thank Senator Peralta and his staff for solving my case. They resolved my problem in three days,” Reyes said.

This is just one example of the casework the office of Senator Peralta handles as part of his constituent services team. “Constituent services is a vital part of the work we do,” said Peralta. “Assisting those in need and addressing the problems of my constituents have been always among my top priorities.”

During the first six months of 2016, more than 600 people sought help from Senator Peralta on a variety of issues – from housing and immigration to quality of life and street safety.

Last month, for example, constituents visited the Senator’s district office seeking assistance in housing, employment and immigration matters.

The constituents services professionals offer one-on-one guidance to help people solve their problems with state agencies and make referrals to city and federal agencies. “We are trying to help solve the problems our constituents face in their daily lives,” said Peralta.

Senator Peralta also noted, for example, that because of complaints and suggestions pointed out by constituents, the city Department of Transportation installed several speed bumps at problematic roads, some of them in school zones.

In another case, a Corona resident visited Peralta’s office needing support to complete her rent freeze application. Soon after, she received a letter in the mail notifying that her Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) was approved.

Since 2011, Peralta’s constituent services team opened almost 7,000 individual cases, including a whopping 586 cases in June 2012, the month in which President Barack Obama established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. “When immigrants in our district found out about President Obama’s executive action to protect them from deportation, they flooded the office to know if they would qualify under the program and how to apply for it.”

Annual Events

In addition to constituent services, Senator Peralta also holds annual events in cooperation with several local organizations as part of his commitment to community involvement. These are some of the events:

Back to School Giveaway – Last year, Senator Peralta’s office distributed more than 2,100 backpacks filled with school supplies.

Job Fair – In the 2015 edition, more than 1,200 job seekers attended the event created in 2011 as a response to the economic crisis. Over 50 people were hired on the spot, and hundreds of interviews were scheduled at later dates.

Thanksgiving Turkey Drive – Along with community organizations, the Senator’s office was able to bring more than 500 turkeys to families in the community.

Annual Toy Drive – Senator Peralta’s office, in cooperation with Queens Center, secured funding to help all children receive toys and brighten their holiday season.

Coat Drive – In an effort to ensure residents stay warm in the cold months, this winter the Senator’s office distributed more than 1,800 coats.

Approximately 6,000 people participated in these events. Other regular community gatherings include the Black History Month Celebration and the Women of Distinction Celebration, as well as town hall meetings on airplane noise, homeless shelters, and street safety.

During this school graduation period, the Senator and his staff took part in a total of 38 graduations in schools in the district, presenting 5,425 Certificates of Achievement to the graduates.

The Senator encourages his constituents that may need help to contact his staff by dropping by the office at 32-37 Junction Boulevard, in East Elmhurst, by calling 718-205-3881 or via email at jperalta@nysenate.gov.

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