May News and Participatory Budgeting Results

The results are in for participatory budgeting!

It has been a busy month between that and gearing up for a fight on the luxury mega-tower planned for Sutton Place. 

I hope to see you at First Friday tomorrow morning to discuss it all (as a reminder, it is from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at my District Office at 244 East 93rd St. RSVP online.) You can also join the Attorney General's office and me on May 5th on preventing identity theft. RSVP. There will also be a Roosevelt Island Town Hall on the 21st.

This April, New Yorkers celebrated holidays with their loved ones, or simply celebrated spring. I enjoyed a Passover Seder with friends and family. How did you celebrate the spring or the holidays?

I hope to hear from you soon.


Ben Kallos

Table of Contents

1. Participatory Budgeting
2. Fighting the Marine Transfer Station
3. Let in the Light, Not the Superscrapers
4. Passover Seder
5. 50th Anniversary of the Landmarks Law
6. Free School Meals
7. Safety for Schoolchildren
8. Debt-Free College
9. Better Subsidized Childcare
10. Council Member for a Day
11. Fighting Corruption Through the Civil Service
12. Fair Treatment for Airport Workers
13. Fight for $15
14. Small Business Hearing
15. Budget
16. Fire at East 78th Street
17. Community Board Appointments
18. 81st St Bridge
19. Establishing Friends of Ruppert Park
20. The Big Swim
21. Adopt-A-Planter
22. Tree Census
23. Cherry Blossom Festival
24. Hack Roosevelt Island
25. ASC Ribbon Cutting
Civic Technology and Participation
26. Register to Vote with Your Lease
27. CityCouncil2.0
28. CUNY Law Panel
29. Open Standards With Carl Malamud
30. Open Government Leaders Around the World
31. Five Borough Tech Tour
32. GovLab Class
Office Updates
33. Ben in Your Building
34. Here to Help
35. Summer Internship
36. Legislative Corner
37. In the Neighborhood
38. City Council Events
39. Mobile District Hours
40. Community Events

Participatory Budgeting

Thank you to over 2,000 of you who voted in participatory budgeting and decided on how to spend $1 million in our community. In the schools, parks, public housing, libraries, neighborhood centers and mobile locations across the district, as well as my office.

Over the course of 10 days, 2,140 of you turned out to vote a total for a total of 6,963 votes. I am pleased to announce the top vote getters for the $1,000,000 were green roofs for PS/IS 217 and PS 151. Both projects will cost more than the $500,000 that each won this year and may be back on the ballot next year or until they are fully funded.

There were many other worthy projects, and additional funding decisions will be made by July. Congratulations to the winners and all who participated! So you can learn more and better organize for next year, we are releasing vote totals and paper ballot results by project and poll site, and have profiles of the winners at PS 151 and PS/IS 217. 

If you have thoughts on the participatory budgeting process or interest in becoming more involved next cycle, please sign up. We would like to hear from you, and are already looking forward to next year!

Fighting the Marine Transfer Station

This month, I presented the case against the Marine Transfer Station before the Sierra Club, arguing that it is bad for the city’s waste stream and environmental efforts. I believe it is important to go before many different community groups to advocate against the Marine Transfer Station, and I will continue to do so whenever possible.

In other news, this month, Pledge 2 Protect is collecting community letters to send to the New York State Department of Environmental Control, asking them to revoke the permits for the project.
Submit a letter through Pledge 2 Protect, and  please copy my office so we can keep track.

I strongly oppose the Marine Transfer Station and am continuing to fight it. I also support the community's call to move the ramp one block north so that it does not bisect Asphalt Green. In response to my questioning, the administration has said that a decision on the ramp is expected this month. Regardless of the placement of the ramp, this is still the wrong place for a garbage dump.

Let in the Light, Not the Superscrapers

A 900-foot luxury megatower could be coming to Sutton Place, as covered in Our Town. If built, it would become one of the tallest buildings in Manhattan. I am deeply concerned about this project blocking light and air for the rest of the community, and the implications it will have on luxury sky-high development in the future.

