March Newsletter

February marked my 35th birthday and there was no better way to spend it than with many of you at our First Friday meeting and celebration. Thank you to those who attended (I hope that you enjoyed the cake) and to everyone in District 5 who helps me love my job every day.

Last month, the New York Times covered a proposal I will introduce in the Council to provide 1.4 million New Yorkers working in the private sector with an opportunity to save for retirement. We also launched the Eastside Taskforce for Homeless Outreach and Services (ETHOS) and passed bold ethics reforms that will go a long way toward preventing corruption.

This month you have a chance to vote on how to spend $1 million in our community, at our Participatory Budgeting voting sites this month or by absentee ballot.

Will you commit to vote or request your absentee ballot today?

Ben Kallos
Council Member

MARCH EVENTS

March 4: First Friday

March 8: Policy Night

March 15: Investor Protection with the Attorney General’s Office

March 16: Protecting Immigrant Families from Scams with the District Attorney's Office

March 23 - April 2: Vote on Participatory Budgeting

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Retirement Security for All
  2. Homeless Taskforce Launched
  3. “United” U.S Senators Booker and Gillibrand
  4. Limiting Corruption with a Full Time Legislature
  5. Better Budget
  6. Participatory Budgeting: You Decide How to Spend $1 Million

HOUSING

  1. Stopping Superscrapers
  2. Affordable Housing Registration, Enforcement, and Application
  3. Fighting for More and Broader Affordability in Mayor's Housing Plan
  4. Construction Safety
  5. Smoke Alarm Giveaway

EDUCATION

  1. Universal Pre-K
  2. Sotheby’s Art Show
  3. Chess in the Schools

TRANSPORTATION AND ENVIRONMENT

  1. Crosstown Bike Lanes
  2. Rallying for Offshore Wind Energy
  3. Energy Town Hall
  4. Marine Transfer Station

JOBS AND EQUALITY

  1. Fight for $15
  2. Freelance isn’t Free

GOOD GOVERNANCE AND TECHNOLOGY

  1. Elections Empowering Everyone
  2. “Automatic Benefits” Featured on Effective Radio
  3. Free and Open Source Software

OFFICE UPDATES

  1. Legislative Corner
  2. In the Neighborhood
  3. Legal Clinic
  4. Mobile District Hours
  5. Ben In Your Building

EVENTS AND COMMUNITY RESOURCES

  1. City Council Events
  2. Events Funded by My Office
  3. Community Events
  4. Community Resources

Retirement Security For All Press ConferenceRetirement Security for All

The New York Times

Mayor De Blasio Proposes Retirement Savings Plan for Private-Sector Workers

“With auto-enrollment, people will be nudged into saving for retirement,” said Councilman Ben Kallos, a Democrat from the Upper East Side of Manhattan, who will be one of the sponsors of the legislation once it is introduced. Though people can choose not to participate, he said, city officials hope that most would.”

The New York Times covered a proposal we are working on with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Letitia James, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito,and Queens Council Member Daneek Miller  to provide a retirement savings option for 1.4 million New Yorkers who do not currently have access to a retirement plan. The bill I plan to introduce in the Council will create a retirement savings plan available to private-sector workers in New York City in companies with ten or more employees. I helped develop the Retirement Security for All proposal while serving as Executive Director at Bill Samuels' EffectiveNY and will be introducing legislation with Public Advocate James. Watch the press conference announcing the proposal.

Homeless Taskforce Launched

NY1 covered the annual Hope Count, where I welcomed volunteers who canvassed the city to get an accurate count of our street homeless population, as well as the launch of our Eastside Taskforce for Homeless Outreach and Services (“ETHOS”) with Council Member Dan Garodnick, State Senator Liz Krueger and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer as well as local churches, synagogues, and non-profits. This new organization is devoted to addressing challenges facing the significant number of homeless people on the Upper East Side. The Taskforce, developed over the prior four months, will provide support for breakfast, lunch and dinner meals, food pantries, street outreach, legal services, substance abuse, medical, supportive housing and shelter services, connecting our dedicated nonprofits and religious institutions with city services. Watch NY1 or learn more about the coalition and our members on BenKallos.com.

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“United” with Senators Booker and Gillibrand

On Sunday February, 21 I was proud to introduce Senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Cory Booker of New Jersey at the 92nd St Y’s American Conversation program. Senator Gillibrand interviewed Senator Booker about his new book “United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good,” in which he shares his philosophy of empathy, responsibility and action as part of a conspiracy of love. Questions from the audience included commentary on the Presidential election and potential vice-presidential running mates as well as inquiries from several members of the audience as to whether he was “available” for the post. Both Senators continue to be a model for my office and an inspiration. Watch this and more at 92Y On Demand.

Limiting Corruption with a Full Time Legislature

Citizens Union“It was a good day yesterday for reform at City Hall. With the support of our members spanning decades and the leadership of key reform-focused members of the city council, Citizens Union achieved some long-championed city policy reforms....This achievement would not have been possible without the support of many reform-minded members of the city council. Three stand out: City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Rules Committee Chair CM Brad Lander and Government Operations Committee Chair, CM Ben Kallos.” -- Dick Dadey, Executive Director, Citizens Union

City Council Members will be working full time for their residents without the influence of stipend “lulu” and outside income following legislation I authored that was supported by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Council then signed into by law by the Mayor last month. New York City Council Members were previously “part-time” and were not prohibited from engaging in any other occupation, profession, or employment.

47 Council Members, were offered a stipend of between $5,000 and $25,000 for serving as committee chairs or leadership. While 34 council members made a pledge to Citizens Union as council candidates in 2013 to limit stipends to the Speaker and Minority Leader. Despite their pledges only 10 members refused the money in 2014 and for their entire terms with two more joining in 2015. I was proud to be one of the members who gave up more than $16,000 in personal income for the sake of reform. 

