May News: PB Winners, $100M for Esplanade, Pre-K Seats, Free CUNY, Tenants Rights and More

 

Thank you to all the parents, teachers, delegates, and the 2,421 voters who made the 2017 Participatory Budgeting process a huge success by voting on how we spend $1 million. And the winners are: P.S. 183’s Science and STEM Lab and the P.S. 198/77 Playground Renovation!

This month, we joined Mayor Bill de Blasio in announcing $100 million to add 8 new blocks of parkland and close the gap on the East River Esplanade from 53rd to 61st Streets. We also worked with Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to include a request for $169 million in the City Council's preliminary budget response to continue necessary repairs to the Esplanade.

I continue to lead the fight for Pre-Kindergarten seats on the Upper East Side, where 300 four-year-olds are being asked to commute out of district as far as the Financial District for Pre-K. In response, parents, children, and elected officials rallied for Pre-K for All to include seats on the Upper East Side. As we continue to fight for school seats, I have been advocating for Universal Childcare for all city children from birth to four, and the city has taken a big step with a plan to provide Pre-K to three-year-olds too.

Governor Cuomo announced the first in the nation Excelsior Scholarship for students whose families make $125,000 per year or less, who will now qualify for free college tuition at all City (CUNY) and State (SUNY) two- and four-year colleges in New York State as long as they live in state. When I ran for office in 2013, one of the "fresh ideas" for which the New York Times endorsed me was providing a debt-free higher education for CUNY students. I am proud to support Governor Cuomo's program.

Legislation I authored to “Get Big Money Out of New York City Politics” by matching every small dollar got a hearing, a rally, and support from a broad coalition of organizations representing communities of color, immigrants, tenants, preservation, good government, candidates, and regular New Yorkers.

In celebration of Earth Day, I joined in the “March for Science” and introduced legislation to make New York City greener by decreasing light pollution, increasing commercial recycling and mandating zero waste by 2030 to make the MTS obsolete.

Do you want to learn more about your rights as a tenant? Join me on Thursday, May 18, you for a Housing Forum with presentations on your rights as a tenant, how to organize your building, how you can get involved in our campaign to lower rent for rent stabilized tenants, with housing experts on hand to answer your questions. The event will begin at 6pm at the Julia Richman Education Complex located at 317 East 67th Street. RSVP

Please join me for First Friday on Cinco de Mayo. I would also like to wish my mother and all the District 5 mothers a Happy Mother’s Day.

Sincerely, 


Ben Kallos
Council Member

SPECIAL EVENTS:

May 18, 6pm
Housing Forum

May 20, 10am-2pm
Shred-A-Thon

DISTRICT OFFICE EVENTS

May 5, 8am - 10am
First Friday

May 9, 6pm
Brainstorming With Ben

May 25, 6pm
6:00pm - 7:30pm
Citi Bike Skills Class

May 29
Office Closed 
Memorial Day

TABLE OF CONTENTS

HEADLINES

  1. Participatory Budgeting Winners
  2. $100 Million to Expand the East River Esplanade
  3. Get Big Money Out of City Politics
  4. Construction Safety Bill Passes
  5. Tenants Rights Forum in May

EDUCATION

  1. Free City and State University
  2. Universal Childcare: 3K Announced
  3. Rally for UPK on the Upper East Side

ENVIRONMENT

  1. Earth Day Kickoff
  2. March For Science
  3. Fighting Light Pollution
  4. Recycling and Zero Waste
  5. Pre-Memorial Day Shred-A-Thon

HOUSING AND ZONING

  1. Fighting Tenant Harassment
  2. Rezoning Sutton
  3. Rally Against Proposed Cuts to Housing
  4. New Affordable Housing on the UES
  5. Reforming Zoning

TRANSPORTATION

  1. Ferry Service Launch
  2. Dangerous Intersection
  3. CitiBike Safety Class
  4. Bike Safety Program
  5. Celebrating Bike New York
  6. SBS Stop at East 72nd Street

MARINE TRANSFER STATION

  1. Street Safety Improvements Around MTS
  2. Fighting the Marine Transfer Station

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

  1. Automatic Benefits at New York Presbyterian
  2. Curbing Tobacco Use in New York City 
  3. How to Help the Homeless

COMMUNITY

  1. Progressive Caucus Launches 18 for 18 Platform
  2. CourtESy: Court’s Education for Seniors
  3. Sutton Place and Carl Schurz Easter Egg Hunts
  4. Basketball With Ben
  5. Passover Seder with Team Kallos
  6. In the Community

OFFICE UPDATES

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

EVENTS AND RESOURCES

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

 

Participatory Budgeting Announcing the Winners

Thank you to the 2,421 of Upper East Side & Roosevelt Island residents who voted in Participatory Budgeting and decided on how to spend $1 million in our community. I am pleased to announce the top vote-getters for this year’s process:

  • 1,514 votes – P.S. 183 Green Science and STEM Lab Classroom - $600,000
  • 1,139 votes – P.S. 198/77 Playground Renovation - $500,000

Although the P.S. 198/77 Playground Renovation exceeded the $1 million, I will allocate an additional $100,000 to fully fund the project. There were many other worthy projects, and additional funding decisions will be made by July. Congratulations to the winners and all who participated! You can learn more about Participatory Budgeting and begin to organize for next year, by visiting BenKallos.com/PB

If you have thoughts on the participatory budgeting process or are interested in becoming more involved next cycle, please sign up or email pbatbenkallos [dot] com.

 

$100 Million to Expand the East River Esplanade

As co-chair of the East River Esplanade Task Force with Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, I have made our greenway along the river a funding priority. This month, as covered in Metro New York and Patch, I was proud to join Mayor Bill de Blasio in announcing a $100 million investment in the Esplanade to connect it from 53rd Street to 61st Street. Our goal is to one day be able to walk, run, or bike all the way around Manhattan along the river.