You can read my opinion editorial in Our Town expressing my opposition.

If you would like to help, please sign the petition on my website and share it with your friends and neighbors:

This will help demonstrate that you are part of the efforts to protect the community against a 900 luxury development and are interested in the issue of over-development and rezoning across the city.

I will be meeting with residents around the Sutton Area Community to hear directly from neighbors and organize the community against the proposal. If you host 10 or more neighbors in your building, I will be happy to join you. Please email
scheduleratbenkallos [dot] com to schedule a time, and please let your neighbors know about the possibility.

Passover Seder

Every year, I come together with friends and staff from all backgrounds to reflect on the past and the year ahead through a Passover Seder. On this special day, we consider the importance of recalling the past and using its lessons to guide us in the future. How did you spend your spring holiday?

50th Anniversary of the Landmarks Law

We celebrated the
Fiftieth Anniversary of the Landmarks Law with a proclamation at City Hall. Our landmarks are essential to our city's character, and this law is even more relevant and urgently needed today.


Free School Meals

No child should go hungry during the school day. My legislation, covered in the
Wall Street Journal, would release information to the Council and the public on:

  • The number of students participating in school breakfast before the bell and free school after the bell
  • The number of qualifying students participating in after-school meals, snacks and supper
  • Free salad bars, use and selection of vegetables
  • Steps to increase participation through special initiatives and new proposals.  

Only 35% of students who eat free school lunch have free school breakfast. This legislation is one step forward in our fight to get universal breakfast after the bell. To learn more, please read the coverage in the Wall Street Journal or the press release.
Safety for Schoolchildren

joined Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Council Members Brad Lander and Vanessa Gibson in calling for more school crossing guards. During my visits to every school in the district, the demand for more crossing guards—from parents, teachers and students alike—has been one of the top-identified needs. As part of the City Council’s Preliminary Budget Response, we requested additional funds to hire more crossing guards and pay them more to keep our children safe. 

Debt-Free College

The time has come to say “enough” to the skyrocketing price of college. Our students cannot continue to graduate with an average of $29,000 in debt, debt that often stays with them for decades. I stood with Demos, the Progressive Change Committee and Hunter College Students to demand debt-free college. Our students' futures depend on it.

Better Subsidized Childcare

a bill I introduced this month, the New York City Administration for Child Services (ACS), which oversees the largest city childcare system in the nation, would become increasingly transparent and accountable. ACS-subsidized childcare programs, serving around 120,000 low-income children annually, have been plagued by under-enrollment and daycare center closures. Government, the public and watchdog groups would have access to more detailed information on the programs under the new bill, which requires reporting on:

  • Closure of childcare centers
  • Steps taken to prevent closures
  • Notification to children and staff
  • Efforts to transition employees to new childcare centers
  • Changes in procedure regarding eligibility for subsidized childcare
  • Average time elapsed between application to ACS
  • Placement in childcare by borough
  • The number of children using subsidized childcare sorted by those using additional preventive services and those in foster care.

You can read the press release on my website.

Council Member for a Day

What would you do as Council Member for a Day? One student in grades 5 through 8 who enters my essay contest describing what they would do will win a trip to City Hall during stated session to be Council Member for a Day. The deadline has been extended to May 8. Please submit your essays directly to my office to bkallosatbenkallos [dot] com (subject: Council%20Member%20for%20a%20Day) by email or 244 E 93rd St. by mail.

Summer Reading Challenge

Join my summer reading challenge! Students who read five books from the NYPL lists (or your own school's list) will be honored at an end-of-summer ceremony and receive a certificate from our office. Please visit to learn more and contact my office to sign up.


Fighting Corruption Through the Civil Service 

Together with Council Member I. Daneek Miller, we successfully pushed DCAS to lower the amount of time between the administration of the civil service exam and establishment on the list for civil service jobs. Imagine taking a test and having to wait more than a year to know the results, or if you qualified for a much-needed job from it. As covered in the 
Chief-Leader, our advocacy and a series of hearings reduced the wait periods from 439 days last year to 244 days over the same span this year.

