New York City Council Member Ben Kallos serves as Chair of the Comittee on Governmental Operations and a member of the Committees on Land Use, State & Federal Legislation, Women's Issues and the Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses.
The bill would make the New York City Administration for Child Services (ACS), which provides subsidized childcare programs to 120,000 low-income children each year, more transparent and accountable. It would require reporting on several aspects of the childcare programs, notably closures, applications, and placements, in order to ensure that they best serve the city's children.
This bill would require the Department of Education to provide data, related to student participation in various free school breakfast, free salad bar, and free afterschool meals, to the Council and on their website. The report would provide information about initiatives and programs aimed at increasing student participation in the free meals. Additionally, the data would provide the total number have a salad bar in the cafeteria.
The bill would require landlords to distribute voter registration forms, in multiple languages if requested, to every tenant when signing a new lease, as well as provide assistance in submission of the forms.
The legislation would expand New York City’s Workforce1 job centers and online information hub to include resources and training for parents returning to work after taking time off. This would include technology training, public-private partnerships, specialized resume assistance, proactive outreach and expanded online information to help parents return to work.
The bill would dedicate urban planners to each of New York City's 59 community boards. Community boards play an important advisory role in decisions over a neighborhood's growth and a dedicated urban planner for each board would provide them with vital information to help make these decisions.
The bill would require the use of recycled concrete in all new street construction projects, in order to reduce carbon emissions during production. Specifically, it would require that at least 30% of the concrete used comes from recycled sources.
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.
A resolution calling upon Congress to pass the Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act and for the FCC to reclassify broadband as a common carrier, in order to ensure net neutrality.
This bill would require the Board of Elections to provide a secure website through which registered voters could track the status of their absentee application and ballot, including the following: receipt of application for absentee ballot by Board of Elections; approval or rejection of application, and reason if rejected; status of ballot being mailed; receipt of completed ballot by Board of Elections; and status of counting completed ballot and reason if rejected.
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.
Improves upon the Young Adult Voter Registration Act, incluing by requiring distribution of registration forms to high school students in class as well as provided coded forms in order to facilitate tracking.
Would allow residents to register to vote and apply for an absentee ballot at the same time.
Requires the New York City Board of Elections to create a secure website to allow any eligible resident to submit a voter registration application.
Adds 15 additional agencies to the current list of agenices which are required to have, and offer, voter registration forms to anyone seeking agency services. It also required that agencies, if requested, assist individuals in filling out the forms and submit them to the New York City Board of Elections.
Kids’ meals that include toys as incentives would meet specific nutritional standards that include:
- 500 calories or less;
- 600 mgs of sodium or less;
- Fewer than 35% of calories from fat;
- Fewer than 10% of calories from saturated fats;
- Fewer than 10% of calories from added sugars; and
- A serving of fruit, vegetable or whole grains.
A Local Law to amend the New York city charter, in relation to notification of community boards of changes of regulations relating to traffic.
Resolution supporting a statewide and national ban on nontherapeutic uses of antibiotics in livestock production and calling upon the United States Congress to pass and the President to sign the Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act (S. 1256) and the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (H.R. 1150).
Resolution calling upon the United States Senate to pass and President to sign companion legislation to H.R. 863, which would establish a commission to study the creation of a National Women's History Museum.
A Local Law to amend the New York city charter, in relation to providing public notice of production permits.
A Local Law to amend the New York city charter, in relation to requiring that no videotape, or its contents, produced by an agency be destroyed or otherwise disposed of and that the head of each agency transmit to the municipal reference and research center such material in a timely manner.
“Public Online Information Act” (POIA) mandates that materials that are “public information” or subject to “public inspection” be made accessible to the public timely fashion and user-friendly format online through the agency’s website, a centralized website and through an open application program interface (API) to provide sharable data to empower civic hackers and developers to create their own apps. While Open Data has made great strides in making government information available warehouses full of materials are still being generated that are not making it online because they are only “public information” or are only subject to “public inspection.” This changes all that and will put materials online like:
- All city contracts;
- Department of building technical standards, accident investigations, and waivers;
- Transcripts from public hearings that are keyword searchable;
This legislation is modeled on federal bill by the same name introduced this year by Congress Member Steve Israel (D-NY) as H.R. 4312 and Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) as S. 549. It also supplements Open Data, Local Law 11 of 2012, passed by former Council Member Gale Brewer, the current Manhattan Borough President.
“eNotices” will mandate that public notices be accessible online to New Yorkers while expanding and specifying the definition of “public notices.” In addition to publication in newspapers, the City Record, or posts on bulletin boards and lampposts, residents will also have access to notifications on electronically centralized websites with open application program interface (API) to provide shareable data to empower civic hackers and developers to create their own apps to disseminate items of local importance.
"City Record Online” introduced with Council Member Jimmy Vacca, mandates the improvement of the existing City Record On-Line (CROL) website by mandating that all items currently in the paper copy of the City Record published by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) be included in the web version with an open application program interface (API) to empower developers to create their own apps to track the city’s contract bids and awards.
Free and Open Source Software Act (FOSSA), would minimize city contracts for proprietary software in favor of free and open source software (FOSS) that can be shared between government agencies and bodies instead of propriety programs that currently require the city and other municipalities, including the state, to pay private vendors over and over again for the same code. FOSS provides the city with power over the code and the freedom to study, modify, upgrade, improve, customize, maintain and redistribute within agencies and to other cities or states. Free software means code that is free from proprietary constraints, not free of charge.
Civic Commons Act, would encourage the collaborative software purchasing of free and open source software among agencies, cities and states to pool resources, avoid duplicated effort, create portable expertise, grow jobs, and reduce costs. A Civic Commons FOSS portal would be created to facilitate collaborative software purchasing and host the collaborative FOSS source code as well as FOSS projects identified as useful for government use. Civic Commons is currently a project of Code for America, a not-for-profit hosted at Commons.CodeForAmerica.org with more information available at wiki.CivicCommons.org.
“OpenMaps,” introduced by Kallos and Vacca, mandates that data sets behind government maps, like those at NYCityMap (http://maps.nyc.gov/), become open and shareable so residents, civic hackers and developers can create apps to help:
- Drivers find off-street parking at garages and lots;
- Bicyclists find CityRacks and bicycle parking shelters;
- Residents find free access to broadband and wi-fi;And government services of all kinds, including youth, aging, health, parks, cultural, and education services.
“Open GIS,” introduced by Kallos, Rodriguez and Lander, creates a new level of specificity for NYC Crime Map (http://maps.nyc.gov/crime/), specifying the exact location of the incident using GPS coordinates along with date and time for every violation, crime and arrest – including the exact location on the street where collisions occur. Current forms only record nearest intersection or street address, leaving the public without the specific corner or crosswalk on a street or pathway within a park where incidents occurred. The legislation will empower the NYPD, DOT and safety advocates in the public with the knowledge to address safety concerns with the precision necessary to prevent future otherwise preventable incidents, in line with the mission of Vision Zero.
Open FOIL would create a centralized, searchable database of Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests sent to City agencies. The online database would allow members of the public to both file FOIL requests and search previous ones. Information would include the date each request was filed and documentation of its progress. The site would be developed by the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) and the Office of Operations.
Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign into law A.2448 and S.4142, which would allow sixteen and seventeen year olds to be appointed to New York City Community Boards.