Jessica Ramos yesterday officially opened her new Jackson Heights campaign office at 72-24 Broadway to gear up for a tough State Senate race this year.
Ramos is one of three Democratic candidates challenging incumbent State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Woodside) for his seat this year.
The Jackson Heights resident addressed over 40 supporters, including 39th Assembly District candidate Catalina Cruz, about her campaign between two tables filled with Colombian empanadas, Indian samosas, and bagels. She noted that the office’s location was chosen so that residents could access it from the nearby 7 train line.
“[This] really is the place where folks from all over the world come for a better life in Queens,” Ramos said.
In her speech, Ramos highlighted a few issues that she wants to focus on for the district that include transportation, adequate funding for schools, and affordable housing. She felt more could be done to ensure families could live in an area that is facing the risk of high rents.
She also criticized Peralta and said she was running “against a man who has decided to vote for a Republican majority.” Ramos referred to Peralta’s status in the Independent Democratic Conference, an eight-member group that works with State Senate Republicans, as a liability for the community.
“We need to take back our district, and it is our duty to win,” she said.
City Councilmember Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria, Jackson Heights, Woodside, East Elmhurst) made a surprise appearance at the event and spoke for a few minutes in support of Ramos’ run.
“Whether in Queens County Young Democrats or 32BJ or working for the Mayor’s office, she has that compassion, that knowledge, that love for that community,” he said.
Constantinides added that the district required a “real Democrat” that understood what residents needed.
“It’s not what you talk about, it’s about what you do,” Constantinides said. “The Senator for this district has taken a step to empower Republicans [and] empower the tearing apart of communities.”
The Democratic primary is set for Thursday, September 13.