At the same time, our progress continues farther north. This year’s City Council’s Budget response to the Mayor’s Preliminary spending plan, issued by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, features a request for $169 million in funding, as covered by Our Town. This investment, in the 10-year capital plan, would fully repair the seawall under the East River Esplanade from 61st to 135th street, adding to the repairs that started with the $49 million investment I previously secured from the City with Congress Member Maloney, public-private partnerships with Rockefeller University and Hospital for Special Surgery, and an annual investment from Speaker Mark-Viverito. Learn more from coverage in Our Town.

 

Get Big Money Out of City Politics

New York City’s campaign finance system matches the first $175 of contributions from residents by 6 to 1 and gives participating candidates a partial public matching grant of up to 55% of the spending limit in competitive races. This leaves more than 1/3 of the funds outstanding between the public matching grant and the spending limit, which must be reached to be competitive. The “big dollar gap” for Mayor is $2.5 million.

Introduction 1130-A that I authored and introduced with Council Members Lander and Cabrera, increases the public matching grant from an arbitrary partial match of 55% to a full match. Every small dollar raised from city residents would be matched 6 to 1. Candidates could still raise contributions of $4,950 for Mayor, but would be incentivized to seek small donations from many more residents by matching every small dollar.

As covered in the Gotham Gazette, I rallied with activists from: Citizen Action, New York Immigration Coalition, New York Communities for Change, Patriotic Millionaires, Strong Economy for All, Urban Justice Center, Tenants and Neighbors, Historic Districts Council, colleagues and candidates to get big money out of city politics with Introduction 1130-A. Following the rally, I held a hearing of the Committee on Governmental Operations at which a diverse coalition of good government, immigration, women in politics, housing, preservation, and economic justice groups testified in support of the bill. We also received supportive testimony from the Mayor’s office.

If you support Int. 1130-A contact you Council Member and ask them to sign on. For more information, read the Gotham Gazette article, watch the press conference and the hearing, and sign the petition. to get BIG MONEY OUT.

 

Construction Safety Bill Passes Council

Daily NewsThe New York Daily News reported on my Constructions Safety legislation that passed the council and is awaiting the Mayor’s signature to become law. In the last 2 years, a record 33 construction workers have been killed on the Job in New York City, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Department of Buildings (DOB) does not count all of them, especially non-workers who are injured. Under Int. 1433-A construction companies will be forced to report on all details surrounding injuries and deaths at constructions sites and the City will have to keep a comprehensive list of all of them. Contractors who do not keep these records face fines up to $25,000. We must count every injury and every life, so that we will know the who, what, where and why around every injury or death to help make construction in our city safer. Read more in the New York Daily News.

Tenants Rights Forum in May

Housing Forum
Tenants Rights, SCRIE/DRIE and Rent Guidelines Board Rent Rollback
Thursday, May 18, 2017, 6:00pm
Julia Richman Education Complex
317 East 67 Street, New York, NY
RSVP now

Learn about your rights as a tenant, how you can learn how to support a rent rollback, as well as hear presentations and ask questions about the Senior Citizen and Disabled Rent Increase Exemption. RSVP today at BenKallos.com.

 

EDUCATION

Free City and State University

I am proud to support Governor Cuomo’s first in the nation Excelsior Scholarship is for students whose families make $125,000 per year or less that will qualify for free college tuition at all City (CUNY) and State (SUNY) two- and four-year colleges in New York State as long as they live in state. When I ran for office in 2013, one of the "fresh ideas" for which the New York Times endorsed me was providing a debt-free higher education for CUNY students where the City would forgive student debt for every year the student remained in New York City after graduation so that the taxes from their increased income would pay for their education and more. The new program begins in the fall of 2017 and will be phased in over three years, for details visit, ny.gov/programs/tuition-free-degree-program-excelsior-scholarship

 

Universal Childcare: 3K Announced

Over the past three years, I have not only been fighting for universal pre-kindergarten on the city and on the Upper East Side, but for Universal Childcare. On April 6, as Vice-Chair for Policy of the Progressive Caucus, we announced as part of our platform for 2018, Universal Childcare including expanding Pre-Kindergarten from four-year-olds to three-year-olds as is permitted under Federal funding formulas. Two weeks later, on April 24, New York City launched an initiative to provide free, full-day, high-quality early childhood education to every single three-year-old in our City. The plan will be available to all children regardless of family income. Preparations for starting 3k will begin in the fall of 2017. For more information read the release.

 

Rally for UPK on the Upper East Side

 

FOX 5, ABC, NBC, CBS, WPIX , WNYC  and Our Town covered our “Rally for More Pre-K Seats on the Upper East Side” at St. Catherine’s Park with parents, children, and elected officials that included Public Advocate Tish James, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Liz Krueger, Assembly Members Quart and Seawright, and Council Member Dan Garodnick. We demanded that the Mayor and Department of Education keep their word and provide a local Universal Pre-K seat for the over 300 four-year-old’s who were not offered seats in the neighborhood.

Since taking office I have worked with community leaders and organization, providers and the Department of Education to bring hundreds of seats to this district and joined with Council Member Garodnick to bring dozens to the Upper East Side, quadrupling the number of seats for the 2016-17 school year to 618.

But this year, the Upper East Side lost seats, while applications increased leaving over 900 four-year-olds with only 596 seats on the Upper East Side, Roosevelt Island, and Midtown East. When we found out I authored a letter with Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Senator Liz Krueger, Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, Assembly Member Dan Quart and Council Member Dan Garodnick, to the Department of Education demanding seats for every four-year-old in the neighborhood.

Children have been assigned to schools not even listed as choices by parents as far away as the financial district. New York City made a promise to have Pre-K for all and until that promise, if fulfilled I will continue to push the DOE to make it happen. For more information read the release, see pictures or watch the press conference. For information of on UP-K, you can email my office at UPKatBenkallos [dot] com

 

ENVIRONMENT

Earth Day Kickoff Event

Thank you to all the residents and community organizations that participated in this year’s Earth Day Kickoff event. This year we had presentations and materials from Bike New York, Friends of the East River Esplanade,  Upper Green Side, Grow NYC, Department of Transportation and representatives from the Carl Schurz Conservancy and the Sutton Place Parks Conservancy. Thank you also to the Knickerbocker Plaza for hosting the event and to everyone that participated. Come pick up your free reusable bag from our district office and start saving the planet when bag at a time.

