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About Ben Kallos

Confronted with corruption in Albany, Ben put voting records online so New Yorkers could finally hold politicians accountable. Since then he's run a government reform organization that successfully removed corruption from government and served as Policy Director for former Public Advocate Mark Green.

Ben grew up on the Upper East Side with his mother, who still lives in the neighborhood, and his grandparents, who fled anti-Semitism in Europe. A Bronx Science graduate, Ben knows that our public schools are more than just budget line.  He attended SUNY Albany and SUNY Buffalo Law School, where he paid his own way through.

In the City Council, Ben chairs the Committee on Governmental Operations, where he promotes transparency to ensure every dollar gets spent to improve your quality of life--from affordable housing to senior services to better schools.

Updates

Legislation
Thursday, February 26, 2015

Requires that the location of cars towed due to temporary parking restrictions, such as film shoots or parades, is available on the Department of Transportation website or by calling 311. 

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Legislation
Thursday, January 22, 2015

Prevent landlords from using information from housing court records to discriminate against tenants when they have satisfied the terms of an order issued in housing court. The so-called blacklists contain an estimated hundreds of thousands of names of would-be renters, and are often used by landlords to deny future housing to potential tenants. The legislation would allow tenants to file a complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights and fine landlords if a violation was found.

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Press Coverage
CBS New York
Friday, February 27, 2015

Efforts are underway to end the game of hide and seek that occurs when cars are towed to make way for parades, and other events.

As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer explained, a happy ending may be in sight for New York City motorists whose cars are towed to the land of ‘who knows where’ to make room for parades, construction, and most often TV and movie shoots.

One city councilman is suggesting a common sense, and common courtesy solution.

“Anytime a car got towed, you’d be able to just call 311, go online, find your car. Not worry if it got stolen, where it got towed, just find it, move on with your life,” Councilman Ben Kallos D-Upper East Side, said.

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Press Coverage
NBC News 4 New York
Friday, February 27, 2015

Legislation proposed by a city council member Friday would help New Yorkers find their vehicles when they're towed because of temporary parking restrictions.

Councilman Ben Kallos, a Democrat who represents the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island, said cars that are towed for temporary parking violations -- like when a movie is being filmed -- are often moved blocks away without the owner's knowledge.

Kallos introduced the legislation so owners would no longer be left wondering what happened to their cars.

“Imagine arriving at your parking spot to find its gone, not knowing if it is stolen or towed, without being able to find out where it is, unless you’ve got the time to walk every block of your neighborhood,” Kallos said.

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Press Coverage
NY1
Friday, February 27, 2015

When cars are moved because of things like parades or movie shoots, drivers often have no clue where their vehicles are, and now one city lawmaker is looking to change that.

Manhattan Councilman Ben Kallos is pushing a bill that would require the city Transportation Department to notify 311 and put information about relocated cars on its website.

Drivers would then be able to visit the website or call the city's helpline to find their cars.

That's the way it currently works when a car is towed to an impound lot for a normal parking restriction.

Kallos tells the Daily News he decided to introduce the bill after his disabled mother's car was towed several blocks from her home, and was covered in tickets once she found it.

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Press Coverage
CBS New York
Thursday, February 26, 2015

Helping people find their towed cars is the idea behind a proposal being made in the city council.

Imagine this scenario: you park your car legally and when you come back, it’s gone!

“A lot of people first think their car got stolen,” City Councilmember Ben Kallos said.

Kallos said then imagine you see a temporary “no parking” sign, either resulting from a TV shoot or street fair.

“So you can either try to touch base with your precinct and see if they’ve got a list of where it might be, or you have to resort to walking around the neighborhood until you find your car,” Kallos told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.

If your car has been moved, Kallos wants the new location entered into a single database.

“Call 311, go on a website and you’d be able to find out where’s my car,” he said.

 

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Press Release

In the wake of the FCC ruling on net neutrality, New York City Council Member and free and open source software developer Ben Kallos said:

"Universal broadband is best supported by a free and open Internet, which the FCC guaranteed today by reclassifying the Internet as a utility.

As a city of more than 8.4 million residents, over a third of whom are foreign born, New York has long advocated for Net Neutrality. Our growing tech industry, which has brought a new wave of middle class jobs back to New York, relies on the equality of access that the FCC granted today.

In addition to the FCC, thank you to President Obama, Governor Cuomo, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and my colleagues in the City Council, Costa Constantinides, Daniel Dromm, Corey Johnson, Karen Koslowitz, Stephen Levin, Antonio Reynoso, Ydanis Rodriguez, and Ruben Wills, as well as the nearly four million Americans who submitted public comments to the FCC, for helping to protect the Internet’s foundation of democracy and equality.”

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Press Coverage
New York Daily News
Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Manhattan city councilman is looking to end the game of hide-and-seek that faces drivers whose cars are towed because of temporary parking restrictions.

A bill introduced Thursday by Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Upper East Side) would let owners find out where their car was moved by calling 311 or consulting the Department of Transportation’s website.

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Press Coverage
Capital New York
Thursday, February 26, 2015

Councilman Ben Kallos is expected to introduce legislation today that would allow residents to get information on the locations of vehicles towed due to temporary parking restrictions by accessing the Department of Transportation's website or calling 311. 
Currently, according to Kallos, that is only possible for vehicles taken to impound lots for regular parking violations. When vehicles are moved to a surrounding block due to construction without the owners' knowledge, the police may have no record of it, Kallos said, and owners are told to search surrounding blocks or contact construction crews who may have left.

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