Conflict of Interest Board (“COIB”) outside income disclosure forms will also be available online for elected officials as part of legislation introduced by Council Member Jimmy Vacca for which Kallos is co-prime sponsor. In 2010, then advocate Kallos worked with the New York Public Interest Research Group’s Bill Mahoney to request copies using the Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”), scan and post outside income disclosure forms for state legislators online. Following this action, outside income forms were put online with income ranges by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE). I ran on reform and am proud to be working full time to deliver these important ethics reforms.

Better Budget

Gotham Gazette previewed this year’s budget hearings on Mayor de Blasio's $82.1 billion preliminary budget for fiscal year 2017, profiling my previous work as chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations where I identified concerns surrounding borrowing, contract overruns, over-reliance on outside contractors, and uncollected ECB fines, where the City could be saving billions of dollars. Last year I urged the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to allocate additional money into the Capital Stabilization Reserve Fund (“Rainy Day Fund”) resulting in a half billion dollar investment in stabilizing our city future. On  March 14th, the Committee on Governmental Operations will meet and will hold its Fiscal Year 2016-17 preliminary budget hearing covering the agencies I oversee including: the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), Board of Elections (BOE), Department of Records and Information Services (DoRIS), Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA), and Community Boards. You can catch up on last year’s budget.

Participatory Budgeting: You Decide How to Spend $1 Million

Participatory Budgeting

This spring, you will be empowered through direct democracy to vote on how to spend $1 million in city capital funds in our community. For more information about the process visit BenKallos.com/PB

Our goal is to ensure that everyone eligible has a chance to cast a ballot. Please pledge to vote at BenKallos.com/RockTheVote

Our district office will be kept open for the entirety of vote week, March 26th – April 3rd:
Monday – Friday:        9:00AM – 6:00PM
Saturday – Sunday:    11:00AM – 5:00PM

We will also make voting more convenient by bringing the ballots closer to you at mobile voting sites throughout the district with help from this cycle’s budget delegates who will be sponsoring even more vote sites as they continue to shepherd the process. We hope you will consider volunteering with our office:

Saturday, 3/26/2016:
10:00AM – 2:00PM, East 82nd Street Greenmarket, RSVP
11:00AM – 2:00PM, 20 River Road, Manhattan Park, Roosevelt Island, RSVP
Sunday, 3/27/2016:   
10:00AM – 2:00PM, Carl Schurz Park, RSVP
Monday, 3/28/2016:  
7:00AM – 9:00AM, M79 Bus at York Avenue, RSVP
8:00AM – 11:00AM, 311 East 82nd Street, P.S. 290, RSVP
4:00PM – 7:00PM, East 86th between Lexington and Third Avenue, RSVP
Tuesday, 3/29/2016:
7:00AM – 9:00AM, M86 Bus at York Avenue, RSVP
7:30AM – 10:30AM, 1700 Third Avenue, P.S. 198/77, RSVP
4:00PM – 7:00PM, F Train Subway at Roosevelt Island, RSVP
Wednesday, 3/30/2016:        
7:00AM – 9:00AM, M67 Bus at First Avenue, RSVP
10:00AM – 1:00PM, 411 East 76th Street, Eleanor Roosevelt High School, RSVP
4:00PM – 7:00PM, Tramway Plaza at E59th Street, RSVP
Thursday, 3/31/2016:
7:30AM – 10:30AM, 645 Main Street, P.S. /I.S. 217, Roosevelt Island, RSVP
4:00PM – 7:00PM, East 96th Street Subway Station, RSVP
Friday, 4/1/2016:       
7:00AM – 9:00AM, M72 Bus at First Avenue, RSVP
Saturday, 4/2/2016:  
10:00AM – 2:00PM, East 67th Street Greenmarket, RSVP

There will also be opportunities to vote at the various events in the district that the Council Member attends. If any of these are inconventient, inaccessible or you will be out of town, you can request an absentee ballot to vote by mail by calling our office or at our website BenKallos.com/PB/Absentee

 

HOUSING

Sutton PlaceStopping Superscrapers

In January, Bloomberg News and the Daily News covered our filing of the most sweeping residential re-zoning plan by a community group in New York City history. I was proud to lead the effort with the East River Fifties Alliance and co-applicants Council Member Daniel Garodnick, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and State Senator Liz Krueger.

Last month, we won another victory in our fight to stop out-of-context, ultra-luxury superscrapers in Sutton place! As reported in Crains, when the 3 Sutton Place developer’s loans expired and he was unable to secure additional funding, he was forced to file for bankruptcy protection in order to stop lenders from foreclosing on the properties. As more and more lenders are viewing this project as a poor investment, the troubled project has stalled. This is not the end of the fight, but together we are winning. Sign the petition against superscrapers at BenKallos.com/Petition/StopSuperScrapers

Affordable Housing Registration, Enforcement, and Application

ProPublica continued its ongoing investigation of over 200,000 units of affordable housing that might be illegally rented at market rates with a story on the February 22nd hearing of the Committee on Housing and Buildings on a bill I authored, Int. 1015-2015. The bill requires owners of new and existing affordable housing to register each unit of housing with the city, creates enforcement by the city with steep penalties, and allows for a single place to apply for new or existing affordable housing. 

While city officials said they did not support our proposal, Committee Chair Jumaane Williams and I uncovered that the city was ignoring internal reports from hero and whistle-blower Steven Werner and is not doing enough to address the issue.

Fighting for More and Broader Affordability in Mayor's Housing Plan

The Daily News, Newsday, and DNAinfo covered my ongoing advocacy as Vice-Chair of the Progressive Caucus and with the Real Affordability for All Coalition for the Mayor’s plans for Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA) and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) to protect our neighborhoods and include deeper and broader affordable housing to support low-income and middle-income residents for a city that is affordable for all New Yorkers.

