October updates: First Friday, Senior Health Fair and more

Dear Friend,

This is a busy month for all of us, with no sign of slowing down. I hope you will join me at a community event this month:

  • First Friday
  • Policy Night
  • Senior Health Fair
  • Bike Safety forum with NYPD
  • Town Hall
  • Three Participatory Budgeting Neighborhood Assemblies
  • Free Legal Housing Clinic
  • Mobile hours
  • and more!

Details for all are in this newsletter or at BenKallos.com/Events.

To those observing, I hope you had a happy Rosh Hashanah and wish you a meaningful Yom Kippur.

I look forward to seeing you at one of this month's events, or saying hello if we run into one another in the neighborhood.


Ben Kallos

Table of Contents

1. Fighting the Marine Transfer Station
2. Senior Health Fair on Tuesday, October 7
3. Bike Safe Forum
4. Town Hall on October 29
5. Preserving Affordable Housing
6. Participatory Budgeting: Join Today
7. Reforming the Board of Elections
8. Women's History Resolution Passes
9. Combating Anti-Semitism
10. Summer Reading Challenge
11. Back to School
12. Campaign Finance
13. Start-up Government
14. Fighting Cancer
15. Walk with Ben
16. Peoples' Climate March
17. Labor Day
18. Internship and Fellowship Program
19. Dances Patrelle Proclamation for 25 Years
20. Mobile District Hours
21. Street Fairs and Block Parties
22. Around the Neighborhood
23. Legislative Update
24. City Council Events
25. Community Events

Fighting the Marine Transfer Station

Our fight against the Marine Transfer Station took to the television, in an episode of Represent NYC on Manhattan Neighborhood Network. I was joined by Kelly Nimmo-Guenther, President of Pledge 2 Protect, NYCHA resident and activist Regine LaCourt, and Vice President of NYCHA Holmes Tenant Association Milagros Velazquez. On the show, we discussed the impact the Waste Transfer Station would have on residents; the alternatives for building a greener city; and why we fight. If you would just like to watch a video excerpt of the day-long tour of Marine Transfer Stations, click here. A powerful new video from Pledge 2 Protect also highlights the children we are fighting for. To sign my petition and learn more, please visit BenKallos.com/MTS.

Senior Health Fair on Tuesday, October 7

Join me at October 7th from 9am-12:30pm for a Senior Health Fair. The event will feature flu shots at no cost, classes and speakers from Lenox hill Neighborhood  house, Asphalt Green, Stanley Isaacs Senior Center, Blood pressure screenings,  BMI  calculations, State Comptroller Thomas P. Dinapoli presentation on unclaimed funds, Medicare Open Enrollment and Home sharing, Training for  hands only CPR, Jewish Museum, Carter Burden, New York Foundation for Senior Citizens, 19th Precinct, NYLAG,  American Heart Association, and many others! RSVP today to join us.

Bike Safe Forum

Please join us for a bike safety forum with the NYPD on October 22nd at Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center, a follow up requested by residents after a summer forum on bike lanes. RSVP today.

Let me know what street improvements you would like to see. Visit BenKallos.com/livable-streets to share your thoughts with me, so I can work with city agencies for better and safer streets.

As a reminder, please also visit BenKallos.com/BikeSafe to participate in the safe Commercial cycling program. The steps to the program are as follows, and depend on your participation:

If you see or receive a bike delivery with NO safety vest displaying business name and identification number, report it to the business, 311 and Ben Kallos.

If you see unsafe biking, remember the business name and identification number from the safety vest then report it to the store, 311 and Ben Kallos. Tell the store that you can wait longer for deliveries so bikes can be slower and safer for everyone.

When you call 311, DOT and NYPD will be notified and will take the appropriate steps to resolve the issue.

Town Hall on October 29

Join me on Wednesday, October 29, for a Town Hall with city agencies. This will take place at Memorial Sloan Kettering Rockefeller Research Laboratories at 430 East 67th Street at 5:30pm. RSVP today.

Preserving Affordable Housing

I joined a coalition of lawmakers who are fighting against illegal hotels, such as some of the listings on Air BnB. The group, called "Share Better," calls on companies to follow city laws to protect New Yorkers in their own homes and preserve our limited--and desperately-needed--affordable housing stock. Read coverage in BetaBeat, Commercial Observer and Crain's.

Along with Council Members and advocates, I rallied at City Hall for a rent freeze in 2015 and repeal of a law that gives Albany the power to determine New York City rents. Read coverage in the Observer, Epoch Times and Capital New York.