 

March For Science

On Earth Day, April 22, the New York Daily News covered a march with thousands that I was proud to join as the only elected official in the city with a background in computer science. You can see some of the best signs from the nerdiest march I've ever had the pleasure of participating in on facebook.com/benkallos. Many at the march, like me, were there to advocate for using science in decision making by government. Whether or not the President accepts climate change as a reality he should not be gutting budgets planned for scientific research or rolling back regulations that protect life on this planet.

 

Fighting Light Pollution

Gothamist and CBS Radio covered legislation I introduced in April in honor of Earth Day. The bill would require the city to use fully shielded streets lights moving forward to reduce light pollution for a darker night sky and a better night's sleep for New Yorkers. The legislation also protects wildlife, save energy, and improve traffic safety, all while keeping light out of apartment windows at night. New York City may be the city that ‘never sleeps’, but that shouldn’t be because of a street light outside your bedroom window. For more information read the release or Gothamist.

 

Recycling and Zero Waste

The New York Daily News covered legislation I introduced that would mandate businesses and any other location with accommodations for the public put out separate bins for trash, recycling, and compost. By improving waste separation at its source, my legislation aims to increase New York City’s dismal commercial recycling rate of 19%. As promised on my campaign, I have introduced legislation that would force New York City to achieve its goal of “Zero Waste by 2030” and come up with a viable plan to achieve it. New York City generates 44 million pounds of residential and commercial waste every day with only one-third diverted from landfills.Together these two bills will work to increase that number and make dumps like the Upper East Side Marine Transfer Station obsolete. For more information read the release or the New York Daily News.

Pre–Memorial Day Shred-A-Thon

On Saturday, May 20th at the 82nd Street Greenmarket from 10am to 2pm, the Upper Green Side is holding a Shred-A-Thon sponsored by Council Member Garodnick, Assembly Member Seawright and me. Make sure you come down and shred any documents that contain personal information in order to protect your privacy and identity. You bring the paper and the giant shredder truck turns it into microbits while you watch! You can also bring compost, eyeglasses, corks, batteries and cords. RSVP.

 

HOUSING AND ZONING

 

Fighting Tenant Harassment

Landlord-tenant harassment is a pressing problem in New York City, whether it is unreasonable construction noise or safety violations by landlords putting tenants at risk, a package of legislation totaling 12 bills was heard in the Committee on Housing and Buildings in April. My bill, Int. 931 would force landlords and property owners to actually respond to the violations and summonses they are given by the City for failing to make repairs, or else face the threat of foreclosure on their properties. For too long some landlords and building owners have neither fixed recurring problems on their properties nor paid the fines that go along with those violations, putting tenants in unsafe conditions sometimes for years on end. If my bill becomes law, that would stop. For more information on my bill and the rest of the package of legislation read the Stand for Tenant Safety release and coverage in City Land.

 

Rezoning Sutton, Update

Our application to rezone the Sutton area from 52nd to 59th Street East of First Avenue, is approaching certification, which would set off a series of votes for approval. The proposal, of which I am a co-applicant, alongside Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Liz Krueger, Council Member Dan Garodnick, and The East River 50s Alliance would cap any new buildings in this residential neighborhood at 260 feet. Presently because of obsolete zoning laws, Sutton Place has no height limit for developments, anything can be built. As a result, for more than a year developers have tried to get constructions started on what once was slated to be a 900-foot tower. Superscrapers have no business in residential neighborhoods and if there is going to be large-scale construction in congested neighborhoods like the Upper East Side developers should be required to build affordable housing and much-needed Pre-K seats.  For more information on what is coming next in the fight against this Superscraper read this month’s coverage in Curbed,  Patch and The Real Deal. To join the fight against Superscrapers, sign the petition at benkallos.com/petition/stopsuperscrapers

 

Rally Against Proposed Housing Cuts

I rallied with Community Voices Heard, hundreds of protesters and several Council Members at a demonstration against planned drastic cuts to funding at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) due to President Trump’s request to slash the Housing and Uban Development (HUD) Program’s capital budget by 68%. This would result in a cut to NYCHA’s budget of $216 million leaving repairs like fixing boilers, elevators and kitchens undone. The cuts would also ultimately result in the laying off of 1,200 NYCHA employees. This is not a time to cut NYCHA funding; we should be investing in it to make sure that the over 5% of New Yorkers who live in NYCHA facilities are not living in deplorable and dangerous conditions.   

 

New Affordable Housing on the UES

Applications are now being accepted for 20 newly constructed units at 321 East 60th Street in Manhattan, apply now at NYC Housing Connect.

 

Reforming Zoning

If you keep an eye on new buildings going up or planned for construction in our community, you’ve probably asked yourself, "Can They Build That?" I joined a panel discussion at New York University on April 27, organized by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP), to discuss the practices and impact of the little-known but powerful Board of Standards and Appeals. I am working to reform the Board, which I oversee as chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations, with a package of bills to make it more transparent, efficient, and modern. Thank you to Harry Bubbins, East Village and Special Projects Director at GVSHP and Professor Jon Ritter, Assistant Director of Urban Design and Architecture Studies in the NYU Department of Art History.

 

TRANSPORTATION

 

Ferry Service Launch

In case you missed it, I was proud to join the city in announcing the launch of the NYC Ferry in April. The new service will connect Astoria to Roosevelt Island, Long Island City and Midtown Manhattan, and off course lower manhattan. Once the ferry is up and running, rides will cost $2.75 and will connect to ferry landings in Queens and on Roosevelt Island to East 34th Street and Wall Street in Manhattan. Since 2012, I have been advocating for the Mayor and the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to look into making this system a reality. The $2.75 fare will help connect New Yorkers to economic opportunity through a ferry system that will improve commutes. For more information read the release.

 

Dangerous Intersections

Our beloved deli owner, Srymanean Manickam who residents knew as "Mano," was struck and killed while crossing from east to west in the northern crosswalk at 78th Street and York Avenue at 9:30pm on Saturday, April 22, according to DNAinfo. My office has reached out to Department of Transportation and the NYPD regarding safety concerns on this block before and will continue to work with them to make this and every intersection safer.

