Feb. 26, 2019 By Meghan Sackman
State Sen. Jose Peralta, who represented Jackson Heights since 2002 in Albany until his unexpected death late last year, may be getting a street named after him in the neighborhood he both lived in and served.
The northeast corner of 79th Street and 37th Avenue, the street where Peralta lived with his wife and children, may bear his name after a street co-naming proposal was recently introduced by Council Member Daniel Dromm and unanimously passed Community Board 3 last Thursday.
“Jose Peralta and I were friends for close to 20 years,” Dromm said in a statement to the Jackson Heights Post. “His work in the community makes him truly deserving of this honor.”
The council member said he has spoken to Peralta’s widow, Evelyn, about the naming, and has received her blessing.
“…We agreed that the placement of the sign should be on the corner that Jose passed every single day,” Dromm said, adding, “Jose was my brother from another mother. His kindness, warmth and friendship is truly missed.”
Peralta, who died on Nov. 21 from what was later determined to be complications from a rare form of leukemia, served the 13th District in Albany from 2010 to 2018, and the 39th District as Assembly member from 2002 to 2009.
Peralta’s widow and two children, Matthew, and Myles, still live on the proposed corridor that may be named in his honor.
The street co-naming proposal has also been received favorably by other elected officials and community residents.
“I think it is going to be wonderful…mostly for his children, who are going to be able to see an actual, physical manifestation of their father’s legacy,” said Assemblymember Catalina Cruz at the Feb. 21 meeting. “I am 100 percent in favor of such a great honor for someone who fought so hard for this community.”
Rosana Smith, an East Elmhurst resident who attended the board meeting, said Peralta “had a great way of making you feel like politics wasn’t just in the legislative offices, but that he cared.”
“I believe we should have a sign in honor of his name and family,” she added.
The board also recommended in its vote that the co-naming showcase the passage of the Jose Peralta Dream Act, a large part of the late senator’s legacy.
The legislation, which passed late last month, provides undocumented students with the same right to receive in-state scholarships and financial aid as U.S. citizens and legal residents. The bill had long been championed by Peralta, who originally sponsored the bill.
The board will process the street co-naming request once a finalized name for the corridor has been determined. The legislation will eventually be voted on by the City Council.