At City Council hearings on February 9th and 10th of the Subcommittee on Zoning mentioned in last month's newsletter, I demanded that the administration provide a written response to the community boards around the city who expressed concerns with these plans, and I remain troubled that, although positive changes have been made to the proposals, many of those concerns are going unanswered.

Construction Safety

I joined Errol Louis on NY1’s Inside City Hall to discuss construction safety following a crane collapse on February 5th, which resulted in a tragic death, bringing back memories of two crane collapses that occurred on the Upper East Side in 2007 and 2008. In order to minimize the construction accidents, I introduced Int. 299 when I first took office. The bill, which is awaiting a vote in the Council, requires New York City crane operators to be trained in New York City under the supervision of an experienced New York City crane operator. Training and experience in Illinois or a suburban environment simply does not prepare someone for the unique urban environment that is our city. When you look up and see a crane, you deserve to feel safe. In order for that to happen, we must ensure cranes are being operated by the best trained and most skilled operators in the country who are real New Yorkers.

Smoke Alarm Giveaway

In partnership with Fire Department (FDNY) we've launched smoke and CO2 alarm giveaways in my district office. East Siders learned about the benefits of having a working fire alarm and CO2 detector in the home. These devices save many lives every year and we thank FDNY for partnering with us to make area residents safer. Keep an eye on my newsletter and Twitter account as we announce when and where the next giveaway will be.

 

EDUCATION

Universal Pre-K

We are nearing the end of the Pre-K for All application period for the 2016-17 academic year. All New York City children born in 2012 are eligible to attend free, full-day Pre-K this upcoming fall. Families who wish to apply must do so by March 9, 2016. Here on the East Side and Roosevelt Island, I stand ready to help any family who wants to sign up. There are three ways to apply using a single application, available in ten languages. Interpretation services are provided in over 200 languages for applications submitted over the phone and in person.

Additionally, after successfully doubling the number of seats at P.S./I.S. 217 on Roosevelt Island last year, we have been working with Eva Bosbach and the Roosevelt Island Parents Network, as well as Ariel Chesler and Jack Moran on the East Side, to open new seats in Council District 5. We are actively seeking parents to help us organize other parents with children in need of seats as well as providers with whom parents are confident in order to expand the number of Pre-K seats in the district.

Sotheby’s Art Show

The Annual Sotheby's Art Show is getting bigger and better with more public schools and more talented children whose work was exhibited at this world famous auction house. I spent the evening celebrating creativity with students from schools in our district. Many young artists, teachers, and parents came together to make this event a success. Thank you to Karen Sutton, Managing Director at Sotheby's Americas, for hosting us, Principal Tara Napoleoni, Art Teacher Wan Ling Fahrer, and PTA President Patricia Correge of PS 183 who were all were instrumental in making this event a success. Check out our photo album on Facebook or to learn more visit BenKallos.com/ArtShow

Chess in the Schools

The inaugural Council Member Ben Kallos Chess Tournament hosted by Chess in the Schools was held on on Saturday, February 27th. Over 500 students participated from 94 schools, including 11 students from the host, Eleanor Roosevelt High School. I always loved playing chess with my grandfather and believe it promotes forward thinking as children learn to think ahead. If you want to bring a chess program to your public school Chess in the Schools can provide free training and equipment for interested teachers. The tournament is open to public school students of all ages and I hope your child participates next year. Congratulations to all the participants!

 

TRANSPORTATION AND ENVIRONMENT

Crosstown Bike Lanes

Last year, Community Board 8 (CB8) requested the Department of Transportation (DOT) to present a  proposal for crosstown bike lanes, to bring order and safety to the streets. In February, DOT presented its proposal to the CB8 Transportation Committee. The proposed bike lanes will be painted and will not cause the removal of parking spaces or vehicular traffic lanes.

The proposed locations discussed were:

  • East 67th and 68th Streets between York and Fifth Avenues,
  • East 77th and 78th Streets between Cherokee Place and Fifth Avenue,
  • East 84th Street between FDR Drive and Fifth Avenue, and East 85th Street between East End and Fifth Avenue.

If you have questions or comments about these locations, or a proposal for alternative locations, please attend tonight’s CB8 Transportation meeting or reach out to my office and we will pass your feedback on to DOT.

Offshore Wind Power Rally

"The answer my friend is blowing in the wind," was sung as I led more than 150 New Yorkers, community groups and environmental justice leaders on the steps of City Hall in thanking Mayor Bill de Blasio for his commitment to power 100% of City operations with renewable energy. We also urged him to ensure that offshore wind power plays a major role in achieving that goal. I am proud to have stood next to organizations like the Sierra Club, the Center For Working Families, and NYPIRG to ask for more renewable energy to benefit NYC. Watch the press conference and sing along or read more from the Sierra Club.

Energy Forum

We co-sponsored an Energy Town Hall with Senator Liz Krueger led by constituent and WBAI Radio Host Ken Gale with participation from Architect Chris Benedict who spoke about how to conserve energy through architectural design and Andy Padian from Steve Winter Associates who discussed ways you can preserve energy and resources as a renter, building owner, or co-op manager. Thank you to Ken for his hard work organizing the town hall and encourage you to listen to his radio show Eco-Logic on alternate Tuesdays at 8pm. If you’d like to learn more about how you can make changes to benefit the environment, attend our Earth Day Kickoff on April 21st at 6pm.

Marine Transfer Station

We continue to work with Pledge 2 Protect and community activists to fight the Marine Transfer Station and pass air quality monitoring legislation, I authored with Council Member Dan Garodnick, requiring air quality monitoring at all marine transfer stations. Our neighborhood already has some of the worst air quality in the city. Join the fight against the MTS and ensure the quality of life and air on the Upper East side improves at BenKallos.com/MTS

 

JOBS AND EQUALITY

Governor Cuomo Fight For 15 Rally

Fight for $15

Governor Andrew Cuomo's kick off of his “Drive for $15” tour to get the minimum wage in New York raised to $15 an hour was joined by Congress Member Charlie Rangel, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Senator Brad Hoylman, Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, union leaders and me. If enacted, the proposal would make New York the first state in the country to implement a $15 cross-industry minimum wage. The Governor’s Office recently released a minimum wage report which concluded that raising the minimum wage to $15 would help 2.3 million workers and increase the direct spending power of New York state by $15.7 billion.