In my first year in office I launched a “Livable Streets” initiative for a neighborhood where residents can walk, bike, drive or take public transportation safely. A series of tragic traffic collisions in our neighborhood have reinforced the importance of Vision Zero, a city proposal, whose launch I participated in, to eliminate traffic fatalities — because no one should die from a preventable accident. I've asked 60,000 families in my district to identify dangerous intersections and streetscape improvements and using this feedback from the community I've released our first two reports on Livable Streets: Part I: Dangerous Intersections (PDF) and Part II: Street Improvements (PDF) as covered in the Daily News.

Following the report, the DOT and NYPD also released a Vision Zero Borough Pedestrian Safety Plan for Manhattan. They included included priority corridors on 1st, 2nd and 3rd Ave as well as intersections from my report: Lexington Avenue and East 86th Street, 2nd Avenue and East 79th Street, East 75th Street and 1st Avenue, East 62nd Street and 1st Avenue, 3rd Avenue and 57th Street, and 2nd Avenue and East 53rd Street.

Please report dangerous intersections and corners to my office, so we can pass them along to the relevant agencies. Please call or email our office with as much detail as possible or fill out the form at BenKallos.com/livable-streets

 

Free Bike Safety Classes Return

Free bike safety classes return to my office this month on Thursday, May 25 at 6pm. The CitiBike Street Skills Class, put on by Bike New York, touches on many of the topics addressed in our Street Skills Class (rules of the road, 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), but the focus is on how to navigate the Citi Bike system of docks and those now-ubiquitous blue bikes. Every participant will receive a free 24-hour Citi Bike pass, worth $9.95+tax, or $25 off the annual membership.

FREE CitiBike Street Skills Class
Thursday, May 25, 6-7:30pm
244 East 93rd
RSVP

 

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, Bells and Helmets for Delivery Bikes following training class.
  • 90-minute training class in English, Spanish and Chinese
  • Lights and Bells for Recreational and Commuting Cyclists coupled with education.
  • Free Helmets.
  • 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

 

Proclamation for Bike New York

Bike New York was honored by the City Council ahead of the Five Boro Boro Tour. Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito, Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez chair of the Transportation Committee joined me in presenting a proclamation celebrating Bike New York’s 40th year of service to New York City. As a non-profit Bike New York runs the Five Boro Bike Tour for 32,000 cyclists and uses those funds to provide free classes for 17,000 children and adults each year to learn to bike safely. Bike New York is our partner in providing bike safety programs in our office, public schools, parks and even bike shops.

SBS stop at East 72nd Street

We continue to put pressure on the MTA to re-install a Select Bus Service stop at East 72nd Street. In April we received support from the New York City Transit Riders Council, led by Trudy Mason, outlining reasons for adding the stop. The letter comes in support of letters written from the East 72nd Street Neighborhood Association and Eastside Elected Officials. Please join the fight and sing the petition at BenKallos.com/petition/m15sbs

 

MARINE TRANSFER STATION

Street Safety Improvements Around MTS

My office worked with the MTS Community Advisory Group (CAG), fellow elected officials and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to make safety improvements to the intersections surrounding the Marine Transfer Station site: agreeing to adjust signal timing on the intersections on York Avenue. Leading Pedestrian Interval Signals (LPIS), where the walk sign shows before cars get a green light, have been installed at 19 of the intersections. This will allow pedestrians on these corners the opportunity to enter the crosswalk before cars begin to turn.

Leading Pedestrian Interval Signals (LPIS) were installed along York Avenue at the following streets:
65th, 68th, 70th, 71st, 74th, 75th, 76th, 78th, 80th, 81st, 82nd, 83rd, 84th, 85th, 86th, 87th, 88th, 89th, 90th


Fighting the Marine Transfer Station

We continue to fight the Marine Transfer Station and thanks to your support we’ve already accomplished:

  • Ensured zoned trash pickup is done fairly to protect the East Side;
  • Brought attention to dangers of garbage trucks in residential neighborhoods following tragic death of local resident hit by a garbage truck;
  • Moved the ramp one block north to protect 35,000 children from all over the city who play at Asphalt Green in partnership with P2P and the local community;
  • Introduced air quality monitoring legislation to protect us from pollution;
  • Forced commitments from DSNY under oath to limit use to only 1,800 of the total 5,200 tons per day capacity, keeping more than 300 garbage trucks off our streets;
  • Advocated for and secured funding for guardrails on garbage trucks and other large city vehicles;
  • Advocated for and won a citywide goal of zero waste to make Marine Transfer-to-landfill obsolete by 2030;
  • Exposed high costs increasing from $93/ton to $278/ton for a total price tag of $632 million;
  • Built a three borough coalition against garbage dumps in residential neighborhoods.

Join the fight at BenKallos.com/MTS

 

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

 

Curbing Tobacco Use In New York City

I co-sponsored legislation designed to reduce the number of New York City smokers by 160,000 over the course of the next three years. In the time I have been in office I have noticed the proliferation of so-called ‘vape’ stores throughout our neighborhood, specifically near schools, making children targets of early nicotine addiction. Parents of students are concerned and have complained about the issue, and I am glad the City is addressing this problem head on.

The proposal, led by Mayor Bill de Blasio, includes five bills that encourage smoking and tobacco sales control:
  1. raising the minimum prices for all tobacco products, including cigarettes, and imposing a new 10% local tax on other tobacco products
  2. reducing through attrition the number of tobacco retailers citywide
  3. creating a retail license for e-cigarettes, and capping the number of e-cigarette retailers
  4. requiring all residential buildings to create a smoking policy and disclosing it to both current and prospective tenants
  5. banning the sale of tobacco products at pharmacies
For more information read the release.

 

Automatic Benefits at New York Presbyterian

In April New York Presbyterian Hospital was one of the 32 organizations selected nationwide by the Department of Health and Human Services for Assistance and Alignment Tracks of the Accountable Health Communities Model.

