30 THE QUEENS COURIER • NOVEMBER 29, 2018 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
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Photo via Twitter/@Senator Peralta
STORY: Rego Park’s Shalimar Diner will serve its last meal after 45
years in business
SUMMARY: The Shalimar Diner in Rego Park has closed its doors for
REACH: 26,112 people (as of 11/26/18)
On Nov. 16, state Senator Jose Peralta
sent out on Twitter the kind of tweet
we’re used to from local lawmakers this
time of year: a photo of a turkey giveaway
held at his East Elmhurst offi ce.
Politicians usually stake themselves
front and center in a publicity photo; in
this one, the senator seemed content just
to stand among the crowd of more than
100 who lined up for the shot.
“Over the last nine years, we have distributed
over 5,000 turkeys,” Peralta
tweeted. “I’ve been honored to represent
a community of such loving and thriving
Sadly, this turned out to be one of
Peralta’s fi nal public statements. He died
just fi ve days later, on Nov. 21, from an
unknown and sudden illness. He was
just 47, and leaves behind a loving wife,
Evelyn, and two sons, Matthew and
For such a short life, Peralta made quite
a large impact.
He made history just by being sworn in
to the Assembly in 2003 as the fi rst-ever
Dominican-American lawmaker in
the chamber. Th rough his tireless service
to the community, he rose to the state
Senate seven years later, winning a special
election for the seat covering much
of Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst,
Jackson Heights and Woodside.
Peralta spent much of his time in
Albany doing what any good legislator
does for his district: address the people’s
needs. Th at included improving
local schools, advocating for gun control,
sponsoring initiatives to combat domestic
violence and cleaning up Roosevelt
Avenue – the strip he famously described
as “the new old Times Square.”
For all the good he did in the district,
Peralta angered many constituents when
he joined the Independent Democratic
Conference, the state Senate caucus that
worked with Republicans in a power coalition.
Few bought Peralta’s explanation
that he believed his IDC membership
would drive home more resources and
lead to the passage of meaningful legislation.
Th e IDC reunited with traditional
Senate Democrats, but it wasn’t enough
to keep Peralta in offi ce. He was defeated
in September by Jessica Ramos in the
At the time, because of Peralta’s youth,
the loss seemed to be a bump in the road.
Many thought he would eventually get
another chance in public offi ce. He would
fi ght another day.
But as life oft en proves in heartbreaking
ways, another day isn’t always guaranteed.
We’re left , instead, to look back not on
what might have been, but on what was.
And the record shows that Jose Peralta
was a good and decent public servant
who did what he believed was right for
Our hearts are with the Peralta family,
and all those whose lives he touched.