April News: April News: MTS Costs Soar, Low-Cost Broadband, FREE Reusable Bags

Thank you to the over 2,000 East Siders and Roosevelt Islanders who voted this March in Participatory Budgeting, contributing to the highest turnout we've had in four years. Results will be announced next month.

In March, the City Council begins the budget process with hearings on how the city plans to spend its money in the coming year. I've questioned how we are saving to prepare for potential cuts by Trump, the need for more school seats on the Upper East Side, the rising cost of waste transfer caused by marine transfer stations, and the need for additional funds to repair the East River Esplanade, many of which were included in the City Council's official budget response to the Mayor.

New York City faces a homelessness crisis with 22,973 children, 17,548 parents, and 13,913 single adults in shelters, and many more living on the street. Last year, I founded the East Side Taskforce on Homeless Outreach and Services (ETHOS) to help the homeless in our community. This month I was proud to welcome new supportive housing for women and children with elected officials, community leaders, teachers, parents and even children from the schools across the street. One homeless individual who we believe suffers from mental illness drew renewed attention this month when a community member launched a petition. I have previously worked with the City's outreach teams to offer her mental health services, which she declined. After many complaints, a resident was willing to come forward, making an official complaint, and I personally went with this resident to the 19th Precinct leading to her arrest and her finally accepting both shelter and treatment. If you see someone in need, don't give them money, please call or use the 311 app and contact my office so we can help.

March was women’s history month, and I was proud to introduce a resolution in support of building a Women’s History Museum on the national mall in Washington, D.C. In April we will host an Earth Day event with free reusable bags where you can learn what you can do for a greener city. For children in grades five through eight, I am asking "What would you do as Council Member for A Day?"

Chag Pesach Sameach, Happy Easter, and enjoy the beginning of spring 

 

SPECIAL EVENTS

April 20, 6pm-8:30pm

Earth Day Event

April 27, 6pm
Bike Safety Class

April 29, 2pm-6pm
Spirit of Service Festival

DISTRICT OFFICE EVENTS

April 7, 8am-10am
First Friday

Sincerely, 

P.S There will be no Brainstorming with Ben in April so that I may instead answer four questions at our annual Passover Seder.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. ICYMI, Affordable High-Speed Internet Now Available
  2. Welcoming Supportive Housing for Women and Children to the UES
  3. Questioning Rivington
  4. Waste Transfer Costs Soar
  5. Helping the Homeless

EDUCATION

  1. School Seat Shortage
  2. Sotheby’s Art Show A Hit
  3. Ben Kallos Chess Challenge
  4. Council Member for a Day Competition

HOUSING

  1. Victory! Rent Freeze Upheld by Court
  2. More Attention to Improving Publicly Owned Public Spaces
  3. BALCONY Common Ground Interview
  4. Apply for New Affordable Housing

GOOD GOVERNMENT AND TECHNOLOGY

  1. Board of Elections Underfunded
  2. City Budget: Savings
  3. Voting Rights Rally
  4. Honoring Conflicts of Interest Watchdog
  5. Google Developer Meetup

TRANSPORTATION

  1. M86 Bus Stops Restored
  2. Free Helmet Fitting
  3. Bike Safety Program

PROTECTING IMMIGRANTS AND SAFE JOBS

  1. ICE Anti-Deportation Rally
  2. Cesar Chavez Day
  3. Mason Tenders Rally
  4. Rallying at the Hamilton

COMMUNITY

  1. Record Turnout for Participatory Budgeting 
  2. International Women’s Day
  3. Mammogram Van
  4. Reducing Building Pollution
  5. Supporting the Arts

OFFICE UPDATES

  1. Legislative Corner 
  2. Free Legal Clinics 
  3. Here to Help
  4. Mobile District Hours
  5. Ben in Your Building

EVENTS

  1. City Council Events
  2. Community Boards
  3. New York Police Department
  4. Neighborhood and Tenant Associations
  5. Community Events for Kids
  6. Community Events for Adults
  7. Resources Funded in Part by My Office

 

 

HEADLINES

ICYMI, Affordable High-Speed Internet Now Available

In 2013, I promised to secure affordable broadband for low-income New Yorkers from our internet franchisers. In 2015, when Charter Communications sought to merge with Time Warner Cable to, I joined Public Advocate James ttestifying at hearings and advocating for the Public Service Commission to require any company acquiring Time Warner Cable help bridge the digital divide by providing low-income residents with low-cost, high-speed broadband Internet.
 
In March, I fulfilled my promise by announcing Spectrum Internet Assist, a new low-cost, high-speed broadband program, alongside Public Advocate Letitia James and Charter Communications. It is my hope that this initiative will help close the digital divide by providing nearly one million people with affordable high-speed internet access for the first time. 
 
Spectrum Internet Assist
$14.99 per month for 30 Mbps downloads and 4 Mbps uploads, email and more
No contract, no cost for modem and no activation fees
 
Spectrum Internet Assist Eligibility
Families with children in public schools who receive free or reduced cost lunch
Seniors (over 65) who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
 
For more information read the release, see the coverage on NBC 4NY1DNAinfo or West Side Spirit, or visit www.SpectrumInternetAssist.com.