Fair Treatment for Airport Workers

I joined airport workers protesting against unfair treatment by subcontractors Aviation Safeguards outside of British Airways. At the protest, we directly requested a meeting with British Airways about the unfair treatment from their subcontractor, but we were unfortunately denied. Nonetheless, we still practiced our right to protest. Watch the
video online. All New Yorkers deserve the right to a fair wage and to organize free from harassment. 

Fight for $15

On April 15, 2015, workers around the nation mobilized to advocate for $15 an hour. Paying our workers a livable wage is essential in today’s economy to ensure that everyone can support their families and save taxpayer dollars by reducing the amount spent on social services. I proudly support the Fight for 15 and will keep standing with our city's workers until it becomes reality.

Small Business Hearing

As Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations of the City Council, I co-chaired a hearing with Council Member Robert Cornegy, Chair of the Committee on Small Business Services, on a series of bills designed to make it easier for small business owners to navigate city systems and succeed.


The City Council has released its
budget response, and I am pleased that many items that I support and have advocated for are part of our response. You can read the full document online. I will keep pushing for these important programs to be funded in the final budget. If you see items you care about in the budget, please let me know so we can work together to champion these issues.

Fund new school construction: In response to my questions at hearings, the Department of Education stated that they needed 49,000 new seats in schools to meet needs. Yet the budget only funds for 32,629 additional seats. I am calling for 49,000 new seats in the final budget to reduce overcrowding.

A more secure New York City: Last year, the City Council and I successfully pushed for the civilianization of 200 NYPD positions so that 200 more uniformed officers could patrol the streets. We are also advocating for an additional 1,000 officers in the NYPD to keep more communities safe.

Cut the case management waitlist and homecare waitlists: Seniors must have access to healthcare they need, and this means investing more in the city’s programs that support seniors to reduce the care waitlists by hundreds.

Affordable housing and illegal hotels: Thanks to efforts from myself and my colleagues, the City Council is pushing to increase funding for the Office of Special Enforcement to crack down on illegal hotels. With the Council’s proposal that the Office of Special Enforcement budget increase to $3.6 million, New York City would be better positioned to enforce against landlords who create illegal hotels.

Safe streets: My team met with the advocacy group
Transportation Alternatives on the need to fund infrastructure improvements and street safety methods that will keep all New Yorkers safer. We must invest in Vision Zero in the city budget.

Transparency: It is essential that the Mayor’s administration propose to the Council and the public an accurate and detailed preliminary budget. The Council requires details on capital plans to effectively represent New Yorkers in the budget process. 

Pay as you go capital: I support reallocating $250 million to pay for capital projects with money we already have, rather than using debt. This is part of my goal to keep the city financially responsible by reducing our debt.

Pied-à-Terre tax: New York City has become a repository for the world’s wealth, largely in the form of luxury real estate that drives up housing costs for the rest of us. I support a tax on non-resident buyers to disincentive the practice and help the city support affordable housing options.

Bolster staff at the Commission on Human Rights: The New York City Commission Human Rights (NYCCHR) does invaluable work to protect the civil rights violations for New Yorkers each year, but for too long it has been underfunded. My anti-tenant blacklist legislation, currently in committee, requires that the agency handle complaints over tenant discrimination—just one example of how the agency would need greater funding to fully effectively carry out its mission.

Summer youth employment: Youth should have economic opportunities over the summer and a way to stay engaged and occupied. I support a Council initiative that would create more summer jobs for youth, and a year-round program to bolster youth employment. 
Increase funding for beacons: These community centers serving ages 6 and up and adults are essential neighborhood services. The City Council calls for all of the 80 Beacons to be funded at the same rate—$407,000 per year. 

Provide $200 million in capital funds to NYCHA: There is a huge gap between what the federal government provides for NYCHA and the funding required to keep our public housing in a state of good repair. The city must invest funds in public housing to improve infrastructure.