Participatory Budgeting: Join Today

How would you spend 1 million dollars? Join us at a Neighborhood Assembly to learn more about how you can vote on how your tax dollars get spent and come up with ideas to be on the ballot. Visit BenKallos.com/events to find a neighborhood assembly that you can attend, and contact us for more details or to volunteer.

Reforming the Board of Elections

This month, we made major progress in the quest to clean up the Board of Elections. The Council successfully appointed three Commissioners to Board of Elections who affirmed under oath at a City Council hearing support for anti-nepotism policies and public postings for jobs. Read more about it in the Daily News.

In many ways, this is a capstone of efforts since I joined the Council to get the BOE running properly, so New Yorkers can feel confident in our democracy.

Women's History Resolution Passes

I am pleased to announce that a Council resolution I sponsored in favor of Congresswoman Maloney's efforts to build a National Women's History Museum in Washington, DC, has passed. Now, New York City has added its official voice to the call for a long-overdue National Women's History Museum. 

Read more in Capital New York and the Latin Post.

Sadly, this legislation is now being blocked in the Senate by two Senators: Mike Lee of Utah and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. As a Daily News editorial pointed out, these Senators should have to explain why women’s history is less important than the history of textiles, the postal service and spies — all of which have their own DC museums.

Four women who will hold their own enduring places in history helped pass the Council resolution: Congresswoman Maloney, Council Member Laurie Cumbo—my co-sponsor and chair of the women’s issues committee, Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito, and former Congresswoman, Comptroller and District Attorney Elizabeth Holtzman.

If you agree that there should be a National Women's History Museum, sign our petition, and forward it to your friends.

Combating Anti-Semitism

I joined 25 other elected officials to denounce hate crimes in New York City after a 39% uptick in Anti-Semitic crimes this year. As covered in the Yeshiva World News, we stood together to say that hate crimes are anathema to our values and have no place in our city.

Summer Reading Challenge

The Summer Reading Challenge is complete, and I am pleased by its success. The students who completed five books have been issued certificates of achievement for their efforts--and I am taking the chance to congratulate them personally! I hope you or your student will consider taking the challenge next year.

Back to School

I am looking forward to working with principals, teachers parents and students at schools in the district, and reached out this month to discuss the many programs that I am offering, including:

  • Funding opportunities;
  • Civics Class;
  • Mock Voting;
  • Vote with Kids;
  • Voter Registration Drives;
  • Meeting student Councils;
  • Summer reading challenge; and
  • Attending your graduation ceremonies.

If you are a teacher, parent, student or school administrator, I have been in contact with your principals, and welcome any communication you would like to have with my office. Please call or email me at bkallosatbenkallos [dot] com or 212-860-1950.

Campaign Finance 

As covered in Gotham GazetteCapital New York and City and StateI held a hearing on the future of the Campaign Finance Board, and some exciting reforms we can make to keep it a model of public financing for the nation based on the Campaign Finance Board's post-election report. As Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations, which oversees the NYCCFB, I am committed to ensuring that special interests do not determine who represents New Yorkers.

Start-up Government

My office was featured as changing the face of city government in a profile in Fast Company.

Here are a few excerpts from the Fast Company piece:

Thus far, he's proposed a host of open government bills and used technology to make his own work more open and accessible. It takes a particular type of politician to put their ego aside and voluntarily post their legislation online for their constituents to ruthlessly edit. Displaying a trait shared by successful CEOs, Kallos recognizes that his job is not to come up with all the brilliant ideas, but to be a conduit for them.
For his first nine months in office, Kallos's track record so far is certainly ambitious. Clearly, he wants to make the most of the current political climate in New York. “I think we have an amazing opportunity here," he says. "We have a progressive mayor. We have a progressive speaker. We see a lot of progressive change happening in New York City at this moment. Now is the time for people to take back their government, take back their democracy. It's our job to build the tools that allow people to interact with government in any way they wish.”

As mentioned in the piece, I'm committed to constantly doing better. So feel free to drop me a line to let me know if there is anything you would like to see more of, or ideas you have for government.

Fighting Cancer

I brought the Scan Van to Stanley Isaacs Senior Center, so women could receive free screenings for breast cancer. I experienced the loss of my father to cancer this year, and am deeply committed to ensuring that all have access to quality care and health screenings. I encourage all New Yorkers to get screened. Another scan van will be on Roosevelt Island in November. Please contact my office for details or if you have questions about health services.

Walk With Ben

The first-ever walk with Ben was a great success, thanks to the seniors at the Stanley Isaacs Center. We enjoyed a nice stroll and conversation. I look forward to scheduling the next one soon.