 

Welcoming Supportive Housing for Women and Children to the UES

Women in Need, a nonprofit aimed at helping homeless women, is bringing 17 affordable apartments to the Upper East Side, planned to open by late 2018. I held an event with Women in Need President and former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to formally welcome them to the neighborhood. Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Liz Krueger, Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, Community Board 8 Chair Jim Clynes and members, local school principals, parents, and children joined us in welcoming them. Women in Need has served over 10,000 homeless people, including 6,000 children. This project will offer much-needed help to the most vulnerable in our community and will give supportive housing to the women and children who need it. For more information watch the press conference  and read the  release or the coverage in Patch.

 

Questioning Rivington

 

 

In March I continued to push for information on what went wrong when the Rivington nursing home was allowed to be flipped for luxury condos. As covered by The Daily News, at my Governmental Operations budget hearing, I asked Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Camillo why Ricardo Morales, a top official at the agency, was fired and whether he was responsible for the costly land deal not happening the way it was supposed to. Although Mr. Morales' signature is the one that allowed for the deed restriction to be lifted and for the healthcare facility to be sold, at the hearing City officials refused to say why exactly he was fired. For more information, read the coverage in The Lo-Down and The New York Post.

 

Waste Transfer Costs Soar

The cost of trash in New York City is soaring from $63.39 a ton in 2007 to $129.81 a ton in 2016, as reported by the New York Post, according to a report released in March by the New York City Independent Budget Office. The amount of money the city is spending to export waste is increasing from an average of $300 million from 2010 to 2014 to $360 million this year to $420 million by 2021. The reason for the increased spending is the long-term contracts New York City has entered to operate four Marine Transfer Stations, three of which are slated to begin operations in 2018 and 2019. Upon learning of the report, Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, State Senator Liz Krueger, Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and I expressed our joint disapproval for the MTS, rising cost, and literally throwing tax dollars in the trash.
 
We will continue to fight the MTS at every opportunity we get. I questioned Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia about the rising costs, and she not only acknowledged the increased costs but that no residential waste in Manhattan goes to any other borough so that this MTS will not minimize the impact to any community in any other borough. You can watch the hearing or read the release on the new figures by the New York City IBO. Join the fight at benkallos.com/mts

 

Helping the Homelessness

New York City faces a homelessness crisis with 22,973 children and 17,548 parents, and 13,913 single adults in shelters, and many more living on the street. Last year, I founded the East Side Taskforce on Homeless Outreach and Services (ETHOS) to help the homeless in our community. One homeless individual who we believe suffers from mental illness drew renewed attention this month when a community member launched a petition.I have previously worked with the City's outreach teams to offer her mental health services, which she declined. After many complaints, a resident was willing to come forward making an official complaint that they were spat on, and I personally went with this resident to the 19th Precinct. This was the first time residents reported specific actions to police in an official manner.  As reported by, WPIX  and The Daily News, Hilda was subsequently arrested and then taken to a shelter where she now has access to mental health treatment. Please read my full response to the petition sent to Upper East Side elected officials with over a thousand signatures also available at BenKallos.com/press-releases. If you see someone in need, don't give them money, please call or use the 311 and contact my office so we can help.

 

 

EDUCATION

 

School Seat Shortage

Since I was elected I have pressured the Department of Education to add more school seats, including Pre-K seats, to my district, and we have been able to increase the number of Pre-K seats from 123 in 2013 to roughly 600 today. As part of the Preliminary Budget Hearing for the Committee on Education, I questioned Chancellor Fariña about the Upper East Side's chronic need for more school seats and that need not being met despite my many requests. In my line of questioning, I was able to get the Chancellor to acknowledge there is a new increased need for school seats, including but not limited to Pre-K seats, on the Upper East Side and that the Education Department should be meeting with developers to try and get those seats built. Watch the Education Committee hearing for more information and the Chancellor's testimony at BenKallos.com/videos

 

Sotheby’s Art Show a Hit

Hundreds of families from a dozen Upper East Side public schools joined me at the 2017 Sotheby’s student art show. I had a wonderful time meeting parents, teachers and young artists who had their artwork on display at the world famous Sotheby’s. Thank you to P.S. 183 Principal Tara Napoleoni and organizers Wan Ling Fahrer and Patricia Correge for putting this event together and coordinating with my office. I am already looking forward to next year’s show, which I am sure will be even bigger and better. Watch the video and BenKallos.com/videos or view photos from the art show at facebook.com/pg/benkallos/photos

 

Council Member for a Day Competition

What would you do as a member of the New York City Council?
 