Fire at East 78th Street

On April 8, a fire broke out at 78th Street between 1st and 2nd, injuring four. You can see more on CBS2. This follows a March 27 fire that engulfed an apartment building at 66th and 1st—not to mention the horrific East Village fire that killed two last month. I thank the FDNY for their incredible work in all of these instances. My office reached out to offer assistance to those affected by the Upper East Side fires and is here to help. Please contact us at 212-860-1950 or by email if you or anyone you know is in need of assistance.

Community Board Appointments

This month, I announced  the appointment of a sixteen-year-old and six new members to Community Board 8 Manhattan: Zoe Markowitz, David Menegon, Glen Pandolfino, Loraine Brown, Peter Patch and Dr. Katherine LaGuardia. The new members make up more than 10% of the community board, and I am proud to have appointed such a talented and hardworking group. You can learn more about my appointments and their biographies.

81st St Bridge

Our community came together to propose a stop and redesign of the 81st St Pedestrian Bridge to make it more beautiful, more accessible and preserve views of the Esplanade. Together with CIVITAS and representatives from the offices of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright and Council Member Dan Garodnick, we testified before the Public Design Commission on the proposal. The design passed, but with some key changes that have the potential to integrate the look of the bridge into the community better. Read the testimony online.

Establishing Friends of Ruppert Park

It is my goal to start and support a conservancy to every park in my district. I joined Friends of Ruppert Park in an early meeting led by
Nancy Ploeger to start to plan a Friends of Ruppert Park conservancy so we can revitalize this valuable neighborhood asset. I also secured $100,000 in the city budget to irrigate Ruppert Park. Read more in Our Town.

The Big Swim

I grew up across from Asphalt Green and attended as a child. Later, I trained for triathlons there. That is how I know firsthand the incredible work that they do. It was a pleasure to see Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Liz Krueger and Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright at the Asphalt Gree
n Big Swim on Saturday, April 25, where I presented a proclamation to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the event. The Big Swim is an incredible event that raises money to help tens of thousands of children from all backgrounds access fitness programs. Visit Asphalt Green's website to learn more.


Have you noticed that the plantings along First Avenue are looking nicer? That's in part because of my office's Adopt-A-Planter program in partnership with Upper Green Side and its head, Sarah Gallagher. If you wish to exercise your green thumb on our city streets, please contact my office.

Tree Census

The 2015 Tree Count has been announced by the New York City Parks Department, and you can protect NYC greenery by signing up to help. To assist counting trees in parts of the East Side, you can contact community groups Upper Green Side or Friends of the East River Esplanade at uppergreensideatgmail [dot] com or 212-759-6895.

Cherry Blossom Festival

What a beautiful afternoon to attend Roosevelt Island's Cherry Blossom Festival and deliver a proclamation for organizer extraordinaire Junko Hasegawa. Thanks to all Roosevelt Islanders who made this such a special day.

Hack Roosevelt Island

It was a pleasure to join Roosevelt Island seniors for an incredible tech event at the Cornell NYC-Tech campus. As a software developer, it is clear that learning technology skills can be very useful, and I hope to work with many more members of the community on learning STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

ASC Ribbon Cutting

Aids Service Center New York City does incredible work to assist New Yorkers with HIV/AIDS. It was my honor to cut the ribbon at a new location along with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, New York State Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, and Council Members Rosie Mendez and Inez Dickens.

Civic Technology and Participation

Register to Vote with Your Lease

As covered in the
Daily News, I introduced a bill that would require landlords to provide voter registration forms with a new residents’ lease. According to the Furman Center, approximately two-thirds of New Yorkers are renters—and, when they move to a new location, New Yorkers are legally required to change their voter registration forms within 25 days. This bill makes it easier to register and more likely that recently relocated residents will vote.


The City Council released its digital plan for more engagement and more innovative tools, a product of hard work between myself, the City Council Speaker and many other members. The plan includes changes to the City Council website and an Open Application Processing Interface (API) that allows app-makers to create their own tools with information from the City Council’s legislative website. I am proud to have helped shape the open technology plan as part of the City Council's rules reform. You can read more in
Gotham Gazette and AmNY.