Peoples' Climate March

More than 300,000 people took to the streets to call on world leaders to act now to protect our planet. Superstorm Sandy, a sign of things to come from climate change, hit New York City two years ago, and we are still rebuilding. The time is now to greatly improve sustainability, and this day of action was a clear call to do just that.

Labor Day

I honored hardworking New Yorkers, including our educators, members of the UFT and DC37, our transit workers TWU Local 100, who keep our city moving, and countless others by marching in the labor day parade. The labors of our working families deserve celebration and recognition. See more photos on Facebook.

Internship and Fellowship Program

Interns and fellows 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 with a resume and cover letter. Visit BenKallos.com/fellowship to learn more.

Dances Patrelle Proclamation for 25 Years

It was my honor to present Dances Patrelle with a proclamation for 25 years of excellence in dance and independent arts at the opening of their Romeo and Juliet production.

Mobile District Hours

Get assistance wherever you are located. Please join us at mobile district hours:

Roosevelt Island Senior Center: Fourth Wednesday of the month, 4-7PM. RSVP.
Lexington Houses: Second Wednesday of the month, 4-7PM. RSVP.
Lenox Hill Neighborhood House: Second Tuesday of the month, 4-7PM. RSVP.
Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center: Fourth Tuesday of the month, 4-7PM. RSVP.

Street Fairs and Block Parties

This month, I started to join street fairs and block parties to meet more more residents and offer mobile services. At the 3rd Avenue Street Fair, 92nd Street Y Festival, 84th Street Oktoberfest, Lower Lab School Fair and Ronald McDonald Block Party, I had a great time celebrating our unique neighborhoods, while also offering services through a table with materials from my office. Please invite me to any upcoming fairs you know of by emailing scheduleratbenkallos [dot] com.

Around the Neighborhood

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

 Pay 2 Play movie premiere about the negative influence of money on politics; Met with students from the NYCLV about the importance of getting involved in politics early; Stanley Isaacs and Holmes Towers picnic sponsored by P2P; Toured Isaacs and Holmes Towers with NYCHA Chair Shola Olatoye; CB8; CB11; and East 79th Street Association.

If you would like me to join you at a community event, please email scheduleratbenkallos [dot] com or call 212-860-1950. If my schedule permits, I will be happy to attend.

Legislative Update

Learn more about the laws that affect the daily lives of New Yorkers, or visit BenKallos.com/legislation.
Here are a few bills I co-sponsored this month:
Int 0129-2014, by Council Members Chin and Williams, increases penalties on landlords who harass their tenants, providing much-needed protections for our city's many renters. This bill was passed by the Council on September 23rd and was signed into law on the 30th. Contact my office to learn more about what this might mean for you.
Int 371-A, introduced by Council Member Van Bramer, increases  penalties for drivers who flee the scene of an accident, an important part of the effort to reach zero pedestrian deaths. This bill was passed by the Council on September 23rd and signed into law.

3. Int. 0048 establishing a tenant bill of rights, because every New Yorker deserves to know his or her housing rights.

City Council Events

10/3: First Friday
8am-10am, First Friday of Each 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 to
rrsvpatbenkallos [dot] com (svpatbenkallos [dot] com) or call 212-860-1950. I look forward to seeing you there.

10/7: Senior Health Fair
9am-12:30pm, Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, 331 E 70th St.
Join us for a health and wellness fair for seniors.
The Senior Health Fair will feature flu shots at no cost, classes and speakers from Lenox hill Neighborhood  house, Asphalt Green and Stanley Isaacs Senior Center, Blood pressure screenings,  BMI  calculations, State Comptroller Thomas P. Dinapoli presentation on unclaimed funds, Medicare Open Enrollment and Home sharing, Training for  hands only CPR, Jewish Museum, Carter Burden, New York Foundation for Senior Citizens, 19th Precinct, NYLAG,  American Heart Association, and many others! RSVP today.

10/6 and 10/20: FREE Legal Housing Clinic
3-6pm, District Office at 244 East 93rd Street.
If you have any legal questions regarding housing, please come join us and reserve a time to speak with a volunteer attorney. This event was organized with assistance from Eviction Intervention Services (EIS). We are excited to announce this new service, and look forward to assisting you on legal housing matters.
You must make an appointment in advance. RSVPatBenKallos [dot] com or call 212-860-1950 to reserve a time slot. We look forward to helping you! Please email infoatbenkallos [dot] com for any additional details.