How would you change the city's approach to our public schools, our streets and our infrastructure? To find out, enter my "Council Member for a Day" essay competition for students in grades five through eight from my Council District. The winner will join me in the City Hall Chambers for an official meeting of the New York City Council. Students are invited to submit an essay on the subject of “What I Would Do as a Member of the City Council” by May 1, 2017. The essays should be no more than two pages, double-spaced and don’t forget to include your full name, address, phone number and school. You can submit the essay with the subject line “Council Member for a Day" by emailing it to //bkallosatbenkallos [dot] com">bkallosatbenkallos [dot] com

 

Ben Kallos Chess Challenge

I visited Eleanor Roosevelt High School for my third annual Chess Challenge. The event was hosted by Chess in Schools, which aims to provide free training and equipment to students and teachers interested in starting a chess club at their respective school. Playing chess brings back good memories for me and gives students an outlet to enhance their critical thinking skills, while also having fun. That is why my office has supported the teaching of chess and helped spread chess tournaments like this on the Upper East Side through financial support. Learn more at ChessInTheSchools.org

 

 

HOUSING

 

Victory! Rent Freeze Upheld by State Supreme Court

The 2016 rent freeze granted by the Rent Guidelines Board was upheld by the New York State Supreme court in March. The Rent Stabilization Association, which represents landlords had sued the Rent Guidelines Board for freezing rents a second consecutive year. The over one million New Yorkers living in rent stabilized apartments deserve these rent freezes after almost two decades of unfair rent increases that far outpaced inflation. Over the past two years I have taken every opportunity with the Rent Justice Coalition to petition the Rent Guidelines Board for rent rollbacks and rent freezes on behalf of deserving New Yorkers. Whether it was testifying in front of the board or protesting outside, these two rent freezes were the result of continued tenant-led advocacy that I am proud to have been a part of. Since we believe New Yorkers deserve more for 2017, we have kicked off the campaign for a rent roll-back this year. For more information read the release.

 

More Attention to Improving Privately Owned Public Spaces

Our Town covered my recent efforts to get landlords to live up to their end of the deal when it comes to Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS). Legislation I have introduced would improve access to the 538 (POPS) attached to 329 buildings in New York City by imposing steep fines for bad landlords who violate the terms of their agreements with the City. POPS are created when developers want to build bigger buildings than neighborhoods are zoned for. In exchange for that right, developers turn small lots into open or green space for public use. Building owners are then responsible for maintaining the space in perpetuity. For more coverage read the articles in Curbed and amNY.

 

I had the opportunity to chat with Lou Gordon on his radio show, Common Ground: Building and Caring for the Future of New York, produced by the Business and Labor Coalition of New York. We discussed what’s been happening in our district and some of my goals. We discussed the success of the second avenue subway, which carries over 150,000 riders a day, and how it’s helped me personally. I also explained the work I’ve been doing to improve our parks, get more affordable housing, fight super-scrapers, and provide access to pre-k for all children. Take a listen to the entire interview online.

 

Apply for New Affordable Housing

Looking for Affordable Housing? Visit NYC Housing Connect and apply online for newly constructed apartments in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn at 181 Front Street. Before applying, please take time to carefully read all instructions and the "How to Apply" and "What to Expect" sections. For more information visit AAffordable Housing Resource Center at www.nyc.gov/housing.

 

 

GOOD GOVERNMENT AND TECHNOLOGY

 

Board of Elections Underfunded

New York City elections are coming up later this year. It is a unique year so the Board of Elections (BOE) should have its funding needs met to ensure elections work properly and smoothly. As a result of testimony at a Governmental Operations preliminary budget hearing I chaired, the Gotham Gazette reported the BOE is grossly underfunded in this next budget cycle. The mayor’s preliminary budget lists BOE funding at only $98.6 million, a number that is $60 million less than the $160.3 million Michael Ryan, BOE Executive Director projects is needed to handle the 2017 city election cycle. Although the BOE is expected to receive adequate funding in the final budget, the city should be transparent about its budget as early in the process as possible. I remain committed to getting New Yorkers the most cost efficient elections that run smoothly by making sure the BOE is funded adequately.

 

City Budget: Savings

At a hearing of the City’s FY 2018 Preliminary Budget, I questioned Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Dean Fuleihan about reining in the City’s debt which currently stands at $72 billion. Since I have been in office I have successfully pushed the OMB and Director Fuliehan to put the City’s budget online, reform how quality of life violations are executed and reduced the amount of money planned in payouts for people who sue the city. It is my goal to get the City to track its investments through Performance Budgeting and to get its contract overruns under control. I will continue to push the OMB to tie any money it doles out to performance goals as mandated by the City Charter.

 

Voting Rights Rally

New Yorkers from every part of this great state are demanding voting reforms. New York state laws make it difficult to vote and to get your vote counted. Perhaps that is why our state is ranked 41st in the nation for voter turnout. I believe we need common sense voting reform to protect the vote, not suppress the vote. On March 19th I attended the Rally to Resist Voter Suppression, and voiced my support for automatic voter registration, online voter registration, early voting, and no fault absentee ballots. Watch my speech at BenKallos.com/videos

 

Honoring Conflicts of Interest Watchdog

The Council of the City of New York and I are proud to honor the work of Wayne Hawley, who has been serving the Conflicts of Interest Board for two decades. His time on the board has been dedicated to keeping integrity in our City government and preventing unethical conduct. He has given practical advice to over 35,000 public servants about ethics laws. Wayne Hawley’s retirement leaves behind his contributions to the Conflicts of Interest Board and a legacy of maintaining good government.

