Empire State Pride Agenda Begins Rollout of Endorsements Against Senators Who Voted No on NY Marriage Equality

Yesterday, NY's Empire State Pride Agenda endorsed Jose Peralta, who is running against Queens Senator Hiram Monserrate. Monserrate had stated support for the marriage equality bill but then voted '"no" when it was brought to the floor.

Peralta ESPA's statement:

José Peralta has demonstrated time and time again that he is a champion of equality and justice for all New Yorkers and has consistently represented the interests of his district in the New York State Assembly,” said Empire State Pride Agenda Executive Director Alan Van Capelle. “His record on LGBT issues demonstrates that he does not duck-and-run when our bills come up for a vote. He has stood up for us in the Assembly, and we will stand with him in his race for the State Senate.”

Assemblymember Peralta has three times voted to pass the marriage equality bill in the Assembly, has voted twice to pass the transgender civil rights bill (the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act) and has several years in a row voted to pass the Dignity for All Students Act, which combats bias-based bullying and harassment of youth in public schools. The Pride Agenda has previously endorsed Peralta in his reelection to the New York State Assembly.

“Civil rights for all of my constituents and for all New Yorkers has always been a priority for me,” said Assemblyman José Peralta. “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.”

Said Capelle to the Democrat and Chronicle: "We are going to begin a very strategic and steady rollout over the course of the next months of candidates who we feel would make better state senators than the people currently sitting in the seats."

Monserrate, incidentally, was sentenced on Friday to three years probation, 250 hours of community service, and a 52-week treatment program for the assault of his girlfriend.


  1. hall says

    This is the second of two rallies against Monserrate and pro Peralta. There will be a good turnout of neighborhood people and local politicians.

    LGBT Equality Coalition of Queens
    Causes – Protest
    Saturday, December 12, 2009
    3:00pm – 5:00pm
    The District of anti-gay bigot Hiram Monserrate
    90th Street and Roosevelt Avenue. Take 7 train to 90th st. or E,V,R,F,G to Roosevelt ave 74th st.
    Jackson Heights, NY

  2. PRIDE says

    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 NewsLipsky: N.Y., learn from New LondonState makes major concession on Deegan ramp fixupNo eminent domain for Columbia University expansion: courtMcCallister: Venture fund’s great news from BarbadosEditorial: Total condemnationQueens 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.


    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/columnists/gonzalez/index.html#ixzz0ZCcDUvLH

  3. Island Girly says

    It is time for LGBT people to stop supporting candidates that continually disappoint us. The only way to make ourselves be taken seriously is to take it to the polls. When the politicos begin losing their jobs they will begin to listen.

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