10/7: Participatory Budgeting Neighborhood Assembly at Roosevelt Island Senior Center
6-9pm, Roosevelt Island Senior Center, 546 Main Street

10/14: Policy Night 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.

10/18: Participatory Budgeting Neighborhood Assembly at Knickerbocker Plaza
1-4pm, Knickerbocker Plaza, 1763 2nd Ave

10/22: Bike Enforcement Forum with the NYPD
6:00pm, Stanley Isaacs Senior Center
Join us for a forum on ensuring all residents stay safe, including bikers, walkers and drivers. RSVP today.

10/30: Participatory Budgeting Neighborhood Assembly at Lexington Houses
5-8pm, Lexington House, 1536 Lexington Ave

Community Events

10/1: Stanley Isaacs Senior Center Voter Registration Drive
10am - 12pm & 2:30pm - 4:30pm, Stanley Isaacs Senior Center, 415 East 93rd Street
Are you registered to vote? If not, come by Stanley Isaacs Senior Center during their Voter Registration Drive and get registered!
10/2 & 10/3: Development 201 - Advanced Tools for Building & Preserving Affordable Housing
1:00pm - 5:00pm on 10/2 and 10:00am - 3:00pm on 10/3, 50 Broad Street, Suite 1125
The Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development is presenting a series of workshops on housing development, covering partnerships, guarantees, preservation financing programs, and tax-exempt bond financing. Free for ANHD members, $100 for non-members. Register 
here and email Moses Gates at moses [dot] gatanhd [dot] org with questions.
10/5: It’s My Park Day – Part I
10:00am – 3:00pm, East River Esplanade at 96th Street
As part of the ongoing East River Esplanade revitalization, Upper Green Side will be continuing work on the 96th Street planter. Refreshments will be served.  Learn more 

10/5: Socrates Sculpture Park, A Day Out With FRIENDS
Join FRIENDS of the Upper East Side for an afternoon in the Socrates Sculpture Park, a four-acre sculpture park across the East River. There will be a guided tour, featuring their newest exhibition, original public art by 15 emerging artists. $15 for members, $20 for non-members. Learn more and register here
10/7: Fighting Harassment: Tenant Displace Prevention Roundtable and Training
10:00am - 1:00pm, 50 Broad Street, Suite 1125
Hosted by The Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development, this workshop will cover regulatory tools for tenants to protect themselves from abuse and harassment, as well as a conversation among organizers and advocates about the issue. Workshop is $25, register 
10/7: Community-Based Building Operations (Spanish-Language Workshop)
1:00pm - 5:00pm, Energy Management Training Center, 505 Eight Avenue, Suite 1000
The Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development presents a workshop, in Spanish, on Community-Based Building Operations. The workshop costs $25, learn more 
here and register at Association for Energy Affordability.
10/8: The Business of Asset & Property Management - Best Practices
9:30am - 12:00pm, 50 Broad Street, Suite 1125
Join the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development for a presentation on sound asset and property management by Lisa Deller, VP for Asset Management at NY Equity Fund. Workshop is $25, register 
10/11-10/12: East River Esplanade Tour for Open House New York Weekend
10:00am-11:30am, East River Esplanade at 96th Street
CIVITAS and the Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects team will be giving a tour of the East River Esplanade and opportunities for improvement to the area. The tour will begin at 96th Street, passing by the 107th Street Pier and end near Thomas Jefferson Park, between 111th and 114th Street. Learn more at 
CIVITAS' website and register at Open House New York. $5 registration fee.
10/11: Carl Schurz Park Conservancy Harvest Festival
11:00am – 1:00pm, Carl Schurz Park, 86th Street Mall at East End Avenue
The free annual festival returns on October 11th (rain date: October 12th) with a pumpkin patch, hayride and family concert. Learn more 
10/11: Mobile Adoption Center
12:00pm - 4:00pm, NY Veterinary Hospital, 150 E. 74th Street (between 3rd and Lexington)
Adopt one of the hundreds of cats, dogs, and rabbits Animal Care & Control of NYC has available at their Mobile Adoption Center. All adoptions include spay/neuter, vaccinations, a pre-registered microchip, an identification tag, a collar, and a certificate for a exam at a vet. Learn more at 
10/12: 92nd Street Greenmarket Shred-A-Thon – Columbus Day Edition
11:00am – 3:00pm, First Avenue between 92nd and 93rd Streets
Bring paper of any kind (though no cardboard, handled shopping bags, or hardcover books) opposite the 92nd Street Greenmarket for shredding. Learn more 
10/14: Workshop: Treating Symptoms and Improving Well-Being
10:00am-2:00pm, Memorial Sloan Kettering Zuckerman Research Laboratories Building, 417 East 68th Street (between 1st and York Avenues)
Experts from the Integrative Medicine Service will be presenting demonstrations on a variety of topics, including acupuncture, massage, dietary herbs and supplements, mind-body therapies and fitness at this workshop hosted by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Event is free, please call 
646-888-4740 or email RLACatmskcc [dot] org to register.