New York Presbyterian Hospital is on the Alignment Track to encourage partner alignment to ensure that community services are available and responsive to the needs of beneficiaries. I am proud to have worked to bring this funding opportunity to New York Presbyterian Hospital. The new grant will help pay for integration of existing and new medical systems to better identify who qualifies for benefits automatically. Automatic Benefits legislation which I have introduced would require anyone applying or who qualifies for one human service benefits from the government to be screened for and provided with all other applicable benefits so that New Yorkers get not some but all of the help they need. For more information read release from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and my statement.


How to Help the Homeless

Homelessness continues to rise with 23,365 children, 17,847 family members, 3,785 single women, and 9,873 single men in our shelters, and more than 2,794 people on the streets. I launched the Eastside Taskforce for Homeless Outreach and Services (ETHOS) with Borough President Brewer, Senator Krueger, Council Member Garodnick, Department of Social Services, community and faith leaders and service organizations. We hope to get unsheltered people living on the street the help they need. If you see one of our City’s most vulnerable on the street, please call 311 or use the 311 app to ask them to dispatch a “homeless outreach team.” They will ask where you saw the person, what they looked like, and offer to report on whether the person accepts our city’s offer of shelter, three meals a day, healthcare, rehabilitation, and job training.

 

COMMUNITY

18 for 18 Progressive Caucus Platform Launched

As Vice Chair for Policy of the Progressive Caucus, I was happy to gather with fellow Council Members on the steps of City Hall to announce our new platform: “18 Progressive Policies for 2018.” The press conference featured activists and organizers alongside whom the Progressive Caucus has and will continue to work to achieve our goals. The 18 progressive causes we are highlighting and pushing for in the next session are “Right to Counsel” for Immigrants, Fair Work Week, Economic Democracy through Worker Cooperatives & Day Labor Centers, Living Wage 3.0, Eliminate the Municipal Gender Pay Gap, Invest in Public Housing, Required and Permanent Affordable Housing, Reduce Homelessness, Right to Know Act, Close Rikers, Universal Childcare, End Youth Hunger, Integrate Public Schools and Provide Culturally Responsive Education, After School for All, Free & Strong CUNY, Climate Works for All, MoveNY, and Pre-Citizen Voting. For more information on the platform and to read the release at nycprogressives.com.


 

CourtESy: Court’s Education for Seniors

I teamed up with Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) Commissioner Fidel Del Valle to kick off the Court’s Education for Seniors program known as CourtESy at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House in April. OATH is the independent administrative law court for New York City, handling all City enforcement for summonses from agencies such as the Departments of Sanitation, Buildings, Health, Parks, Environmental Protection and Consumer Affairs, among others. This forum explained what to do when a resident or property owner receives a summons and highlighted OATH’s Remote Hearing Methods, which gives residents who received summons­es the ability to fight the tickets at their convenience, without having to travel to attend an OATH hearing in person. For more information read the release.   

 

Sutton Place and Carl Schurz Easter Egg Hunts

I joined the Sutton Area Community and Carl Schurz Park annual Easter Egg Hunts. Hundreds of children and hundreds of Easter eggs were found during the hunts. Thank you to SAC President Charles Coutinho PH.D. and the rest of the Board of directors as well as all the volunteers who made these events a possible. Thank you to everyone who came out and had fun with us, especially the Easter Bunnies!


Basketball With Ben

I spent one of the few semi-warm afternoons in April playing basketball with my staff and office interns at the Samuel Seabury Playground on East 96th Street. Although we usually work together as a team, my staff and I faced off against a strong and nimble group of interns and Masters in Social Work students who gave us a tough game. In all we played at least three full court games, leaving us exhausted. Thank you to my staff and all the interns who participated in ‘Basketball With Ben.’  

 

Passover Seder with Team Kallos

As President Obama did in 2008, since 2013 every Passover, I come together with friends, family, and staff of all backgrounds to reflect on values that are important to me as a person. I also take the time to think about the prior year and plan ahead for the next one. 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 Easter, Passover or Spring break?

In the Community

This month I had the pleasure of spending my nights and weekends at events in the community spending time with constituents. I sponsored a bike helmet fitting with the Department of Transportation, giving away free bike helmets and bells. I also sponsored a no cost mammogram van on Roosevelt Island with the Italian-American Cancer Foundation as well as at the Carter Burden Center, so that uninsured women were able to get the care they need. I had the pleasure of presenting an award at the OTTY awards. I had a wonderful time at the PS 527 Spring Benefit.

OFFICE UPDATES

Legislative Corner

This month the Council passed several bills which I am a cosponsor.

Introduction 0965-2015, which awaits the Mayor's signature, requires the Department of Transportation (DOT) to conduct a citywide transit study. As part of the study, DOT would have to develop strategies to improve transit access to neighborhoods underserved by the subway system. Plans for transit improvement to serve areas identified as part of the study to be in need of transit access would include a variety of modes including light rail and subway. This is part of the Council's ongoing efforts to bring more transit options to all neighborhoods in order to relieve strain on buses and subways.

Introduction 891-2015, also awaiting the Mayor's signature, requires the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) to create a notification system, whereby business owners can be informed of any complaints lodged against them. Participation is voluntarily, and notification can be received via text message or email. The Council found that some businesses were unaware of customer complaints to 311 that did not warrant a violation. Giving these businesses this information will allow them to address complaints and improve service.

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 Landmarking 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 AND RESOURCES

City Council Events

5/5: 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

5/11: Health & Wellness Day
10am-1pm, Roosevelt Island Senior Center, 546 Main Street
Meet leaders from over 20 organizations to learn about health and wellness programs and resources. Connect with community liaisons from the offices and our elected officials. Around 1pm, come enjoy fitness drumming with Asphalt Green. This event is free and open to the community. Light snacks and refreshments will be served!

5/17: Brainstorming with Ben  
6:00-7:00pm, District Office, 244 East 93rd Street
Brainstorm with Ben is a chance for residents who have a policy idea they want to pitch and help implement; the goal is to empower residents who are looking to do the research, community organizing, and advocacy needed to turn ideas into real solutions.

