BY NATHAN DUKE
Focusing on public transportation, schools and rent regulations, Jessica Ramos will challenge state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Elmhurst) for his seat in this year’s Democratic primary for District 13.
Ramos said that she had been prompted to run against the senator after he joined the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC)—a group of Democratic state senators who often voted alongside Republicans—last year. This past week, a deal was struck that would bring the IDC members back into the fold of the Democratic Party, but Ramos said that her campaign is still forging full speed ahead.
She cited public transportation as a significant issue in her district.
“Last summer, I got stuck on a 7 train on the way to City Hall for two hours,” she said. “A lady next to me started crying. She was on her way to her first day on a new job. It had been hard for her to find work and she wanted to make a good impression. She said her pay would be docked for being late. This put the subway crisis into a new perspective for me. People need to be able to get where they are going on time.”
Ramos noted that several schools in her district are severely overcrowded—especially PS 19 in Corona, which was once ranked as one of the nation’s most overcrowded.
“We need to have new high schools,” she said, citing Willets Point as a site where one should be constructed. “We keep building elementary and middle schools, but we need neighborhood high schools again.”
She listed rent regulation as another priority issue for her campaign.
“I’ve been living in the same apartment for seven years,” she said. “The difference between what I pay and the market rate is $500 to $600. It’s enough to displace me from my neighborhood. I’m lucky—my landlord is a great person, but not all landlords are.”
Read more of the Queens Tribune‘s interview with Jessica Ramos in this week’s paper.
Reach editor-in-chief Nathan Duke via email at email@example.com or by phone at (718) 357-7400, ext. 122.