10/15: Historic Preservation and the Park Avenue Historic District
6:30-8:00pm, The National Academy, 1083 Fifth Avenue at East 89th Street
Art, Design and the Urban Environment Discussion Series.  Admission is FREE. Reception to follow.
For tickets, call 212-369-4880 x201 or visit www.nationalacademy.org

10/15: Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development Energy Workshops
9:30am - 12:00pm, 50 Broad Street, Suite 1125
ANHD is hosting three workshops on Bulk Energy Purchasing Initiative Pools, Community Solar Energy Initiatives, and a special opportunity for discounted Solar One Building Operator trainings. Workshops are $25, register 
10/18: 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 
10/18: It’s My Park Day – Part II
10:00am – 3:00pm, East River Esplanade at 96th Street
Upper Green Side and East River C.R.E.W. will be cleaning up the East River Esplanade, beginning at 96th Street and working up north. Refreshments will be served, learn more 
10/18: Men’s Health Event: Prostate, Penile, and Testicular Cancer
10:00am - 4:00pm, Memorial Sloan Kettering Sidney Kimmel Center for Prostate and Urologic Cancers, 353 East 68th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues)
Memorial Sloan Kettering will be hosting a free event with information regarding prostate, penile, and testicular cancer, including treatment options, clinical trials, integrative medicine, and fitness and nutrition. The event is free, please register via email at menshealthdayatmskcc [dot] org

10/19: It’s My Park Day – Part III
10:00am – 3:00pm, East River Esplanade at 96th Street
Upper Green Side, Friends of the Esplanade, and neighbors from East Harlem will be continuing their work on the East River Esplanade sweeping, painting, and planting along the Esplanade. Learn more 
10/19: Halloween HOWL & Healthy Hound Fair
1:00pm – 3:00pm, Carl Schurz Park Hockey/Basketball Courts, 84th Street & East End Avenue
Carl Schurz Park Conservancy presents their annual Halloween HOWL on October 19th (rain date: October 26th), with over 200 costumed dogs competing in the event. Learn more 

10/19: Roosevelt Island, A Walking Tour
Join FRIENDS of the Upper East Side for a tour of the Roosevelt Island, visiting landmarks such as the Octagon, a former asylum, and Blackwell House, the sixth oldest house in the city, as well as learning about its more recent history. $15 for members, $20 for non-members. Learn more and register 

10/21: Understanding the New Lobbying Regulations for Non-Profits
10:00am - 12:00pm, 50 Broad Street, Suite 1125
Join the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development for training on the basics of lobbying activities, prohibitions, and reporting requirements, with presentations from Urban Justice center and Legal Aid. Workshop is $25, register 
10/22: Project Compliance - Low Income Housing Tax Credit Compliance & Other Governmental Regulatory Issues
9:30am - 12:00pm, Enterprise, #1 Whitehall Street
Join the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development for a workshop on government compliance, with a presentation by Tania Garrido, Director at Enterprise Community Asset Management. Workshop is $25, register 

10/25: East Sixties Neighborhood Association Clothing Drive
9am - 12pm, The St. Tropez Service Entrance, 340 East 64th Street (enter from 64th or 63rd between 1st and 2nd Avenues)
Bring unwanted winter clothing, especially outer garments, to the East Sixties Neighborhood Association's Clothing Drive. The clothing will be distributed to multiple organizations directly helping those in need locally including the Jan Hus Homeless Outreach Advocacy Program, the Doe Fund, Bottomless Closet, Cauz for Pawz, and Housing Works. For further information please call 212-713-5826

10/28: Development and Land Use Training
10:00am - 1:00pm, 50 Broad Street, Suite 1125
The Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development presents a workshop on the basics of land use policy in New York City, with an emphasis on the 421a program. Workshop is $25, register 
10/29: Housing Court and Building Violations Workshops
9:30am - 12:00pm, 50 Broad Street, Suite 1125
Presented by The Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development, these two workshops will cover the steps involved with housing court and the process of removing ECB, HPD, and DOB violations from buildings. Workshops are $25, register