5/18: Housing Forum
6:00pm, Julia Richman Education Complex, 317 East 67th Street
Do you want to learn more about your rights as a tenant?. This forum will feature presentations on your rights as a tenant, how to organize in your building, and how you can get involved in our campaign for a rent rollback at the Rent Guidelines Board. There will also be housing experts on hand to answer your questions.

5/20: Shred-a-Thon
10am - 2pm, 82nd Street Greenmarket, 82nd Street between 1st and York Avenue
Sponsored by Upper Green Side.
Bring us those decades-old canceled checks, yellowing tax forms from the last century, receipts for appliances you’ve replaced at least twice.No cardboard or plastic-handled shopping bags. No hardcover books (but paperbacks are fine). Sign Up

5/27: NYC Ballet: A Magical Midsummer
11 am - 12pm, Lincoln Center
The NYC Ballet Company presents “A Magical Midsummer,” a one-hour presentation for families and children ages 5 and up, featuring excerpts from New York City Ballet's A Midsummer  Night’s Dream, performed by Company dancers and members of the NYCB Orchestra.  Tickets are being offered for $5 (normally $22) to community groups and members of District 5. For more information and to purchase tickets use the $5 promo code COMFS17 visit nycballet.com/Educate/Public-Programs/Family-Saturdays.aspx

5/25: Citi Bike Skills Class 
6:00pm-7:30pm, District Office,244 East 93rd Street
RSVP

5/29: Office Closed in Observance of Memorial Day

 

Government Meetings

Community Boards

5/2: Community Board 8 (59th to 96th Streets) Street Life Committee
6:30pm-9:30pm, Marymount College-Regina Peruggi Room

5/4: Metropolitan Hospital Community Advisory Group
6:00pm-7:00pm, 1901 1st Avenue

5/3: Community Board 8 (59th to 96th Streets) Transportation Committee
6:30pm-9:30pm, New York Blood Center, 310 East 67th Street
ADA Access Ramps to East River Esplanade & Hampton Jitney Bus Stop

5/4: Community Board 8 (59th to 96th Streets) Parks & Recreation Committee
6:30pm-9:30pm, Lenox Hill Hospital
East River Esplanade

5/4: Community Board 11 (96th to 145th Streets) Rezoning Taskforce
6:00pm-7:00pm, Bonifacio Senior Center, 7 E 116th St
East Harlem Rezoning Proposal

5/10: Community Board 11 (96th to 145th Streets) Land Use, Landmarks & Planning
6:00pm-7:00pm, Bonifacio Senior Center , 7 E 116th St
East Harlem Rezoning Proposal

5/10: Community Board 6 (14th to 59th Streets) Full Board Meeting
7:00pm-9:30pm, TBD

5/11: Community Board 8 (59th to 96th Streets) Rat Academy
6:30pm-9:30pm, New York Blood Center, 310 East 67th Street
East River Esplanade

5/16: Community Board 11 (96th to 145th Streets) Full Board Meeting
6:30pm-8:30pm, CB11M Board Office, 1664 Park Ave

5/17: Community Board 8 (59th to 96th Streets) Full Board Meeting
6:30pm-9:30pm, Manhattan Park Theatre Club, River Road, Roosevelt Island

5/18: Community Board 11 (96th to 145th Streets) Rezoning Taskforce
6:00pm-7:00pm, Bonifacio Senior Center , 7 E 116th St
East Harlem Rezoning Proposal

 


New York Police Department

First Monday of the Month: 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

5/3 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.

5/3: Design your own video game controller
4pm, 67th Street Library
Over the course of this 4-week program, you will examine how computer software and hardware interact, learn circuit basics, and explore principles of strong design as you use Makey Makeys to create your own fun game controllers, and create your own computer game to play with using Scratch! Workshop series is FREE. Space is capped at 15 teens.

5/9: Open-Ended Art
12pm, Webster Library
Let your imagination run wild! Join us for an hour of uninterrupted, creative fun. Pick and choose from our craft supplies to make a masterpiece to take home.

5/11: Growing Healthy Eaters
3:00pm - 4:00pm, Roosevelt Island Library
The New York Public Library’s Early Literacy Department is excited to bring "Growing Healthy Eaters" to a branch near you! This 6-session series’ curriculum was created by the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and aims to educate young children and their caregivers about the importance of eating well through a series of interactive, entertaining and delicious sessions.The lessons cover a variety of topics from "Food Mood" to "Flavorful Fruit" and provide nutritional expertise in bite-sized portions! Sessions will also be taking place on 5/18 and 5/25, same location and time.

5/22: Kid Flicks
12pm, Community Room, Yorkville Library
Join us for a showing of Caps for Sale and The Pooh & Tiger Too. It’s the perfect way to meet up with friends and end a busy day. All films subject to last minute substitutions.

5/26: May Craft Time
3pm, Meeting Room, 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.

Summer Playground Associates for Upper East Side Parks
Tuesdays - Saturdays: 10:00am - 6:00pm:
John Jay Park, FDR Dr., E 76 St. To E 78 St. (Starts July 1). Details
Carl Schurz Park, East End Av To East River, E 84 St To E 90 St. (Starts May 26) Details
Ruppert Park, Second Ave. bet. E. 90 St. and E. 91 St. (Starts May 26) Details
St. Catherine's Park, 1 Ave., bet. E. 67 St. To E. 68 St. (Starts May 26) Details
Samuel Seabury, Lexington Ave., E. 95 St. To E. 96 St. (Starts May 1) Details
Stanley Isaacs Playground, FDR Dr., E. 95 St. To E. 97 St. (Starts May 1) Details

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.

5/1: Law Day 2017 at Yorkville
5:30pm, Yorkville Library
Law Day is held on May 1st every year to celebrate the rule of law and to cultivate a deeper understanding of the role that the law plays in our democracy and in our lives. Each year, organizations around the country host a variety of activities to engage communities around a legal theme.

This year, The New York Public Library will host a series of conversations, activities, and workshops around the 2017 theme:  The Fourteenth Amendment: Transforming American Democracy.
Please join us at the Yorkville Library for an information session on the topic of equal protection.

