June 26, By Jason Cohen
Residents and civic leaders who are critics of State Senator Jose Peralta–following his decision to join the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) in January— claim that he promised them a town hall meeting and are having one with or without him tonight.
The meeting, titled “Where is Peralta?”, is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Jackson Heights Jewish Center. The event, organized earlier this month, is being put on by Queens Neighborhoods United, New Queens Democrats, Queens Community Action Group and array of other groups.
Peralta held a town hall meeting in February following his switch to the IDC, and pledged he would hold a second one. His critics say they are just keeping him to his word.
At this point, no one is sure whether Peralta will appear tonight.
Peralta has faced a lot of backlash since he joined the IDC, a breakaway group of Democrats who have joined forces with Senate Republicans to form a majority.
Susan Kang, a Jackson Heights resident and member of No IDC, will be at the town hall. She said that residents asked him to attend on June 14 and this should have given him sufficient time to make any changes necessary to his schedule.
Currently, there are no events listed on his Facebook page or other webpages.
“If Peralta does not attend, I will be disappointed, as this was one of the concrete things he promised constituents at his February Town Hall,” Kang said. “His absence would suggest bad faith and disrespect to his constituents. But hopefully he will be there to explain his accomplishments this session through the IDC’s collaboration with Senate Republicans and make a convincing case that he is an effective progressive legislator.”
As of press time, Peralta’s office could not be reached for comment.
According to the organizers, public school funding, health care, immigrants’ rights, sanctuary state, Dream Act, LGBT rights, voter reform, criminal justice reform and climate change reforms, will be discussed tonight.