CUNY Law Panel

You can use your law degree in public service – I know, because I did. I addressed a crowd of CUNY Law Students on the benefits and possibilities for using your law degree as a public servant. 

Open Standards With Carl Malamud 

Carl Malamud is an
open government hero and one of the leaders in the movement to release public domain records. It was a pleasure to meet one of my personal heroes and talk about how to make government more open and accountable.

Open Government Leaders Around the World

Last month, I had a great time meeting with open government local leaders in Brazil and Turkey. It has been my pleasure to host local government delegations interested in transparent, accountable and data-driven government here in New York City and I hope to continue to do so.

Five Borough Tech Tour

I have joined multiple five-borough technology tour events in Manhattan to present on the integration of technology tools and government. Our technology industry here in New York city is deeply important, and these meetings are essential to growing collaboration between private tech companies and government.

GovLab Class

The Civic Tech for local legislatures and legislators class taught by me and Dr. Arnaud Sahuguet, Chief Technology Officer of the GovLab, has just ended. Congratulations to all who completed the course, and I look forward to giving you updates as the projects are launched and improve our government!

Office Updates

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. Last month, I went to two 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 (subject: Ben%20In%20Your%20Building) in order to schedule a "Ben in Your Building" event.

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:

  • For seniors: Medicare savings, Meals-on-Wheels, Access-A-Ride;
  • Housing: searching for affordable units, free legal housing clinic at my office; 
  • Jobs: training and assistance, unemployment benefits;
  • Families: Universal Pre-K, Head Start, After-School programs;
  • Finances: cash assistance, tax credits, home energy assistance; and
  • Nutrition: Food Stamps (SNAP), WIC, free meals for all ages.
Please also call me with any unresolved 311 complaints. Contact us at bkallosatbenkallos [dot] com or 212-860-1950 to get started.

Summer Internship

Interns and fellows at our Council office learn firsthand about city government, work closely with senior staff and are encouraged to pursue a project of their own choosing. If you or someone you know is interested in applying to an internship with my government office, please email internshipatbenkallos [dot] com (internshipatbenkallos [dot] com) with a resume and cover letter. Visit to learn more.

Legislative Corner

This month, I cosponsored two pieces of legislation designed to combat discrimination in New York City. The first, Local Law 032/2015, introduced by Council Member Lander, establishes a testing program for housing discrimination. The second, Local Law 033/2015, introduced by Council Member Mealy, creates a testing program for employment discrimination. These two bills will strengthen the investigative and oversight power of the New York City Commission on Human Rights in its mission to ensure all New Yorkers have equal opportunities earn a job and secure a place to live.

In the Neighborhood

This month, I joined plenty of community events and celebrations. Here are just a few: 

CB6, CB8, CB11, Stanley Isaacs Tenants Association, East 79th and  East Sixties Neighborhood Associations, 360 East 72nd, Friends of Ruppert Park, Ben in Your Building; Latin Beat on the Esplanade; and benefits and auctions for PS 527, Eleanor Roosevelt High School, and The Gillen Brewer School.

If you would like to invite me to a community event, please email scheduleratbenkallos [dot] com (scheduleratbenkallos [dot] com) or call my office at 212-860-1950.

City Council Events

5/1: First Friday
8am-10am, First Friday of the Month, District Office at 244 East 93rd St.
Please join me for my next First Friday event. This is a chance for me to meet you in person to discuss what's important to you and how to make our neighborhood a better place to live. Please
RSVP online or call 212-860-1950. I look forward to seeing you there.

5/4: Against Cyber Bullying
1:15-2:15,Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center
Forum on cyber bullying. Protect yourself in online interactions. Co-hosted with Older Adults Technology Services.

5/5: Identity Theft Forum with the Attorney General's Office
6:00pm-8:00pm, 92Y Warburg Lounge, 1395 Lexington Ave
Please join us to learn more about identity theft and how to prevent it. Co-sponsored by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, State Senator Liz Krueger, Assembly Members Dan Quart and Rebecca Seawright and Council Member Dan Garodnick. RSVP.

