Kallos Named "Rising Star" in 40 Under 40

... each night, he asks himself whether he made the world a better place than it was when...

Opposing the Marine Transfer Station

Marine Transfer Stations must not be placed in residential neighborhoods or existing...

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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 grandparents, who fled anti-Semitism in Europe and his mother who still lives here, and who Ben currently supports in her battle against Parkinson's disease. Graduating from Bronx Science, Ben knows that our public schools are more than just budget line.  he also attended SUNY Albany and SUNY Buffalo Law School, where he paid his own way.

In the Council, Ben promotes transparency to ensure every dollar gets spent to improve your quality of life - from affordable housing to senior services to better schools.

Updates

Press Coverage
The Epoch Times
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A City Council committee voted unanimously on Tuesday to pass bills that would require the city to publish its laws and its official newspaper online.

Currently, the city contracts the New York City Legal Publishing Corporation to publish the City Charter, the Administrative Code, and Rules online. But the contractor is not required to update the laws regularly. The new bill would require the city’s law department to publish the laws online, internally or through a contractor, and update them at least once every four weeks.

“In this age of complex legal requirements in so many areas of our life it is more important than ever for the law to be accessible to everybody. In the age of Hammurabi that meant putting it in cuneiform. Today it means putting it online,” Ben Kallos, the chair of the Council committee on government operations, said.

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Event
Monday, August 4, 2014 - 3:00pm - 6:00pm

Have questions about housing? Join us on Monday, July 21st from 3 - 6pm for our first Housing Legal Clinic with Paul Kushner from Eviction Intervention Services (EIS) Housing Resource Center. He will see constituents on a first come, first serve basis so come by at 3pm to sign up for an appointment and you will recieve a call as soon as your spot is available. 

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Press Coverage
New York Daily News
Saturday, July 19, 2014

The good news is that 10 members flat-out refused the money: Brad Lander, Alan Maisel, Carlos Menchaca and Mark Treyger of Brooklyn; Andy Cohen of the Bronx; Dan Garodnick, Ben Kallos, Mark Levine and Helen Rosenthal of Manhattan; and Steve Matteo of Staten Island.

Not only did they say no, but Mark-Viverito gave all 10 the option to beg off for the three-and-a-half years left in their terms. All 10 did.

Garodnick and Lander are turning down $15,000 yearly, Matteo is declining $5,000 and the rest, $8,000. They believe that all Council members should be paid the same and put principle before personal interest. Salute their integrity.

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Press Coverage
NationSwell
Thursday, July 17, 2014

New York City Council Member Ben Kallos uses GitHub to collect public commentary on much of his technology-related legislation. Kallos finds crowdsourcing as an empowering tool that creates a different sense of democracy, he told Government Technology.

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Event
Monday, July 21, 2014 - 3:00pm - 6:00pm

Have questions about housing? Join us on Monday, July 21st from 3 - 6pm for our first Housing Legal Clinic with Paul Kushner from Eviction Intervention Services (EIS) Housing Resource Center. He will see constituents on a first come, first serve basis so come by at 3pm to sign up for an appointment and you will recieve a call as soon as your spot is available. 

Read more

Press Coverage
Government Executive
Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Open-government advocates and local officials in five major U.S. cities announced the formation of a new coalition, the Free Law Founders, on Wednesday, launching a partnership to create new tools, data standards and processes for state and local governments to make public information and data better accessible to the public.

The FLF, led by New York City Councilmember Ben Kallos, San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell and OpenGov Foundation Executive Director Seamus Kraft, also includes officials in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Boston.

“Laws and legislative information are often overlooked as open data, and I believe laws and legislative information are one of, if not the, most important data sets government keep,” Farrell, who led the charge to make San Francisco the nation’s first “open legislation” city, said in a statement. “As legislators we should do everything in our power to ensure laws, codes, and policies are free and easily accessible to our residents.”

Kallos, who chairs his city’s Governmental Operations Committee, said it’s important for local governments to make their respective law and regulatory codes plus legislation more accessible to the public. “Millennia ago, Hammurabi codified law and displayed it publicly for the people to see,” Kallos said in the FLF’s announcement. “Today, public means free and online, not behind a license or paywall.”

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Press Release

U.S. open government leaders today announced the formation of The Free Law Founders (FLF), a nation-wide partnership of local elected officials, non-profit software developers, educators, and city attorneys dedicated to upgrading how citizens can access America’s laws, legislation and the lawmaking process itself on the Internet.  Spearheaded by New York City Council Member Ben Kallos, San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell and Seamus Kraft of The OpenGov Foundation, the Free Law Founders have accepted the challenge of creating the modern tools, data standards and processes our state and local governments need to meet the growing challenges of democracy in the Internet Age.  Open to anyone willing to help accomplish these goals across the country, Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza, Washington, D.C. Council Chief Counsel David Zvenyach, Boston’s Department of Innovation and Technology, and more have already signed up to contribute.

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Press Coverage
Washington Post
Tuesday, July 15, 2014

On this, the last day of the FCC's public comment period on its "Open Internet" rulemaking, nearly every point for or against net neutrality regulations has been made, and often many, many times. And yet there's a late entrant in the field offering a somewhat novel take.

Nine members of the New York City Council, led by councilmember Ben Kallos of Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side, have signed onto a last-minute filing supporting net neutrality.

The councilmembers' pro-neutrality starting point isn't the city's considerable new tech scene but the fact that about one-third of the city's population was born somewhere other than in the United States. Of course, New York City has long been a magnet for immigrants. But  the immigrant existence takes on a different texture in an era when long-distance calling fees and hard-to-find native newspapers have been replaced by cheap and easy digital communications.

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Press Coverage
Save the Internet
Friday, June 20, 2014

The New York City Council called on the New York State Public Service Commission to expand access to affordable broadband and close the digital divide. In testimony on the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger, the Council also spoke of the critical need to protect Net Neutrality.

- Read more

Newsletter

On July 1st, I marked six months in office. To mark the occasion, I asked you to reach out to me to share your ideas and feedback. Your responses have been illuminating. Many of you shared the issues that matter to you and your families. Many were kind enough to share positive experiences you have had with my office. Many offered ideas for neighborhood issues to address.

Now, we will move forward together:

  • To fight the marine transfer station;
  • To protect safe, clean and livable streets;
  • To use technology to improve New Yorkers' daily lives;
  • To promote a transparent, accountable government; 
  • To protect tenants' rights and promote affordable housing, especially for seniors; 
  • To improve our neighborhood infrastructure and open space; and
  • To improve education and invest in our children.

I hope you will join me at First Friday on August 1st from 8AM-10AM at my District Office or Policy Night on Tuesday, August 12th, at 6:30PM at my District Office so we can work together to improve our neighborhood.

Sincerely,

Ben Kallos

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