 

 

 

 

Google Developer Meetup

In March, I spoke to a group of more than 100 Google developers, programmers, and engineers at a Google Meetup event. The talk was an effort to educate this crowd about the connection between technology and government and how to make the two work better together. As an attorney, software developer and politician, I have had the opportunity to experience and learn about the connection or lack thereof between government and technology. Watch the talk and hear some of the questions at BenKallos.com/videos

 

 

TRANSPORTATION

 

M86 Bus Stops Restored

I was happy to see the 2nd Avenue subway open on time in January. Unfortunately, during the construction, several bus stops had to be removed. Now, I’m happy to report that the East 86 Street crosstown bus stop has been restored. Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright’s office and my office worked together to put pressure on the MTA and DOT to restore the stops and re-install the ticket vending machines. Read more about the bus stop restoration from DNAinfo

 

Free Helmet Fitting

Dozens of families joined me at the 67th Street Library on the Upper East Side for a free Bike Helmet Giveaway on April 1st. I funded the event which was run by the Department of Transportation as part of Vision Zero, to make sure bike riders are riding safely. It was a pleasure meeting constituents and helping make sure that Upper East Side families ride safely.

Bike Safety Program

Drivers, riders, bikers and pedestrians have all expressed concerns about their safety, so we’ve expanded our Bike Safety Program with Council Member Garodnick to cover the Upper East Side and Midtown East within the 17th and 19th precincts. Injuries are down for motorists and pedestrians. The program focuses on Education, Equipment, and Enforcement including:
 
FREE Equipment with Education:
  • Vests, Lights, and Bells for Delivery Bikes following
  • 2.5 hr training in English, Spanish and Chinese.
  • Lights and Bells for Recreational and Commuting Cyclists coupled with education.
  • Helmets following a fitting.
  • New Bikes for NYPD Bike Patrol.
Enforcement in 2016:
  • 17,615 moving violations issued to motor vehicles (6,123 for improper turns, 3,003 for running red lights and 1,450 for not yielding to pedestrians).
  • 1,865 summonses issued to bicycle riders for disobeying red lights and riding the wrong way or on sidewalks.
  • 70 seizures of electronic bikes.

We’ve also added a protected bike lane on 2nd Avenue and bike lanes to 70th & 71st and 77th & 78th Streets. Learn more at BenKallos.com/bikesafety

 

 

PROTECTING IMMIGRANTS AND SAFE JOBS

 

ICE Anti-Deportation Rally

I rallied at the steps of the U.S. Citizenship Immigration and Services building to call on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials not to deport the husband of a 32BJ SEIU union member who works here on the Upper East Side. Juan Vivares is facing deportation after his request for asylum was denied. Deporting him would leave his American citizen son and wife here without a father and a husband. Juan is a hardworking electrician with no criminal record here in the states. Due to political persecution, Juan’s safety is in danger if he returns to his home country.  New York City must stand together in support of innocent people like Juan facing the threat of deportation.

 

Cesar Chavez Day

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and I awarded the Farmworkers Campaign Coalition a proclamation on behalf of the City Council on the eve of iconic labor leader Cesar Chavez’s 90th birthday. We were joined by dozens of coalition members as well as Council Members Daneek Miller and Carlos Menchaca. At the rally, supporters also called for the state legislature to pass the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act, a bill that will provide basic labor protections to New York State farmworkers. This protection would help some of New York’s most vulnerable populations and communities. Watch the press conference at BenKallos.com/videos.

 

Mason Tenders Rally

In the last two years, 30 construction workers have died at work in New York City, 28 of them at sites that were non-union. In March I rallied with construction workers fighting for better working conditions and more training at a construction site where a recent mishap involving a hoist put workers and residents in danger. About 50 constructions workers gathered at 200 East 59th Street where a residential highrise is being constructed largely by non-union labor and protested. The crowd at the rally also showed support for legislation I have co-sponsored with Jumaane Williams (Intro. 1447) which would force developers doing business with the city to ensure that their workers have proper training before stepping onto a construction site. For more information read the release at BenKallos.com/press-releases.

 

Rallying at the Hamilton

For close to a year now, I have joined picket lines and rallies in protest against management at 1735 York Avenue, “The Hamilton”. We kept the pressure on last week, protesting with building service workers who work at this building and have seen their wages slashed in half and benefits taken away ever since Bonjour Capital took over the property in 2016. Doormen and other service workers originally making $23 an hour now make $12, no matter how long they have worked for the building. The changes constitute an effort to deunionize the services workers and pay them as little as possible. There is no reason that a luxury rental building known for charging monthly rents over $5,000 should treat its employees this way. I will continue to support these workers over greedy property owners who are taking away middle-class jobs away from our City.


 

COMMUNITY

 

Record Turnout for Participatory Budgeting 

Participatory Budgeting ended April 2nd. This year we had record turnout for our district with over 2600 votes. Each year residents in my district ages 14 and older get to vote on how to spend one million dollars in the community. We will announce the results of the voting next month. You can see what was on the ballot at BenKallos.com/pb/ballot

 

International Women’s Day

March 8th marked International Women’s Day, a time to honor the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women everywhere. I was proud to rally at the steps of City Hall with the New York City Council Women’s Caucus for “A Day Without a Woman” protest. But the fight for equality is far from over.
 

