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About Ben Kallos

New York City Council Member Ben Kallos was praised by the New York Times for his “fresh ideas” and elected in 2013 to represent the Upper East Side, Midtown East, Roosevelt Island and East Harlem along with all 8.4 million New Yorkers in the New York City Council.  He 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. As Vice-Chair of the Jewish Caucus he has been an ardent advocate for Israel and supporter of Jewish causes.

As Chair of the Governmental Operations Committee where he has sought to root out patronage, de-privatize government, eliminate billions in waste, expand elections, and to use technology to improve access to government.  He has become a leading advocate for education, affordable housing, public health, sustainable development and transportation improvements and safety.  His office is open and transparent, with constituents invited to decide on how to spend one million dollars on local projects in the district as well as to join him in a conversation on the First Friday of each month, or he will go to them if they can gather ten neighbors for “Ben In Your Building.”

Most Recent Newsletter

July News: CB6 Votes for Rezoning, Legionaires' Update, Low Rent Increase and More

Dear Neighbor,

Happy Fourth of July as we celebrate our nation's independence and remember that in every generation we must do our part to fight injustice.

Last month, we won more victories in our fight against overdevelopment and for affordable housing. Community Board 6 set a quick 21-day timeline in June voting unanimously for a community-led rezoning of the Sutton Area that trades height for affordability. The Rent Guidelines Board which sets rents for 1.6 million rent-stabilized apartments voted for a low increase of 1.25% on one-year and 2% on two-year leases after two consecutive rent freezes.

In June we celebrated Pride and graduations for both our students and PTA Presidents. I joined the Pride March and introduced legislation on behalf of East Side Middle School students to encourage Gender Sexuality Alliances. I also shared congratulations and the secret of life with students graduating from schools in the district and thanked PTA Presidents for their service.

This summer, I hope you will take advantage of our parks, especially the Indoor airconditioned tennis courts at the Queensboro Oval now open to the public for as little as $15 or join me for Theatre in Carl Schurz Park. If you are as big a fan of healthy farm to table food as I am, I hope you will join me for Cooking with Kallos or participate in our Fresh Food Box one week to see how you like it.

Even though we can't send our newsletter by electronic mail to those who subscribed through BenKallos.com for the next couple of months, we are keeping our promise to keep you informed by posting our newsletter on our website and circulating it through social media. If you want a printed copy you can come pick it up from our District Office. Please consider forwarding this newsletter on to anyone and everyone.

Regards,


Ben Kallos
Council Member

 

 

SPECIAL EVENTS

July 12 - 16, 7PM - 9PM
N.Y. Classical Theatre: Sheridan's "The Rivals"

July 16, 11AM – 1PM
Cooking with Kallos

July 6, 13, 20, 27, 3:30PM – 6:30PM
Fresh Foodbox

DISTRICT OFFICE EVENTS

July 7, 8AM – 10AM
First Friday

July 11, 6PM – 7PM
Brainstorming with Ben

July 11, 19, 26, 11AM – 2PM
Mobile Hours

July 10, 17,19, 24, 31, 3PM – 6PM
Legal Clinics

July 27, 6:30PM – 7:30PM
CitiBike Street Skills Class

Table of Contents

Housing

  1. Rezoning Victory at CB6, Now on to City Planning
  2. Low Increases for Rent Stabilized Apartments and Rent Freeze for Seniors and Disabled

Parks

  1. Tennis Bubble Now Open to the Public
  2. Theatre in Carl Schurz Park

Health

  1. Upper East Side Legionnaires Cluster Update
  2. Automatic Benefits Hearing
  3. Global Sampling Day
  4. Rat Academy
  5. Buy Produce from the Farm and Cooking With Kallos

Education

  1. Celebrating Pride with Legislation to Encourage Gender Sexuality Alliances
  2. Eleanor Roosevelt High School's New Music Room and Retirement of Parent Coordinator
  3. Recognizing Parent-Teacher Association Leaders
  4. Graduations

Transportation

  1. Opposing Cuts to East and West Side Bus Service
  2. Bike Safety: Ebikes, Free Helmets, and Inspring Barcelona

Good Government

  1. Open Budget Hearing

Community

  1. June Events
  2. Here to Help
  3. Free Legal Clinics
  4. Mobile Office Hours
  5. Resource Guide
  6. Ben In Your Building