5/1: New Advancements in Thyroid Cancer Treatments
7:00pm, Memorial Sloan Kettering Zuckerman Research Center Auditorium, 417 East 68th Street (between York and First Avenues)
Memorial Sloan Kettering invites community residents to attend the following free CancerSmart talk: New Advancements in Thyroid Cancer Treatments. You can attend in person, watch via Facebook Live or webcast. You can also submit questions and join the conversation on Twitter using #CancerSmart. To register and receive information about future discussions, visit us at www.cancersmart.org or call 212-639-3074.  To view previous CancerSmart programs, please visit www.cancersmart.org/videos.

5/4: E-Book Help
11:00am, Yorkville Library, Meeting Room
Get one-on-one help downloading library books and audio books via our SimplyE, 3M and OverDrive platforms. Please bring your phone, tablet or e-Reading device. Registration is required. Please sign up personally at Yorkville Library or call 212-744-5824.

5/4: Film- Ziegfeld Girl
2:00pm, 96th Street Library
Starring JAMES STEWART, JUDY GARLAND, HEDY LAMARR, Lana Turner, Tony Martin, Jackie Cooper, Ian Hunter, Charles Winninger, Edward Everett Horton, Philip Dorn, Paul Kelly, Eve Arden, Dan Dailey, Al Shean. Discovery by Flo Ziegfeld changes a girl's life but not necessarily for the better, as three beautiful women find out when they join the Broadway spectacle. ADMISSION FREE

5/4: Origami for All Ages
3:00pm, 67th Street Library
Learn how to fold paper into works of art! We will be making cherry blossoms. Feel free to take them home or donate your work to the library to help decorate the front doors!

5/5:  Popular Films
2:00pm, 96th Street Library, Auditorium

5/6: New York City Fire Department Open House
Sessions start 11am-1pm or 1pm-3pm 159 East 85th Street, New York, NY 10028
Meet Firefighters, Paramedics, and EMTs who will be educating the public about fire and life safety, conducting demonstrations, discussing the Department’s storied history, and offering tours of FDNY apparatus (engines, ladders and ambulances).

Guardians of the Galaxy
Recap the first movie before seeing the second in theaters. Friday May 5, 2017 at 2 pm at the 96th Street Branch Library.
Brash space adventurer Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finds himself the quarry of relentless bounty hunters after he steals an orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain. To evade Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with four disparate misfits: gun-toting Rocket Raccoon, treelike-humanoid Groot, enigmatic Gamora, and vengeance-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when he discovers the orb's true power and the cosmic threat it poses, Quill must rally his ragtag group to save the universe.

5/6: It's My Park Day! Samuel Seabury Playground
9:00am-12pm,96th Street at Lexington Avenue, Manhattan
Calling all urban gardeners!! Does your child play in Samuel Seabury Playground (96th/Lex)? Join Partnerships for Parks to help beautify the garden areas of the playground! This May, volunteer with your neighbors to beautify Seabury Playground at 96th St and Lexington Ave, Manhattan. You'll help clean up some of the space, spread some mulch, plant flowers, and make a lasting difference.
Beautiful Playground = Happy Healthy Children!! RSVP

5/6: Dystopia in Fiction and Reality
11:00am, Yorkville Library
Join us on Free Comic Book Day for a talk on the importance of comics in our society. This program offers an analysis of V for Vendetta, comparing it and 1984 to events throughout history, with a spotlight on the fascist movements of the 1940’s and the nationalistic tendencies of today. Presented by Travis Czap, editor at Comicsverse.com.

5/8: Book Discussion: Winter of the Gods by Jordanna Max Brodsky
5:00pm, 67th Street Library
Join a librarian-led book discussion of Winter of the Gods. Have questions after reading it? Interested to listen to others' opinions? Come and discuss with fellow readers in an engaging and welcoming atmosphere!

·         Place a hold on Winter of the Gods, book two in the Olympus Bound series at www.nypl.org or ask a staff member by phone or in-person.

·         Available as a book, e-book, or e-audiobook

5/9: Allergies - Everything You Need to Know

2:00pm, Yorkville Library
Please join the Yorkville Library and the Hospital for Special Surgery's new partnership in bringing programming and practical information on health related topics of interest to the general public. The first in this series of lectures is coping with Allergies.

5/11: Film - She Done Him Wrong
2:00-3:00pm, 96th Street Library
Join us for a showing of She Done Him Wrong (1933), a black and white film directed by Lowell Sherman. Admission is free!

5/11: The NEW Retirement: Finding Purpose in Your Third Act
3:00 pm, Yorkville Library, Meeting Room
Are you retired?  About to retire?  Thinking about retiring?  Welcome to the “NEW” Retirement! Baby boomers are healthier and living longer than previous generations.  We are pioneers in the search for a meaningful and purposeful “third act”.  Come join speaker, trainer, and certified professional coach, Barbara Phillips, to clarify (or re-clarify) what is most important to you at this stage of life AND learn from other retirees.

5/13: Spring Cleaning for the Soul
11:00am, Yorkville Library
Spring is a time for rebirth, renewal, and reawakening. It’s a time when many people dust off their homes and open the windows to let the fresh air in and stale air out – come listen to Kristina Leonardi as she talks about doing the same for your soul! It’s a perfect time to review where you are at in your career and life, make adjustments and do what’s necessary in order to get you where you want to be.

5/14: Second Sundays 2017 Performance Series
331 East 70th Street (between 1st and 2nd Ave)Lenox Hill Neighborhood House
The Tap City Youth Ensemble will be performing on our Auditorium stage, featuring the best and brightest young tappers from the New York City area.
Suggested donation is $5, Children under 12 are free of charge

5/18: Americanah Book Discussion
11:00am-12:00pm, Roosevelt Island Library
Join us as we discuss Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Winner of the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Fiction award. A story of love and race centered around a young man and woman from Nigeria who face difficult choices and challenges in the countries they come to call home. The novel traces the story of Ifemelu’s life in Nigeria and the U.S., weaving together the love story of her high school love Obinze. A librarian and/or trained book discussion leader will facilitate discussion.