To coincide with Women's history month, on March 16th, I introduced a resolution calling for the creation of a new Smithsonian Museum for American Women’s History on the National Mall alongside Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and my fellow Council Members Karen Koslowitz, Jimmy Van Bramer, Laurie Cumbo and Elizabeth Crowley. This museum will offer a place young women can go to see the accomplishments of incredible women throughout history—it will inspire the next generation of leaders, CEOs, and American Presidents. Congress Member Carolyn Maloney is the primary sponsor of the legislation in Washington and has been pushing the effort for years. I am proud to support it in any way I can. For more information read the release.

 

Mammogram Van

My office teamed up with the American Italian Cancer Foundation, Congress member Carolyn Maloney, State Senator Jose Serrano and Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright’s offices to bring No Cost Mobile Mammogram Vans to District 5 during the month of April. The first site was on Roosevelt Island on April 2nd.  The upcoming mobile sites will be announced in the coming days. To RSVP and for more information call 877-628-9090 

 

Reducing Building Pollution

I rallied at the steps of City Hall to fight both climate change and wealth inequality with the Climate Works for All Coalition. Calling on Mayor de Blasio to invest in upgrades to our aging, dirty buildings, which are responsible for nearly 75% of our city’s climate pollution. We must address the climate crisis by strengthening standards for large buildings, demanding all new buildings meet high energy efficiency requirements, and educating building owners about efficiency. If upgrades were funded the resulting construction and enforcement efforts would create up to 10,000 good union jobs for New Yorkers. To learn more about the campaign and how to get involved, visit the Climate Works for All Coalition.

 

Supporting the Arts

As a lover of the arts, I was excited to attend the annual Tank’s Spring Benefit. The Tank is a nonprofit organization that helps emerging artists and provides affordable performance tickets for all New Yorkers. During the event I honored Ann Marie Lonsdale for her outstanding work as Deputy Director of A.R.T./New York. I also took time to recognize Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah, two Tank alumni actively fighting against Islamophobia with comedy.
 
The Tank theater is home for some of the most exciting and adventurous new work in New York City. Running 6-10 shows per week across a variety of disciplines (theater, music, comedy, storytelling, dance, and more) by artists all new to the scene, The Tank has something for everyone. To view our performance schedule, please visit www.thetanknyc.org. Free tickets are available to senior and youth centers as well as residents in District 5 (subject to availability), so please email //infoatthetanknyc [dot] org">infoatthetanknyc [dot] org and copy //infoatthetanknyc [dot] org">rsvpatbenkallos [dot] com, with the show, performance date, how many tickets you would like, your name and in-district address.

 

OFFICE UPDATES

 

Legislative Corner

This month, I cosponsored a bill that became law.
 
Local Law 26 of 2017 requires street numbers be placed on the side of every building containing an entrance primarily used as a pedestrian entrance/exit. Failing to do so will result in a penalty between $25-$250. This regulation was designed to make it easier for emergency vehicles to identify addresses more easily, cutting down on the response time in situations where every second matters.
 

Free Legal Clinics

Need a lawyer? Every month I sponsor legal clinics where you can get free legal advice in my District Office at 244 East 93rd Street from 3pm-6pm:

Housing Clinics, Every Monday

Family Law and Domestic Violence, 1st Tuesday

Life Planning Clinic, 3rd Wednesday

Land Use and Land marking Clinic, 2nd Thursday (5pm-6pm)

Please call my office at 212-860-1950 in advance to schedule your appointment.

 

Here to Help

We are here to help. My social work team can help you find out what services you are eligible for and assist you in your application. Some examples include:

  • Seniors: Medicare savings, Meals-on-Wheels, Access-A-Ride
  • Housing: searching for affordable units, free legal housing clinic at my office
  • Jobs: training resources and assistance, unemployment benefits
  • Families: Universal Pre-K, Head Start, After-School programs
  • Finances: cash assistance, tax credits, home energy assistance
  • Nutrition: WIC, free meals for all ages

Please also call us at 212-860-1950 or email at bkallosatbenkallos [dot] com with any unresolved 311 complaints.

 

Mobile District Hours

Get assistance wherever in the district you are when we bring our office to you. Please join us at monthly mobile district hours from 11am-2pm:

 

Ben in Your Building

The "Ben in Your Building Program" is a chance to discuss issues of importance to you and your neighbors in person, in your home. If you gather 10 or more friends, I will come to you. Over the past year, I have visited several buildings to discuss matters of importance in the neighborhood, including efforts to fight the Marine Transfer Station, sanitation and condo owner issues. Please schedule a "Ben in Your Building" today by calling 212-860-1950 or email scheduleratbenkallos [dot] com

 

 

EVENTS

City Council Events

4/5: Mammogram Van
2:00pm-4-30pm, The Carter Center for the Aging 381 East 74th Street
Mobile Care Clinic providing no cost digital Mammograms & Clinical Breast Exams.Must be over 40 years old, currently living in New York City and had no mammograms within the last 12 months. For an appointment call 1-877-628-9090. Uninsured patients welcome.