Freelance Isn’t Free

As a former freelancer I am co-sponsoring the Freelance Isn't Free Act. As more and more employers hire freelancers its is important that we make sure they don't fall victim to wage theft. According to the Freelancers Union 8 out of 10 freelancers go unpaid, annually averaging out to $6,000 in lost income. Are you a freelancer? Do you support this legislation?

 

GOOD GOVERNANCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Elections Empowering Everyone

Improving democracy requires elections that empower everyone, which is why I Chair the Committee on Governmental Operations, that had a hearing on February 29 to hear a package of 11 bills and resolutions aiming to improve elections and civic engagement through increasing voter information, additional language access, expanding the franchise and improving election administration.Many of the bills in the package were highlighted in Speaker Melissa Mark-Vivierto’s State of the City. This package of legislation builds upon those previously heard in March of 2014 and October 2015, Introduction 659, that would provide a voter information portal to track absentee ballots, view voting history, find poll sites and verify registration status as well as Introduction 628, that amends the Young Adult Voter Registration Act to require registration of high school seniors during class time. You can learn more about the package in the release.

“Automatic Benefits” Featured on Effective Radio

I joined EffectiveNY founder Bill Samuels on Effective Radio to discuss Automatic Benefits legislation to streamline government benefits so that when someone is struggling, they can get the assistance they need automatically. Listen to the entire segment.

Free and Open Source Software

As a free and open source software (FOSS) developer, who uses it everyday on websites like BenKallos.com and WhiteHouse.gov or with software that operates my phone like Android, I have introduced the FOSS Act, Int. 366 and Civic Commons, Int. 366 which would mandate a preference for FOSS and provide for a FOSS software repository to save the city as much as $25 million. Thank you to the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), the NYC Independent Budget Office (IBO), the Free Software Foundation, the Open Source Initiative, the Software Freedom Conservancy, Common Cause NY, BetaNYC and Participatory Politics Foundation for their testimony in support of this legislation. Please submit your testimony in support to PolicyatBenKallos [dot] com.

 

OFFICE UPDATES

Legislative Corner

Int. 632-2015, the Grocery Workers Retention Act, requires new grocery store owners to retain the previous owner’s staff for a transition period of ninety days. After the transition period, the new employer must evaluate each employee and consider keeping them as employees. Workers deserve to know their knowledge, experience, and service to the neighborhoods they live and work in matters. The passage of the Grocery Worker Retention Act provides working families with financial stability and ensures communities will continue to be served by an experienced workforce.

In the Neighborhood

Last month I had the pleasure of catching up with old friends, as well as making new ones at various community meetings. Some include Community Board 11, Community Board 8 Transportation Committee, Community Board 6 Land Use Committee, Stanley Isaacs Tenants Association, Holmes Towers Tenants Association, 435 East 57th St Shareholders Meeting, and 400 East 85th St Shareholders Meeting.

Volunteer

Volunteers at our Council office learn firsthand about city government and work closely with the East Side and Roosevelt Island Communities. Volunteers can work regular business hours or nights and weekends with a focus on attending events and community organizing. If you would like to join the team or have further questions please email InternshipatBenKallos [dot] com.

Legal Clinics

Family Law and Domestic Violence Clinic
Second Monday, 2-6pm, District Office

The Urban Justice Center will hold a free family law and domestic violence clinic. Call my office in advance to reserve an appointment.
Housing Clinics (New schedule!)
First and third Monday, second and fourth Thursday, 3-6pm, District Office

Eviction Intervention Services and CUNY School of Law provide free housing law consultations. Call for your appointment.

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 2-5pm:
Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center, 415 East 93rd Street, 2nd Tuesday
Carter Burden Center for the Aging, 351 East 74th Street, 3rd Wednesday
Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, 331 East 70th Street, 4th Tuesday|
Roosevelt Island Senior Center, 546 Main Street, 4th Wednesday

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 call 212-860-1950 or email ScheduleratBenKallos [dot] com in order to schedule a "Ben in Your Building" event.

 

EVENTS AND COMMUNITY RESOURCES

City Council Events

3/15: Investor Protection with the Attorney General’s Office
6:30pm, Church of the Epiphany, 1393 York Avenue          
The Attorney General’s Investor Protection Bureau will offer a presentation on how to be a smart investor and to identify common scams. The presentation will cover how to identify red flags when making investment choices, specific scams that people often fall victim to, good ground rules for all investors to stick to in order to safeguard their finances and personal information, and how to choose a professional broker/advisor. Please RSVP.

3/16: Info-Session with the District Attorney’s Office: Protecting Immigrant Families from Scams
11am - 2pm, Roosevelt Island Senior Center, 546 Main Street
A Community Coordinator from the DA's Office will provide information about how immigrant communities are often victimized through fraudulent schemes and how individuals can protect themselves from these scams. In addition they will share information about identity theft, internet safety, and elder abuse, among many other topics. This event is hosted by Senator Serrano.

3/24: CitiBike Street Skills Class
6:30pm, District Office, 244 East 93rd Street

CitiBike members will receive an additional month on their membership and non-members can choose between a free day pass or $25 off an annual membership. Please RSVP.

Events Funded by My Office

3/5: Mini-Sampler Workshop and Lecture                                                     
2pm, Mount Vernon Hotel and Museum, 421 East 61st Street                     
Christine Griffiths, Ph.D. candidate at Bard Graduate Center and scholar in the field of textiles and needlework, will give a lecture on samplers. Afterwards, the New York Nineteenth Century Society will lead a workshop on mini-samplers that will introduce participants to basic 19th-Century needlework. Materials are included.  RSVP required.  Tickets: $10

3/11: Lunchtime Lecture- Women’s Education                                      
12:30pm, 421 East 61st Street                      
Brief thirty-minute lecture. Bring your lunch. Coffee and tea provided. Museum tour included after the lecture. Free with admission.

