Call to Rename NY DREAM Act after Peralta

José Peralta (Photo via El Diario)

[Below are excerpts from an El Diario story by Edwin Martinez.]

The neighborhoods of Corona, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and parts of Woodside and Astoria, which were represented by state Sen. José Peralta in the state legislature, were shocked on Thanksgiving Day at the news of the sudden death of the district leader, only 11 days after his 47th birthday.

Peralta, who lost his re-election bid against Jessica Ramos in the Sept. 13 Democratic primary, died on Wednesday. (…) [Editor’s note: The cause of death has yet to be determined.]

Democratic leaders and neighbors mourned Peralta’s passing and described him as a defender of his community who gave representation to Latinos at the state government’s higher levels.

(…)

Mariela Beltrán, a Jackson Heights resident who described herself as a “loyal Peralta voter,” highlighted the politician’s humility and struggle for the most vulnerable, which was plain to see that same week when he donated turkeys for Thanksgiving to poor families in the neighborhood.

“The senator’s death hurts in my soul. He was a good man, but what pains me the most is that he died so young. On a day like this, we must remember him for the way he fought for us and fixed our problems when we knocked on his office door,” she said.

(…)

DREAM Act Name Proposal

[Below are excerpts from a story by David Ramirez about plans for Peralta’s funeral on Tuesday.]

Rep. Adriano Espaillat, also of Dominican origin, sent a letter to state officials requesting that the New York State DREAM Act be named in honor of Peralta. (…)

“As the main sponsor of this bill in both the New York State Assembly and Senate, he believed with every fiber of his being that we have an obligation to ensure that every opportunity for equity and advancement should be available to all persons,” Espaillat wrote.

(…)

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