4/7: First Friday
8:00am-10:00am, District Office, 244 East 93rd Street
Meet Ben in person and meet with your neighbors to discuss what's important to you. Feel free to drop in or leave at any time during First Friday. Learn about what is happening in your community and how to get involved in working together to make our neighborhood a better place to live.
RSVP

4/11: Brainstorming with Ben  (Cancelled in Observance of Passover)

4/20: Earth Day Environmental Fair
6:00pm-8:00pm, Knickerbocker Plaza Community Room, 1763 2nd Avenue

4/27: Bike Safety Class
6:00pm-7:30pm, District Office, 244 East 93rd Street
Bike New York's Street Skills Class is a free evening presentation and discussion for adults and mature teens who want to better understand the rules of the road, as well as their rights and responsibilities on the road. Topics covered include how to avoid common road hazards, basic traffic principles, where to ride on the road, how to safely change lanes, how to utilize bike infrastructure, and more.

4/29 Spirit of Service Festival 
2:00pm -6pm
Volunteer Recruitment to match volunteers with agencies and organizations that need help.
For more information 212-831-8921/30 or visit MNatcb [dot] nyc [dot] gov

Community Boards

4/6: Metropolitan CAB
6:00pm- 7:00pm, 1901 1st Avenue

4/6: Community Board 11 (96th to 145th Streets) Rezoning Task Force
6:00pm- 7:00pm, CB11M Board Office, 1664 Park Ave

4/12: Community Board 11 (96th to 145th Streets) Land Use, Landmarks & Planning
6:00pm- 7:00pm, Bonifacio Senior Center, 7 E 116th St
 
4/12: Community Board 11 (96th to 145th Streets) Land Use, Landmarks & Planning
6:00pm- 7:00pm, Bonifacio Senior Center, 7 E 116th St
 
4/13: Henry Carter Center CAB
5:30pm-6:30pm, 1752 Park Ave

4/18: Community Board 11 (96th to 145th Streets) Full Board Meeting
6:30-8:30pmNational Black Theatre 2031 5th Ave

4/19: Community Board 11 (96th to 145th Streets) Events, Outreach & Marketing Subcommittee

6:00pm-7:00pm, CB11M Board Office, 1664 Park Ave

4/19: Community Board 8 Land Use-Full Meeting
6:30pm-9:00pm, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, 430 East 67th Street, RRL

4/20: Community Board 11 (96th to 145th Streets) Rezoning Taskforce
6:00pm-7:00pm, CB11M Board Office, 1664 Park Ave

4/25: PSA5 Community Council
6:00pm-7:00pm, 221 E 123rd St

4/26: Community Board 8 Zoning and Development
6:30pm-9:00pm, Lenox Hill Hospital Michael Bruno Presentation Room, 130 East 77th Street

New York Police Department

4/4: 19th Precinct Community Council (59th to 96th Streets)
7:00pm, 153 East 67th Street

Third Thursday: 23rd Precinct Community Council (96th to 115th Streets)
6:00pm, 162 East 102th Street

Fourth Tuesday: 17th Precinct Community Council (30th to 59th Streets) 
6:00pm, 225 East 51st Street

Neighborhood and Tenant Associations

4/5 Roosevelt Island Residents Association
8:00pm-10:00pm, Good Shepherd, 543 Main Street, Roosevelt Island

First Wednesday: Lexington Houses Tenant Association
6:00pm, 1536 Lexington Avenue

Second Tuesday: Stanley Isaacs Tenant Association
7:00pm, Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center, 415 East 93rd Street

Third Tuesday: Holmes Towers Tenant Association
7:00pm, Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center, 415 East 93rd Street

Third Thursday: East 79th Street Neighborhood Association
6:00pm-8:00pm, Upper East Side Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, 211 East 79th Street

Community Events for Kids

Every Monday: Baby Storytime
11:00am, Roosevelt Island Library
Babies from birth to 18 months old and their parents/caregivers can enjoy great books, lively songs, and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood.

Every Monday: New York Therapy Dogs R.E.A.D.
3:00pm, Webster Library
Come read to a therapy dog! These licensed therapy dogs and their owners can't wait for you to come read them a story. Enjoy one-on-one, no-pressure reading time with a furry friend! For ages 5-10. Pre-registration required for each 15-minute slot.

Every Tuesday - Saturday: Quiet Study Room
Tuesdays and Wednesdays 1-5pm, Thursdays 12-5pm, Fridays and Saturdays 10-3pm, 67th Street Library
There's no talking, no cell phone, no noise at all in our quiet study room. This room is open thanks to our volunteers, and is subject to their availability. If you are interested in keeping the quiet study room open more hours, please see a staff member about becoming a volunteer! Subject to cancellation / change of hours without prior notice.

Every Wednesday: Toddler Storytime
10:15am-12:15pm, Roosevelt Island Library
Toddlers from 18 months to 3 years and their parents/caregivers can enjoy interactive stories, action songs, fingerplays, and spend time with other toddlers in the neighborhood.

Every Saturday: English Conversation Group
11:00am, 67th Street Library
Talk with native speakers and other language learners about current events, New York City, family life, holidays, and much more. For adults 16 years old or older. This program is provided in partnership with New York Cares, a leading volunteer organization that helps people find easy ways to make meaningful, rewarding contributions to their communities. Led by New York Cares volunteers, this program provides an opportunity for intermediate level ESOL speakers to practice speaking English.

Every Saturday: Kids’ Coloring Club
10:00am, Yorkville Library
Join us every Saturday morning from 10am-12pm for our Kids' Coloring Club -- children of all ages are invited to color coloring sheets featuring their favorite characters, seasonal designs, and more. Feel free to bring your favorite coloring book!