3/11: Vocal Ease Performance
1:15pm, Stanley Isaacs Senior Center, 415 East 93rd

3/14: Preservation School: Architectural Photography
6pm, Neighborhood Preservation Center, 232 East 11th Street
Learn the do’s and don’ts of architectural photography from Lynn Massimo, architectural photographer and project leader of the Sunset Park Landmarks Committee. Great photos don’t just happen. This lecture is full of tips and tricks to improve your photos of buildings and landscapes. Register here.

3/16: Cooking with Flora: Pie-Making Workshop                                               
6:30pm – 8pm, Mount Vernon Hotel and Museum, 421 East 61st Street     
Join Flora Miller, head cook of the Mount Vernon Hotel in 1830, to prepare sweet and savory pies from historic recipes.  Learn period cooking techniques and the history of pies in early 19th-century America.  All supplies included.  Reservations required. $25 Adults, $20 Members & Students. Please call (212) 838-6878 to make reservations.

3/17: Vocal Ease Performance
Dewitt Nursing Home, 211 East 79th Street

Community Events

Mondays: Baby Story Time        
10:30am, Roosevelt Island Library, 524 Main street                                    
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.

Tuesdays: LEGOs: Designing a Dream City                                                              
3pm- 4:30pm, Roosevelt Island Library, 524 Main street                                            
Let your imagination run wild and create your very own city in this four session workshop series using LEGO® bricks. For schoolchildren age 5-12 years.

Tuesdays: Baby Lap Sit for Pre-Walkers
10:15am, Yorkville Library, 222 East 79th Street
Babies from birth to 18 months old (Pre-Walkers) and their parents/caregivers can enjoy great books, lively songs, and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. Programs are first come, first served and limited to 15 children and their caregivers.

Tuesdays: Toddler Story Time                 
10:45am, Yorkville Library, 222 East 79th Street                                                        
Toddlers from 18-36 months old (Walkers) and their parents/caregivers can enjoy great books, lively songs, and rhymes, and meet other toddlers in the neighborhood. Programs are first come, first served and limited to 15 children and their caregivers.

Tuesdays: Tour of Gracie Mansion
11am – 11:50 am, Gracie Mansion
Make your plans to tour the People's House, Gracie Mansion. Register for a visit today: on.nyc.gov/gracietour

Wednesdays: AARP Tax Prep            
9am-1pm, Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, 311 East 70th Street                           
AARP will provide free tax preparation for low and middle income New Yorkers of all ages. First come, first served.

Wednesdays: Baby Lapsit Storytime 
2pm, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street                                                     
There will be rhymes, songs and stories for you and your 3-17 months old child to enjoy. Please be prepared to participate and have fun. After story time you are invited to play with our toys in our Community Room. Limited to the first 30 babies. Please arrive early to ensure a spot. This program is for BABIES ONLY—toddlers and older children will not be admitted.

Wednesdays: Toddler Time                                              
11:30am, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street                                                          
There will be rhymes, songs and stories for you and your 18-36 months old child to enjoy. Please be prepared to participate and have fun.  After story time you are invited to play with our toys in our Community Room. Limited to 30 toddlers. Please arrive early to ensure a spot. This program is for TODDLERS ONLY. Older children or babies will not be admitted.

Wednesdays: Toddler Story Time      
10:15 am, Roosevelt Island Library, 524 Main street                                               
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. First come, first served.

Wednesdays: Preschool Program       
10:30 and 11 am respectively, 96th Street Library                                               
Stories and films for preschoolers.

Wednesdays: Toddler Time (except March 30th)
11, 11:30, and 11:45am, Webster Library, 1465 York Ave
There is a limit of 15 children and their caregivers. Tickets are given out the morning of the program on a first come, first serve basis. Times of the programs are approximate.

Thursdays: Picture Book Storytime    
4pm, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street                                                            
Come enjoy a story with your friends at the library! We'll read our new and old favorite books. For ages 4-7. No pre-registration required; first-come, first-served.

Thursdays: Computer Science Tutoring Session (Except March 24th Cancelled)
5:30pm, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street                                                           
Join us for a morning of one-on-one tutoring sessions! Our computer tutors can help you with everything from learning how to use a mouse, formatting a resume, setting up an email address, posting photos on the internet, starting a blog, using Microsoft Office, and more. Register by phone or in-person - Sign-up starts 2 weeks before each class. Please call or sign up in person at the earliest.

Thursdays: Classic Film Screenings
2pm, 96th Street Library, 112 East 96th Street
Free admission.

Saturdays: English Conversation Group                                    
11am, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street                                                           
For intermediate level ESOL speakers to practice speaking English and improve their conversational skills. For adults 16 years old or older.

Saturdays: Kids’ Coloring Club
10am-12pm, Yorkville Library, 222 East 79th Street
Children of all ages welcome to join in on the fun. Feel free to bring a favorite coloring book.

Saturdays: Goalball
1:45pm-4pm, Chelsea Recreation Center
NYC Parks membership is required. Kids under 18: free. Young adults 18-24: $25/year. Adults 25-61: $150/year or $75/six months. Seniors 62+: $25/year.

3/1: The story of Intrepid (Teens)       
3:30pm, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street                                                
Through hands-on artifact and photo investigation, viewing of archival footage and interviews with former crew members, students and adults will learn the history of one of America’s most storied ships and the everyday heroes who served on board.

3/1: The Seated Stage                               
5pm, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street                                                         
Do you love plays? Do you enjoy reading aloud? Our play reading group meets once a month and participants take turns to read aloud from the selected play. Must register by phone or in-person.

