New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos


Petition for Passage of "Retirement Security for All"

More than one million private-sector workers in New York City that do not have any access to retirement plans through their employers could finally get one with your support for “Retirement Security for All” legislation sponsored by Council Members I. Daneek Miller and Ben Kallos. Employers with more than 4 employees that do not currently offer a retirement plan would be required to automatically enroll employees through payroll deduction. There would be no cost to employers with small employers and gig workers able to voluntarily join the program.

Petition to Close Zoning Loophole Allowing for Excessive Mechanical Voids in Residential Construction in Commercial Districts

We’ve passed a limit of 20 feet on empty mechanical voids in residential districts and are now fighting to extend those same protections to “Billionaires Row” in the Central Business District, Hudson Yards, and the Finance District. The proposal from the city is for a 35-foot limit on “voids” in these Commercial Districts. Sign the petition to limit what remains of the voids loophole for residential buildings in commercial districts.

Universal After School

In New York there are 584,597 children in K-12 schools who are left alone and unsupervised during after-school hours. We know from research that after-school programming keeps young people positively engaged during the hours of 2 to 6pm when they are most vulnerable to get in trouble with the criminal justice system. With a recent spike in young adults robbing younger students in the area, we need Universal After School more than ever.

French Dual Language Program for Upper East Side Public Schools

This petition was launched in December 2019 to call on the New York City Department of Education to implement Dual Language Programming for School District 2 and to forge a path toward establishing a French dual language program in School District 2 public schools serving the Upper East Side.

Thanks to you, we won a French dual language program for pre-K students in the district, which opened in September 2020.

With one victory under our belt, please sign this updated petition to see the program expanded to elementary schools.


Sign this Petition Supporting the New York City Council's Resolution Declaring a Climate Emergency

New York City, NY - On Monday, June 24th, 2019, New York City made history as the largest city in the world to declare a climate emergency. Residents from all over New York City rallied on the steps of City Hall in support of Resolution 0864-2019 (“Resolution declaring a climate emergency and calling for immediate emergency mobilization to restore a safe climate.”) The NYC City Counci

Petition Demanding the New York City Board of Elections Follow the Law and Implement True Online Voter Registration Immediately

New York City has over 5 million registered voters, but less than half, 2.1 million voted in the most recent November 2018 elections. The system should be making it easy for residents to engage elections and facilitate all aspects of the voting process, including registration.

Petition to Close Zoning Loophole Allowing for Excessive Mechanical Voids in Residential Construction

Buildings on stilts looked cool on the Jetsons, but the reality is more like Blade Runner, where the poor must live in the shadows below the wealthy above.

By signing this petition you are saying no to empty buildings filled with voids or held up by stilts simply to give the 1% better views while leaving the rest of us in their shadow.

There is something wrong when developers would rather build empty spaces to prop up the wealthy rather than building the affordable housing that 99% of New Yorkers need.

Ban the Use of Toxic Pesticides In New York City's Parks and Open Spaces

New York, NY—  New York City Parks should be a place where New Yorkers can relax and play without being exposed to dangerous chemicals.
So why is an herbicide believed to cause cancer being sprayed in our parks?

Sign this petition to make sure pesticides containing carcinogenic chemicals such as glyphosate are banned from use in New York City Parks.

Select Bus Service for the M96

Since 2016 following positive results from Select Bus Service (SBS) implementation for the M86 and M79, my office requested SBS for remaining crosstown routes. Now it is time the MTA and DOT bring the benefits of SBS so the M96.

Begun in 2008, Select Bus Service has been shown to increase the reliability of buses and decrease travel times by as much as 30%.

Using SBS’s signature combination of dedicated bus lanes, curbside fare collection, all-door boarding and transit-signal priority, SBS will both reduce travel times and increase reliability for the M96 route.


Petition Calling on the City to Better Prepare Students For the Specialized High School Admissions Test as Part of a Universal After school Mandate

New York City Schools are more segregated today then they were when in 1954 when Brown v. Board of Education was decided. Our Specialized High Schools have seen a drop in enrollment by black and Latino students by as much as 27% since de Blasio became Mayor. Despite this drop, 44% to 66% of students at the Specialized High Schools are Title I, with a majority coming from homes where English is not the primary language.

Ban the Bottle: Banning the Sale of Single-Use Plastic Water Bottles in New York City Parks

An estimated eight million metric tons of plastic ends up in the in the ocean each year. Once there, waves, the sun, and salt take decades to break the plastic down into micro and nano pieces which are consumed by many of the fish humans eat. New Yorkers use almost 1 billion single-use plastic water bottles annually many of these bottles get recycled but many also end up in landfills or in our bodies of water polluting local fisheries. 

And while Queen Elizabeth the II has banned the use of single-use water bottles across England's royal estates in an effort to be more environmentally friendly, President Trump has rolled back regulations meant to curb America's dependency on single-use plastic water bottles.