Every Saturday: Read to Fritz, our New York Therapy Dog!
11:00am, Yorkville Library
Come read to our therapy dog Fritz! These licensed therapy dogs and their owners can't wait for you to come read them a story. Enjoy one-on-one, no-pressure reading time with a furry friend! Pre-registration is required for each 15-minute slot and opens 1 week in advance. For ages 5 and up. Available every Saturday in the children's story time room.

4/6: Open Playtime
10:30am, Roosevelt island Library
Enjoy a warm and inviting space where parents/caregivers can play with their child, listen to music and socialize with others in the community. Recommended for Ages: 1-3 years.

4/8: Easter Egg Hunt
1:10am-1:00pm, Carl Schurz Park
Meet the Carl Schurz Bunny! Kids will receive an egg collection bag and glitter cheek, or hand stamp. There will be a continuous wave of egg hunts starting at 11:10am every 20 minutes until 1pm. Enter the park at East 87th St. and East End Avenue.

4/11: DJ Workshop for Beginners
4:00pm, 96th Street LibraryAn introduction to DJing using Serato software with a DJ controller. Presented by Carol C.
For ages 13 to 18 years old.

4/20: College Essay Writing Workshop
3:30pm, 67th Street Library
Thinking about college? What makes your application stand out? How should you handle essays, recommendations, and extracurriculars? Work with an ex-Princeton Regional Director of Admissions and a Harvard Ed Ph.D. They’ll share their expertise and you’ll be on your way. Presented by Carla Sinz and Caroline Moore. For ages 15 and older.

4/21: Storytime!
10:30am, Mount Vernon Hotel Garden & Museum
Come join us with your little ones for reading, listening and playing. It’s all about Spring!

4/24: Kid Flicks
4:00pm, Yorkville Library
Join us in our community room for our children's film showing. Watch short films based on popular picture books. The perfect way to meet up with friends and end a busy day. All films subject to last minute substitutions.
Showing:  Cat in the Hat and The Caterpillar & the Polliwog

4/28: April Craft Time
3:00pm, Yorkville Library
It's Craft Time at Yorkville!!! Drop in for a quick craft. Bring your creativity and make something special to take home. Ages 3 and up.

 

Community Events for Adults

Every Thursday: Techconnect Computer Lab
12pm, Computer Lab, 96th street Library
Tech volunteers assist you with almost any computer topic you want to learn.   Topics include computer basics, Microsoft Word, online shopping, email, ect.  Space is limited and sign-up is required. (212)-289-0908 for RSVP

Every Tuesday: Bilingual Birdies: French
11:30am, 67th Street Library
Teachers play guitar and sing with the children as they learn new vocabulary through music, movement, and puppetry! Bilingual Birdies will be exploring themes including Farm Animals, Jungle Animals, Colors, and Transportation this winter. They provide instruments and props for the children to use as well as a free CD download of their original music for all parents and librarians to keep the learning going throughout the week. Ages newborn to 6 years old.

Every Friday: AARP Tax Aide:
10am-2pm, 67th Street Library
AARP volunteers, who are certified by the IRS, prepare all returns.  There is no cost to you for preparation and no cost to you for electronic filing (e-file).

Every Saturday: English Conversation Group
11:00am, 67th Street Library
Talk with native speakers and other language learners about current events, New York City, family life, holidays, and much more. For adults 16 years old or older. This program is provided in partnership with New York Cares, a leading volunteer organization that helps people find easy ways to make meaningful, rewarding contributions to their communities. Led by New York Cares volunteers, this program provides an opportunity for intermediate level ESOL speakers to practice speaking English.

4/6: Film - KISS ME DEADLY (1955)
2:00pm, 96th Street Library
Come watch Kiss Me Deadly (1955, 106 min.), a black-and-white film directed by Robert Aldrich, based on a novel by Mickey Spillane. Admission is free!

4/8: Design a Life You Love Living!
2:00pm, Yorkville Library
Speaker, trainer, and certified professional coach, Barbara Phillips, will help you define, design and experience your dream life. Join her for this fun and highly interactive workshop where you will learn: how to design a dream for your life that reflects your unique life “blueprint,” a 5-point test to determine if your dream is right for you, and much more. Turn your greatest possibility into your reality!

4/13: Film - BETRAYED (1954)
2:00pm, 96th Street Library
Come watch Betrayed (1954, 108 min.), a film directed by Gottfried Reinhardt that tells the story of a Dutch intelligence officer who recruits an allied woman to act as liaison with a dashing resistance leader for an attack on Arnhem. Admission is free!

4/15: Dog Adoptions at Biscuits & Bath
11am to 3pm 1064 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10022
Meet several great dogs up for adoption from ACC at Biscuits & Bath, Sutton Place! Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) adoptions include vaccinations, spay/neuter, a pre-registered microchip, an identification tag, a collar and a certificate for a free initial exam at a participating veterinarian. Anyone who adopts a dog from ACC (all locations) will receive a complimentary Biscuits and Bath Adoption Package, valued at $1,300! You can learn more on the official facebook event page.