5/12: Policy Night 
6:00-7:00pm, Second Tuesday of the Month, District Office at 244 East 93rd St.
If you are looking to become more involved in your community, please consider joining a District Five policy committee. Committees include education, environment, senior services and more. Please
RSVP online or call 212-860-1950.

5/21: Roosevelt Island Town Hall
7:00 p.m., Chapel of the Good Shepherd
Please join us, Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright and elected officials for a Roosevelt Island Town Hall.

Free Senior Fitness Classes

Please join us for FREE senior fitness classes in the John Jay bathhouse on Mondays and Wednesdays  from 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, there will also be a 9:30 a.m. walking class, and a 10:30 a.m. yoga class. Please contact my office with any questions. For either of these two classes, please register

Exercising is a key to good health, and I hope you will join in for these free classes.

Special thanks to the East 79th Street Neighborhood Association, the Parks Department and the City Parks Foundation.

Free Legal Housing Clinics
Every Thursday, First and Third Monday of the Month

We now host one clinic every first and third Monday of the month, and one clinic every Thursday from 2:30 to 6:00 p.m. If you have any legal questions regarding housing, please join us at either clinic to speak with a volunteer attorney. You must make an appointment in advance. Please call our office at 212-860-1950 or email us at InfoatBenKallos [dot] com to reserve a time slot. We look forward to assisting you!

Mobile District Hours

Get assistance wherever you are located. Please join us at mobile district hours (please note the new dates and hours):

Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center, 415 East 93rd Street
Second Tuesday of the Month, 2-5PM
Lexington Houses, 1773 Third Avenue
Second Wednesday of the Month, 2-5PM
Carter Burden Senior Center, 351 East 74th Street
Third Wednesday of the Month, 2-5PM

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, 331 East 70th Street
Fourth Tuesday of the Month, 2-5PM
Roosevelt Island Senior Center, 546 Main Street
Fourth Wednesday of the Month, 2-5PM

Appointments after 5 p.m. available upon request.

Community Events

5/2: I Love My Park Day at FDR Four Freedoms Park
9am - 12pm, FDR Four Freedoms Park, Roosevelt Island
Help enhance FDR Four Freedoms Park at their fourth annual I Love My Park Day, part of a statewide event celebrating New York’s parks and historic sites. Volunteers ages 13 and up will assist in general maintenance, including weeding, gravel upkeep, and water of plants. Register and learn more here and call 212-204-8831 or email parkatfdrffp [dot] org with any questions.
5/2: Jane’s Walk - Roosevelt House & FDR Four Freedoms Park
10am & 12pm, Roosevelt House, 47-49 East 65th Street
12pm & 2pm, FDR Four Freedoms Park, Roosevelt Island

Spend a day in the Roosevelt’s New York with two educational walking tours offered by Roosevelt House and FDR Four Freedoms Park. Begin with a tour of the historic townhouse home to Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt for over thirty years, offered at 10am or 12pm. Afterwards, take the tram to Roosevelt Island and learn more about FDR Four Freedoms Park and its origin, offered at 12pm and 2pm. Learn more here and email parksatfdrffp [dot] org with any questions or to register.

5/3: Jane’s Walk - East River Esplanade
11am - 12pm, East River Esplanade at 96th Street
Learn about the CIVITAS Vision Plan for the East River Esplanade at this free walking tour of the Esplanade. The tour will discuss the major improvements proposed in the plan, including the new gateway at 97th Street, reconstruction of Pier 107, and the living shoreline in East Harlem. Learn more here.

5/6: CB8 Transportation Committee
6:30p.m., Church of the Holy Trinity, 316 E 88th Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues
DOT will present on possible Citi Bike locations.