3/2: Carter Burden Luncheon Club  
11am, 351 E. 74th Street                                 
Join Columbia University students for the last three sessions of our fall prevention workshop! You’ll learn about many different ways to keep yourself balanced at home and in the community.                

3/2: Adult Coloring and Memory Circle
5pm, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street                                                     
Share memories while you relax.

3/2: Dr. Seuss Day
3pm, Yorkville Library, 222 East 79th Street
Celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday with us and come to the library to enjoy an afternoon of activities and some silly Seuss fun.

3/2: SPLASH
6 pm-8pm, Microsoft Flagship Store, 677 5th Avenue, 3rd floor
Hosted by Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center. This evening includes a wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres. Visit their website: http://www.isaacscenter.org/events/splash/ to purchase tickets.

3/3: Women’s Writing Group                     
4:15pm - 6:30 pm, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street                                          
Everyone welcome for discussion too!

3/3: Bilingual Birdies (Spanish)
4pm, Yorkville Library, 222 East 79th Street
Geared toward children newborn through six years old, instruments provided

3/3: The Amazing World of Animals   
|3pm, Roosevelt Island Library, 524 Main street                                                        
Join the staff of the New Canna Nature Centre for an all-around furry, scaly, and feathery adventure into the world of the animal kingdom. For children age 3-12 years.

3/3: Book Discussion Group for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night
6pm, Webster Library, 1465 York Ave
Admission is free. Book club participants must reserve copies of each title through the Library's catalog system. You can reserve your copy by placing a hold on-line at www.nypl.org or visiting your local branch.

3/3: Public Meeting on the Future of the Queensboro Oval Park
6:30pm, Brick Presbyterian Church, 62 East 92nd Street
The Parks and Recreation Committee of Community Board 8 Manhattan is sponsoring a public meeting to discuss planning the future of the Queensboro Oval Park (East 59th Street and York Avenue).

3/5: New York Therapy Dogs R.E.A.D. Program with Fritz and Chucky
11am, Yorkville Library, 222 East 79th Street
Pre-registration is required for each 15-minute slot and opens 1 week in advance. Available every Saturday in the children's story-time room.

3/5: The Art Film Festival
1 - 8pm: Ida K Lang Recital Hall at Hunter College, 695 Park Avenue
Tickets available here. Visit here for more information and a description of the featured films.

3/6: The Diaspora and Israeli Russian Film Festival
1 - 7pm: Ida K Lang Recital Hall at Hunter College, 695 Park Avenue
Tickets available here. Visit here for more information and a description of the featured films.

3/7: LEGO: Designing a Dream City
3:30pm, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street                                                         
For Children, School Age (5-12 years).

3/7: Mystery Mondays: Book discussion featuring stories of suspense, secrets, and lies.                                                            
4pm, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street.                                                
Registration required: phone or in-person.

3/8: Boot Camp Gold
1:15pm, Carter Burden Luncheon Club, 351 E. 74th Street                         
Boot Camp Gold uses an incredible array of age appropriate boot camp activities to help the participants improve balance, strength, and agility. These conditioning activities are designed to minimize stress on your joints. Participants will leave this class psyched and energized!

3/9: Graduation/OPT Workshop        
5pm-6pm, 1305 York Avenue     
Graduation and Beyond: Maintaining Your Status After You Defend.” Who it’s for: International students and those interested in learning about the steps required to set up your defense. Weill Greenberg Center, 2nd Floor, Room B. Food and refreshments will be provided! PLEASE RSVP AT: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PGQR88S

3/9: New York Therapy Dogs R.E.A.D. Program with Fritz and Chucky
11am, Yorkville Library, 222 East 79th Street
Pre-registration is required for each 15-minute slot and opens 1 week in advance. Available every Saturday in the children's story-time room.

3/9: Carter Burden Luncheon Club  
11am, 351 East 74th Street                           
Join Columbia University students for the last three sessions of our fall prevention workshop! You’ll learn about many different ways to keep yourself balanced at home and in the community.                

3/9: Green Comics Workshop
4pm, Yorkville Library, 222 East 79th Street
Recommended for ages 12 to 18 years old.

3/10: The Long-Term Impact of Childhood Cancer on Adult Survivors and Their Families                                    
5:30pm-7pm, 430 East 67th Street, Room 117.                                                         
This program will discuss the long-term impact of childhood cancer on family relationships and ways for family members to support one another even years after treatment has ended. Registration is required prior to attending. Please call 646-888-8106 or email rlacatmskcc [dot] org.

3/10: Picture Book Story Time
4pm, Yorkville Library, 222 East 79th Street
Ages 3 and over.
 

3/10: 8th Annual ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival presents: STILTS AND SPOKES 
4:30pm - 6:30pm, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street.                                              
A heart-felt, entertaining and comedic documentary. After Jay Cramer falls off a rock boulder climbing and breaks his neck, he rebounds from injury – which has left him quadriplegic -- to win the Los Angeles Funniest Comic competition. Held on Third Floor. The room will open at 4:15pm.

3/11: 8th Annual ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival presents: REEL ENCOUNTERS
3pm - 4:30pm, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street.                                              
Three short family-friendly films. Held on Third Floor. The room will open at 2:45pm.

3/11: Central Park Tour: Iconic Views of Central Park
11am-12:3 pm, Outside the Dairy Gift Shop in Central Park.
Tickets: $15 per person. Members: $10 per person

3/12: New York Therapy Dogs R.E.A.D. Program with Fritz and Chucky
11am, Yorkville Library, 222 East 79th Street
Pre-registration is required for each 15-minute slot and opens 1 week in advance. Available every Saturday in the children's story-time room.

3/12: Volunteer Gardening                        
9:30am-12:30pm, Carl Schurz Park, 86th Street East End Ave

3/12: 8th Annual ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival presents: MARINA'S OCEAN & I DON'T CARE
3pm - 4:30pm, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street.                                              
Held on Third Floor. The room will open at 2:45pm.