4/16: The New School’s Mannes Students
2:00pm, Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Auditorium 
Come enjoy singers and instrumentalists from The New School’s Mannes ESL+Music Program.  

4/17: Yorkville Community Author Talk with Helen Ellis, Janice Y.K. Lee, and Cristina Alger
5:30pm, Yorkville Library
Join us for a lively moderated discussion with three bestselling authors! Helen Ellis (American Housewife, Eating the Cheshire Cat), Janice Y.K. Lee (The Expatriates, The Piano Teacher) and Cristina Alger (The Darlings, This Was Not The Plan) will be coming to Yorkville to discuss their previous works, how they got started writing, and what it’s like being a writer living in Yorkville. There will be time for audience questions and books will available to check out after the discussion. No sign-ups required.

4/20: Building Your Professional Network with LinkedIn and How to Use It in Your Job Search
3:00pm, Yorkville Library
In this special lecture format, you'll learn about NETWORKING and how to do it effectively; how to get started with LinkedIn.com’s networking personal profiles; how to expand your network; and how to utilize your new network in your search for your next career challenge.

4/20: Film - BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK (1955)
2:00pm, 96th Street Library
Come watch Bad Day at Black Rock (1955, 81 min.), a film directed by John Sturges, based on a story by Howard Breslin. Admission is free!

4/21: National Minority Cancer Awareness Month
2:00 PM-5:00 PM, MSK Rockefeller Research Laboratories Auditorium (430 East 67th Street).
Memorial Sloan Kettering invites community residents to a free event in honor of National Minority Cancer Awareness Month. A discussion of current efforts to improve outcomes for minorities will be led by MSK experts in cancer disparities research. This program will be held in English with Spanish translation services provided. To register, call (212) 719-2943 or emailrsvpatsharecancersupport [dot] org.

4/22: Career Transition: Job Search 101
2:00pm, Yorkville Library
Speaker, trainer, and certified professional coach, Barbara Phillips, will help you define, design and experience your dream life. Join her for this fun and highly interactive workshop where you will learn: how to design a dream for your life that reflects your unique life “blueprint,” a 5-point test to determine if your dream is right for you, and much more. Turn your greatest possibility into your reality!

4/22: The Phantom of the Holograph Wakes
6:00-9:00pm, Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Associates, 527 Main Street
Join the gallery for the opening reception of its latest installation “The Phantom of the Holograph Wakes” by artist Ioan Popoiu.

4/25: Avoiding Scams and Fraud
3:00pm, Yorkville Library
Statistics show that criminals scam victims out of billions of dollars every year using various types of fraudulent activities. Avoid becoming a victim yourself. Learn how to recognize the tricks of a con artist and the tell-tale warning signs of a scam.

4/25: Special talk about Human Papillomavirus (HPV) - Free
5:00-6:00 pm at MSK  Zuckerman Research Center Auditorium (417 East 68th Street)
Memorial Sloan Kettering invites community residents to join us for a special talk about Human Papillomavirus (HPV). During this talk MSK’s Abraham Aragones MD, will discuss all aspects of HPV and examine programs that could increase HPV vaccination rates, particularly among minority and immigrant populations most burdened by HPV. Refreshments will be served at 4:30 pm. Please RSVP to ofdatmskcc [dot] org if you would like to attend.  This talk is part of our new MSK Student Seminar Series, designed to create a learning community at MSK.

4/25: Detective Book Discussion - Black Money
6:30pm, Roosevelt Island Library
Join us for a discussion of Ross MacDonald’s book Black Money!

4/26: Isaacs Annual Spring Gala
230 Fifth Rooftop Bar & Restaurant
The annual Spring Gala, the Isaacs Center’s largest fundraising event of the year. This festive evening, honoring Morgan Stanley Volunteers, includes a cocktail hour, dinner, games, a wine pull along with silent and live auctions.  If you need additional information, please contact Gigi Verkaik at gverkaikatisaacscenter [dot] org or (212) 360-7620 x154.
 
4/26 New York City School Construction Authority MWLBE Networking & Marketing Forum
8:00am – 2:00pm at NYC SCA’s  offices located at 30-30 Thomson Ave. Long Island City, NY 11101.
The New York City School Construction Authority(SCA) will be hosting an MWLBE Networking and Marketing Forum. At this Networking and Marketing Forum MWLBE firms will have an opportunity to hear about upcoming contractual opportunities at the SCA, learn how to become prequalified and certified with the SCA and MWLBE firms will have the opportunity to meet representatives from major Prime Construction firms with SCA contracts.  If you have any questions you can contact Gregory Glasgow, Director of Operations from the SCA at 718-752-5018 or GGlasgowatnycsca [dot] org.

4/27: Film - THE KILLERS (1946)
2:00pm, 96th Street Library
Come watch The Killers (1946, 97 min.), a black-and-white film directed by Robert Siodmak, based on a story by Ernest Hemingway. Admission is free!

 

Community Resources

Resources Funded in Part by My Office

Each year my office provides discretionary funding to non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations that serve residents of Council District 5. We have curated a list of resources funded in part by my office so that you can take advantage of them for free.

Add your non-profit's resources to this list by emailing budgetatbenkallos [dot] com. Learn more about your resources at http://BenKallos.com/resources