5/18: Film - Belle of the Nineties
2:00-3:30pm, 96th Street Library
Join us for a showing of Belle of the Nineties (1934), a black and white film directed by Leo McCarey. The film follows Ruby Carter, a burlesque singer who loves two men but one of them turns out to be a crook. Admission is free!

5/18: Discussion Group; A FIGHTING CHANCE by Elizabeth Warren
6:30pm- 8:00pm, Roosevelt Island Library
The Group will discuss A FIGHTING CHANCE by Elizabeth Warren.  

5/20: Break Free from Limiting Beliefs! How to Live a Life You Truly Love
2:00 pm, Yorkville Library
Speaker, trainer, and certified professional coach, Barbara Phillips, will help participants get greater clarity about what is holding them back from what they want in their lives – and learn simple strategies to move beyond perceived limitations into a life they love living.

5/20: It's My Park Day! Samuel Seabury Playground
9:00am-12pm,96th Street at Lexington Avenue, Manhattan
Calling all urban gardeners!! Does your child play in Samuel Seabury Playground (96th/Lex)? Join Partnerships for Parks to help beautify the garden areas of the playground! This May, volunteer with your neighbors to beautify Seabury Playground at 96th St and Lexington Ave, Manhattan. You'll help clean up some of the space, spread some mulch, plant flowers, and make a lasting difference.
Beautiful Playground = Happy Healthy Children!! RSVP

5/23: Falun Dafa Meditation & Exercise Class
4:00pm- 5:00pm, Yorkville Library, Meeting Room
Join us at the Yorkville Library to know more about Falun Dafa. You will learn: Practice of meditation and exercise. Increases Energy and Vitality. Eliminate stress, enjoy peace of mind. Another session will be happening on 5/30, same location and time.   

5/25: Film - The Sin of Harold Diddlebock
2:00pm, 96th Street Library
Join us for a showing of The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947), a black and white film directed by Preston Sturges. The film’s protagonist Harold is a mild-mannered clerk who dreams about marrying the girl at the desk, until he loses his job.

5/25: Free Skin Cancer Screening
4:00pm, Memorial Sloan Kettering Outpatient Center, 16 East 60th Street, 3rd Floor, Suite 302
Memorial Sloan-Kettering will provide free skin cancer screening. This screening is by appointment only, the appointment line opens on Tuesday, May 16th. To make an appointment call, 646-888-6410.

5/25: Movie night; The Foot Fist Way
6:00pm, Roosevelt Island Library
The Foot Fist Way (R) (2006)

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.

·         Health

·         Hunger

·         Neighborhood

·         Schools

·         Seniors

·         Tenants

·         Youth


Resources

JustFix.nyc (Technology for Housing Justice)

Are you having trouble getting repairs from your landlord? JustFix.nyc is a free non-profit service for all NYC renters. If you are experiencing problems such as rat or cockroach infestation, poor construction work, and/or landlord harassment, we will work with you 1-on-1 to identify your needs and craft a personalized plan of attack. Start by creating a free JustFix.nyc account at www.justfix.nyc.

A JustFix.nyc can help with"

• Organize your photo evidence
• Request your Rental History
• Send formal notices to your landlord
• Call 311
• Connect with legal services and other programs
• Create a Case History that you can share and print

NYC Financial Justice Hotline 212-925-4929

The NYC Financial Justice Hotline provides free legal information, advice, and referrals to low-income New Yorkers to help them resolve a wide range of financial justice issues. Call the hotline to defend yourself and fight back against discriminatory and abusive banking practices, illegal wage garnishment and frozen bank accounts, bank fraud, unfair and abusive debt collection and credit reporting, and much more. Operated by New Economy Project, the hotline is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 12-2 p.m., and is staffed in English and Spanish.

Pro Bono Immigrant and Refugee Resources in NYC

Legal Services NYC
Offices in all 5 boroughs: http://www.legalservicesnyc.org/our-program
917-661-4500

Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN-NY)
Offices on Long Island: http://www.carecenny.org/contact-us

New York Legal Assistance Group
7 Hanover Sq, Fl 18, NY
212-613-5000 IPUintakeatnylag [dot] org

Make the Road NY
Offices in Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Long Island: http://www.maketheroadny.org/participate_contact.php

Immigration Legal Services of Long Island Inc.
820 Suffolk Ave, Brentwood, NY
1553 Montauk Hwy, Bridgehampton
305 Broadway, Ste 402, NY
631-617-5269
ilsoliatilsoli [dot] org

Catholic Charities Immigration Services
147 Schleigel Blvd, Amityville, NY 11701
(631) 665-3434

Catholic Charities of New York
80 Maiden Ln, 13th Fl, New York, NY
(212) 419-3700

Human Rights First
75 Broad Street, Floor 31, New York, NY
(212) 845-5200

Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights
665 W. 182nd Street, New York, NY
(212) 781-0648

Kids In Need of Defense (KIND)
1410 Broadway, Suite 1401, New York, NY
(646) 677-9900

infonewyorkatsupportkind [dot] org
65 Livingston Avenue, Roseland, NJ
(862) 926-2080

Central American Legal Assistance
240 Hooper Street, Brooklyn, NY
(718) 486-6800

Catholic Migration Services
191 Joralemon Street, 4th Floor, Brooklyn, NY
(718) 236-3000
47-01 Queens Boulevard, Suite 203B, Sunnyside, NY
(347) 472-3500

Safe Horizon Immigration Law Project
50 Court Street, 8th floor, Brooklyn, NY
(718) 943-8632

The Legal Aid Society Immigration Law Unit
199 Water Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY
(212) 577-3300

ILS Immigration Legal Services, Inc.
481 Main Street, Suite 504, New Rochelle, NY
(888) 631-6686
infoatilsny [dot] org

Safe Passage Project
(represents unaccompanied minors)
185 West Broadway, New York, NY
212-324-6558

Immigrant Defense Project
40 W 39th Street, Fifth Floor, New York, NY
212-725-6422

Center for Appellate Litigation
(help for noncitizens convicted of crimes)
120 Wall Street - 28th floor, New York, NY
212-577-2523
http://www.appellate-litigation.org/ijp/