3/14: Photo Editing for Beginners Using PIXLR                                                   
1pm-3pm, 67th Street Library                                                 
This class will explore the editing of photos using PIXLR. Please bring a flash drive or SD card with pictures to be edited. First come, first served.

3/14: 8th Annual ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival presents: MACROPOLIS
3pm - 3:30pm, 67th Street Library                                             
Two toys made at a factory are thrown out, and together attempt to be put on a store shelf. Held on Third Floor. The room will open at 2:45pm.                 

3/14: Sensory Storytime for Children
3:30pm, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street.                                                          
The Storytime, designed to engage kids through movement, music, stories and sensory activity play, is ideal for children with autism spectrum disorders, sensory integration challenges or children who have difficulty sitting still. Space is limited, so please register in advance at the library.

3/14: Preschool STEAM: Color
4pm, Yorkville Library, 222 East 79th Street
This month's theme is color! For children ages 3-6 and their caregivers. Registration required; limited to 12 children. Please register in person or by calling 212-744-5824.

3/15: 8th Annual ReelAbilities: NY disabilities Film Festival presents: ENTER THE FAUN                               
4:30pm - 6:30pm, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street.                                          
As a veteran choreographer trains a young actor with cerebral palsy to dance in her performance, they discover that her lack of formal medical training and his fears and physical limitations provide the impetus for unprecedented transformation. For ages 13 to 18 years. Held on Third Floor. The room will open at 4:15pm.

3/15: Emotions, Emotions, Emotions: An Interactive Music Concert for Kids.          
4pm, Webster Library, 1465 York Ave         
This show is accessible for all children including children and teens on the autism spectrum.

3/16: Succulent Love: A Horticulture Lecture by Katherine Tracey
6pm-7:30 pm, 170 E 70th street
Three-lecture series: $60/$50 Wave Hill Member or student. Individual tickets: $25/$20 Wave Hill Member or student. Seating is limited, and advanced reservations are recommended, online or by calling (718) 549-3200

3/16: 8th Annual ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival presents: DO YOU DREAM IN COLOR         
4:30pm- 6:30pm, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th
Four teens who are blind navigate high school and strive to achieve their goals: to be a sponsored skateboarder, to travel the world, to become a rock star, and to be the first in one’s family to graduate high school. Held on Third Floor. The room will open at 4:15pm.

3/16: New York Therapy Dogs R.E.A.D. Program with Fritz and Chucky
11am, Yorkville Library, 222 East 79th Street}
Pre-registration is required for each 15-minute slot and opens 1 week in advance. Available every Saturday in the children's story-time room.

3/17: St. Patrick’s Day: A Tribute to the Tredwells’ Irish Servants with Bridget Murphy
12:30 pm-7:30 pm, Merchant’s House Museum, Manhattan

Cost: $13 General Admission, $8 Seniors/Students, MHM Members Free
3/17: Carter Burden Luncheon Club: Macy’s St Patrick’s Day Party               
12pm, 351 East 74th Street

3/17: St. Patrick’s Day Craft                      
3pm, Roosevelt Island Library, 524 Main street                                                      
Create a St. Patrick's Day themed craft using crayons, construction paper and glue. All materials will be provided. First come, first serve.

3/17: Book Discussion; Book of Unknown Americans                                               
6:30pm, Roosevelt Island Library, 524 Main street                                                           
Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez. The Book Discussion meets on the 3rd Thursday of the month (Sept.-June).

3/17: Bilingual Birdies (Spanish)
4pm, Yorkville Library, 222 East 79th Street
Geared toward children newborn through six years old, instruments provided.

3/18: Arts, Culture & Fun: The Public Theater presents Romeo and Juliet
6:30pm-8:30pm, Pelham Fritz Recreation Center
The Public Theater’s Mobile Unit will tour Shakespeare’s timeless tale of Romeo and Juliet to communities across New York City, including many NYC Parks locations. Free

3/19: New York Therapy Dogs R.E.A.D. Program with Fritz and Chucky
11am, Yorkville Library, 222 East 79th Street
Pre-registration is required for each 15-minute slot and opens 1 week in advance. Available every Saturday in the children's story-time room.

3/19: Dog Adoptions
11am - 3pm, Biscuits & Bath, 1064 First Avenue
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.

3/21: Advanced Microsoft Word 2010 
1pm-3pm, 67th Street Library  Explore more advanced features of Microsoft Word 2010.
Topics include mail merge, tables, text boxes, headers and footers, footnotes and endnotes.

3/21: LEGO: Designing a Dream City
3:30pm, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street                                                       
For Children, School Age (5-12 years).

3/22: Carter Burden Luncheon Club
1:15pm, 351 E. 74th Street                            
Boot Camp Gold uses an incredible array of age appropriate boot camp activities to help the participants improve balance, strength, and agility. These conditioning activities are designed to minimize stress on your joints. Participants will leave this class psyched and energized!

3/23: New York Therapy Dogs R.E.A.D. Program with Fritz and Chucky
11am, Yorkville Library, 222 East 79th Street
Pre-registration is required for each 15-minute slot and opens 1 week in advance. Available every Saturday in the children's story-time room.

3/23: Carter Burden Luncheon Club  
11am, 351 E. 74th Street                                  
Join Columbia University students for the last three sessions of our fall prevention workshop! You’ll learn about many different ways to keep yourself balanced at home and in the community.    

3/24:  Picture Book Story Time
4pm, Yorkville Library, 222 East 79th Street
Ages 3 and over.

3/25: March Craft Time
3pm, Yorkville Library, 222 East 79th Street
Ages 3 and over.