Stand up to President Trump's regressive policies that damage food supplies in the name of corporate profits. Sign the petition in support of my legislation to ban the sale of single-use plastic water bottles in New York City's Parks, beaches and golf courses.

Get Big Money OUT of New York City Politics

Match Every New York City Resident’s Small Dollars

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 732 by Council Members Kallos, 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.

  • Reduce Big Money by filling the “big dollar gap” with small dollars matched with a full public matching grant.
  • Increase the Number of Small Donors by a minimum of 50% for candidates seeking a full public matching grant.

I support matching every small dollar to get big money out of city politics.


For generations, Lady Liberty has stood in New York harbor welcoming immigrants with the words, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free….” Those immigrants have made our nation and city great. Three million New York City residents (37%) are foreign born. In December of 2016, I the City Council passed a resolution affirming New York City as a sanctuary city.

As a sanctuary city, we will provide services to all residents regardless of immigration status, we will not seek immigration status, and will not disclose immigration status, to the maximum extent of the law. Children are safe to attend public schools, unaccompanied minors may dream, workers can earn a living, victims of crimes may report them, and even those who make a minor mistake are free to be a vibrant part of our city without fear of being deported. While President Trump’s Executive Order threatens to withdraw as much as $60 million in funding from the very police force that is protecting him at a cost of more than $365 million, I support New York City remaining a sanctuary city.

I support our City’s protection of immigrants and refugees.

Rent Freeze 2019

We demand a Rent Freeze

The Board has voted on increases that have caused owner income per unit to rise by 16% since 2009. These increases have been based primarily on a price index of operating costs (PIOC) that only considers the landlords’ side of the balance sheet, and which has been shown, when compared to the actual data landlords have reported to the Department of Finance, to overstate landlord costs by 11% since 2005. Meanwhile, tenants’ ability to pay has gone ignored, through the Great Recession and in an era when everyday life has become exceedingly difficult to afford for so many New Yorkers. Since the market crash in 2008, tenants have faced average yearly rent increases of 3.1% compared to the average national asking rent increase during that period of 0.6%, creating the highest rent burdens ever recorded; the median amount of rent paid by stabilized tenants has increased to 34.9% of household incomes.

We demand a Rent Freeze

*Information including email addresses will be shared with the Rent Guidelines Board and Rent Justice Coalition.

Petition to Return Queensboro Oval Park Back to the Public

The Upper East Side is densely populated and in dire need of parkland and open space. Our community ranks a dismal fifth out of 51 City Council districts for the amount of parkland per capita. We need to ensure that our designated parkland be exactly that: public space that all residents can enjoy. 

Currently, Queensboro Oval Park located in Manhattan at the foot of the Ed Koch Queensboro bridge is home to an inflatable bubble that houses a private for-profit tennis club. Due to the private tennis club occupying this land more than 9 months a year residents are left without access to this public park that would go a long way in easing the need for open space.

Please do not renew the private lease of the Queensboro Oval Park and return the park for public use year round.

*Your information will be shared with the Community Board 8 Park Committee and the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Petition for M15 Select Bus Service Stop at East 72nd Street

When Select Bus Service was implemented for the M15 it replaced the Limited Bus Service which had stops at 67th, 72nd, 79th, 86th, and 96th Streets, which were maintained except for East 72nd Street. The closest M15 Select Bus stop for the East 72nd Street neighborhood is now at 67th Street.
We request that the MTA and the Department of Transportation (DOT) add an East 72nd Street stop to the M15 Select Bus Service.
*Your information will be shared with the E72NA, DOT & MTA.

Stop Super-Scrapers

Please preserve our community so that everyone can keep their right to light and air by rezoning our neighborhood to maintain density but preserving context by replacing R10 that allows buildings of unlimited height with a contextual height cap of 210 feet, through R10A or R10X, the tallest height caps allowed under residential zoning.

Oppose the Megatower for East 58th St.

58 Sutton TowerThe proposed ultra-luxury 900-foot condo tower in Sutton Place, if built, would become the second-tallest building on the Upper East Side. This project is concerning because not only will it have implications for the future construction of super-skyscrapers on the Upper East Side, but because it is creating a future where only people who can afford it will have access to air and light.

If you agree, please sign this petition urging the developers of 426-432 East 58th Street to limit their construction to a height that respects the residents of neighboring buildings and the larger Upper East Side community.

You can learn more from the initial coverage by Daniel Fitzsimmons in Our Town or my Opinion Editorial.

Many members of the community have joined the opposition to this proposed tower. You can read the Turtle Bay Association's resolution against the megatower, a statement from community member Alan Kersh presented at the CB6 Land Use Committee meeting, and a resolution from Community Board Six calling for further review and action.



Pledge to Vote

Participatory budgeting empowers you to decide how money gets spent in your neighborhood. Whether you’re passionate about green space, improving housing conditions or senior services, participatory budgeting allows you to champion your causes for the good of the community. Other Council Districts have piloted participatory budgeting with resounding success, and now I’m bringing it to our neighborhood. I have set aside a million dollars so you can vote on projects that are important to you.