Events

  1. Council Events
  2. Events Supportted with Funding from My Office
  3. Community Meetings
  4. Community Events for Kids
  5. Community Events for Adults

Updates

Press Release

New York, NY --  This morning, Council Member Ben Kallos, staff and volunteers from progressive advocacy groups and labor groups advocated for Universal Pre-K in New York City on the Upper East Side. Council Member Kallos' team engaged members of the public in conversation, distributing information and signed up interested residents. The canvassers backed city's Pre-K plan to expand coverage to the 70% of the estimated 73,250 families who require full-day Pre-K for their 4-year-olds. 

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Press Release

Today at noon, more than seven hundred community leaders and guests joined United States Senator Charles “Chuck” Schumer, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia "Tish" James, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Liz Krueger, Council Member Dan Garodonick, Former Public Advocate Mark Green, Former Council Member Jessica Lappin, Former Assembly Member Jonathan Bing, and Bill Samuels to celebrate the inauguration of Council Member Benjamin J. Kallos. Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, who is on an international trip, provided remarks by video message.

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Press Release

New York, NY – Today, on the naming of City Council committee assignments, the following statement can be attributed to Council Member Ben Kallos (District Five, Manhattan): 

 

"I am honored to be named Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations, where I will work with my committee to create a government that is more open, transparent, and accountable to the working families that make our city great.  Our task will be to make our city more efficient at seamlessly serving all of our city’s residents, so that government just works for the people."

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Press Release

Ben Kallos, Democratic nominee from Council District 5 said, "The proposed rules reforms include ideas proposed by the government transparency community – and will go a long way towards a 'City Council 2.0' with increased transparency, openness, and accountability that will greatly empower our city's residents.”

 

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Press Coverage
Our Town
Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Meet the 32-year-old who could be your next city councilmember.

Ben Kallos is not your typical Upper East Sider.

He went to state school because, he said, he couldn’t afford an Ivy League education. His Hungarian grandparents immigrated to New York in the 1950s. He grew up on the East Side but went to high school at Bronx Science. He got his law degree, worked in private practice, then the New York State Assembly and a good government group.

None of that has stopped the 32-year-old from winning the Democratic primary for City Council on the Upper East Side. Kallos, barring an upset by his Republican counterpart, David Garland, would succeed Jessica Lappin in district five come November. (Over the weekend, Kallos won the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney for the post.)

- Read more

Press Coverage
New York Observer
Monday, September 16, 2013

Various winners in City Council primaries gathered with members of Common Cause New York on the steps of City Hall today to castigate the influence of independent expenditures, especially Jobs for New York, a group backed by real estate interests.

'Campaign finance is a great equalizer, it allows idealist candidates who are reformers to get elected without being in debt to the very special interest we are running against. In my race the most frequent contribution was 10 dollars,' said Mr. Kallos.

- Read more

Press Coverage
TechPresident
Friday, September 13, 2013

There was one NYC candidate who stood out amongst the rest, Ben Kallos. Ben Kallos’ is not your normal City Council Candidate. He was endorsed by Craig Newmark and Richard M. Stallman, among others. For the last few years, Kallos has been running a Drupal based website, asking the public for their ideas.

Kallos is also one of first 50 people who joined BetaNYC when it was called “Open Government NYC.” Since then, he has been a vocal member for open government and a dedicated open source developer. As a member of the Brigade and on the campaign trail, Ben spoke openly about his ideas for Open Government.

- Read more

Press Coverage
StreetsBlog
Thursday, August 22, 2013

We continue our series on City Council candidates with a Q&A with government transparency advocate Ben Kallos, who’s running to represent District 5 in Yorkville, Roosevelt Island, and the Upper East Side. Yesterday, we ran a Q&A with Republican candidate David Garland.

- Read more

Press Coverage
DNAinfo.com
Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Call it City Council 2.0. Ben Kallos, a Democratic candidate for the District 5 City Council seat, is using his experience as a tech entrepreneur to run a campaign promising everything from publishing city records online to expanding Internet service to serve more low-income families.

- Read more