3/25: Carter Burden Luncheon Club  
11am, 351 E. 74th Street                                 
Life Planning Documents (e.g. wills & trusts)

3/26: Free Media Coverage for Business Owners
11am, Yorkville Library, 222 East 79th Street
Dr. Bruce Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz Strategic Staffing, Ltd., will explain how, on a zero budget, he had been able to secure unprecedented media attention.

3/26: New York Therapy Dogs R.E.A.D. Program with Fritz and Chucky
11am, Yorkville Library, 222 East 79th Street
Pre-registration is required for each 15-minute slot and opens 1 week in advance. Available every Saturday in the children's story-time room.

3/26: Mobile Adoption Center
12 - 4pm, Manhattan Veterinary Group, 240 East 80th Street
ACC’s Mobile Adoption Center will be at Manhattan Veterinary Group with great cats and dogs looking for loving homes!  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.

3/28: The Happiest Show On Earth          
3:30pm, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street                                                            
For children ages 3 to 6 years old with parent/caregiver.

3/28: Cell Phone Buying Guide: Basics
1pm – 3pm, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street           

3/28: LEGO: Designing a Dream City
3:30pm, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street                                                         
For Children, School Age (5-12 years)

3/28: Kid Flicks
4pm, Yorkville Library, 222 East 79th Street
Showing; Caps for Sale & Winnie The Pooh & Tigger Too. However, all films subject to last minute substitutions.

3/29: Friends Awards                     
6:30pm, The Cosmopolitan Club, 122 East 66th Street                                                  
We are pleased to hold our 33rd Annual Meeting & Awards Ceremony at the Cosmopolitan Club. The Regency Revival-style building was designed by architect Thomas Harlan Ellett in 1932 and is a fitting setting to recognize the fine restoration, renovation, and advocacy work on the Upper East Side over the past year.

3/30: New York Therapy Dogs R.E.A.D. Program with Fritz and Chucky
11am, Yorkville Library, 222 East 79th Street
Pre-registration is required for each 15-minutes slot and opens 1 week in advance. Available every Saturday in the children's story-time room.

3/30: Embodied: Coping with Cancer and Body Image Changes
5:30pm-7pm, 430 East 67th Street, Room 117
This program will cover common body image concerns among cancer survivorsRegistration is required prior to attending. Please call 646-888-8106 or email rlacatmskcc [dot] org.

3/31: Picture Book Story Time
4pm, Yorkville Library, 222 East 79th Street
Ages 3 and over.

Community Resources

Early Childhood Literacy Resources

City’s First Readers is a City Council sponsored collaboration of nonprofit organizations that provides programs and services to build literacy skills for young children. The organization operates in all five boroughs fostering the literacy development of NYC children, ages 0-5. You can learn more about City’s First Readers and find a program near you by visiting http://www.citysfirstreaders.com/

Volunteers of Legal Service (VOLS) Elderly Project Legal Clinic

Volunteers of Legal Service, Inc. Elderly Project Legal Clinics on the Upper East Side  are held at the Carter Burden Center for the Aging (351 East 74th Street) on the second Friday at 2pm and at the Stanley Isaacs Senior Center (415 East 93rd Street) on the 3rd Friday at 10am. Contact information is as follows:
At Carter Burden: Velda Murad, LMSW at 212-879-7400 (fax 212-879-9864)
At Stanley Isaacs: Amy Loewenberg, LCSW, ACSW at 212-360-7620 ext. 112 (fax 212-360-7629)

El Museo del Barrio Group Visits for Schools

El Museo offers a variety of free guided visits facilitated by museum educators for grades Pre-K – 12. All of their programs are offered in English, Spanish, or as bilingual programs. K-12 Guided visits and hands-on workshops align with NYS Learning Standards, NYC Blueprint for the Arts, National Visual Arts Standards, and Common Core State Standards.

During their inquiry-based guided visits, museum educators facilitate interactive discussions while encouraging observation and discovery, analysis and interpretation as well as the sharing of individual perspectives. Groups have the option of a sixty-minute art making workshop to enhance their guided visit. Hands-on workshops can include a variety of materials and forms such as printmaking, painting, collage, drawing, creative writing, and movement.

For additional information and to book a visit please visit their website.

Metropolitan Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty (Met Council) Hotline

Met Council provides immediate aid to people in crisis and creates pathways to self-sufficiency through: the largest kosher food pantry system in America, emergency financial assistance, domestic violence intervention, home repairs, homecare, benefits enrollment and affordable housing.

You can call their hotline at 212-453-9539 to receive information and referrals, case management, and if necessary financial assistance to mitigate pending eviction or utility shut off.

DOROT – Serving Older Adults for 40 Years

Interested in participating in a lively discussion from the comfort of your own home? Join us on DOROT’s University Without Walls, our teleconference program that offers hundreds of classes and conversations each year on the arts, history, current events, wellness and more. Experts facilitate lively discussions and classes are always kept small so everyone can participate.

DOROT offers a diverse range of programs for older adults, including our Door To Door program, where specially-trained travel companions escort seniors to medical appointments. To learn more, please visit our website at www.dorotusa.org or call 212-769-2850.

New York Foundation for Senior Citizens' Home Sharing Program

New York Foundation for Senior Citizens’ Home Sharing Program is a free service that matches compatible persons throughout New York City’s five boroughs in shared living arrangements in dwellings rented or owned by one of the participants. One of the persons participating in the match must be age 60 or older. Prospective “hosts”, who have a private bedroom available, are matched with responsible, compatible “guests” seeking suitable, affordable housing.  Guests contribute toward household expenses and in some cases may provide household services in exchange for free or reduced household contributions.  For more information, call 212-962-7559.

Respite Care Program

New York Foundation for Senior Citizens’ Respite Care Program provides affordable ($9.00 per hour), short-term home care by certified home attendants for frail elderly, 60 years of age or older, who live alone or whose caregivers require relief from their care giving responsibilities. Services include personal care, meal preparation, shopping, escorting, light housekeeping and laundry.  For more information, call 212-962-7559.