5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 5/27: SNAP Assistance Walk-in Clinic
10am - 1pm, Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, 331 East 70th Street
Every Wednesday, the Legal Advocacy Department at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House hosts a walk-in clinic for SNAP assistance. They can help you determine if you are eligible for SNAP benefits, as well as assist in the application process. For more information, please call 212-218-0429.

5/7: E 79th St Neighborhood Association
6:00 p.m., 
Temple Shaaray Tefila, 250 East 79th St. (2nd Ave.)
19th Precinct Police Report on neighborhood safety, including bicycle, vehicle and pedestrian accident stats; elected official reports; guest speaker TBA

5/8: Preview and Chat with St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble
7:30pm, The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, 450 West 37th Street
Sound artist Maria Chavez reveals her process for creating NYC Sonic Scores, 2015, her new work commissioned by and featuring St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, in this free demonstration. Join St. Luke’s for an interactive discussion and stay for an after-party and sound installation with the artist. RSVP and learn more here

5/9: NikosKids Performance
11am - 11:45am, FDR Four Freedoms Park, Roosevelt Island
Bring your children for a performance by NikosKids, a folk band whose songs focus on everyday childhood and family life. Suggested for children up to 8 years old. Learn more here.

5/9: Yorkville Scavenger Hunt
1pm - 4pm, Southwest Corner of East 91st and 2nd Avenue
How well do you know the Upper East Side? Join FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts for a high-tech scavenger hunt and learn more about Yorkville’s cultural and social history along the way. The event is free and open to all ages, with both teams and individuals encouraged to join. Learn more and register here.

5/10: It’s My Park Day - Spring Edition
11am - 4pm, East River Esplanade at 96th Street
Join Upper Green Side in their continued efforts to beautify the East River Esplanade. They will be working on the 96th Street Planter, including cleaning, weeding, planting, and painting. Snacks will be provided. Learn more here. 

5/16: Volunteer Gardening at Carl Schurz Park
9:30am - 12:30pm, Carl Schurz Park, 86th Street Mall at East End Avenue
Join the Carl Schurz Park Volunteer Gardeners, an adult group that meets monthly to work in the park. Children must be accompanied by adults, learn more here.

5/16: Family Saturdays at the New York City Ballet
11am - 12pm, David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, Columbus Avenue and West 63rd Street
Bring your children to New York City Ballet’s Family Saturdays, an hour-long introduction to NYCB and classical dance featuring short works and excerpts. The theme in May is “Musical Medley,” showcasing ballet excerpts and a wide variety of music. Tickets are regularly $20, but a limited number of discounted $5 tickets are available with the promo code 5FAMSAT. Learn more and purchase tickets here here or by calling 212-496-0600.

5/16: Posters for the People Workshop & Talk
1pm - 4pm, FDR Four Freedoms Park, Roosevelt Island
During the Works Progress Administration, artists made over 33,000 posters that helped to spread ideas within their community and advance poster design. At this hands-on workshop, you can screen-print your own Four Freedoms poster. At 2:30pm, Posters for the People author Ennis Carter will give a talk about the WPA in honor of its 80th anniversary. Learn more here.
5/17: NYPD Document Shredding & E-Waste Collection
10am - 1pm, In Front of NY Sports Club, 151 East 86th Street
To help prevent identity theft, the NYPD’s Crime Prevention Section will provide free document shredding. They will also be collecting e-waste, including old computers, laptops, keyboards, and more, for proper disposal and free data destruction, if required. Learn more here here.

5/18: Walk-in Housing/Eviction Prevention Clinic
10am - 1pm, Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, 331 East 70th Street
On the third Monday of every month, the Legal Advocacy Department at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House hosts a walk-in clinic for eviction or other landlord-tenant issues. For more information, please call 212-218-0429.

5/20: Heirloom Gardening
6:30pm - 8pm, Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, 421 East 61st Street
Join the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden for a talk by heritage farmer Ken Greene, which will focus on New York’s gardening heritage illustrated through images from the Hudson Valley Seed Library’s vintage collection. Tickets are $10, free for Museum members. Learn more here and call 212-838-6878 with questions or to purchase tickets.