Press Coverage

AM New York
Rachael Figueroa-Levin
3/25/14
 

The City Council is considering a measure that would lower the minimum-age requirement -- from 18 to 16 -- for anyone serving on NYC's 59 community boards.

Sixteen-year-olds may have the unfortunate reputation of being too self-absorbed, even being troublemakers. At 16, I was definitely of the troublemaking variety.

 

New York Daily News
Celeste Katz
3/25/14
 

In a 20-page rebuttal to the December DOI study, BOE Executive Director Michael Ryan said many of the DOI's reform recommendations are inconsistent with how the Board is forced to operate under state law.

He also chewed out the investigators for sending undercover agents -- a move DOI officials have called a standard procedure in a probe of this nature -- to pose as dead or otherwise disqualified voters, and said in the majority of the cases, the city Board had no way to know the people whose names were used at the polls shouldn't or couldn't vote. 

 

Huffington Post
Matthew Chapman
3/24/14
 

Check out this video of New York City Council Member Benjamin Kallos coolly picking apart an element of Bloomberg's old trash plan that has gone out of control.

The collection and disposal of trash in New York City, but particularly in Manhattan, is achieved through a mixture of poorly regulated private trash vehicles and relatively well-maintained and environmentally sound government ones. Recycling rates are embarrassingly low, 15 percent compared to up to 75 percent in other cities.

 

City and State First Read
City and State
3/21/14
 

Reporters and good government advocates who have grown tired of poor response times to FOIL requests from city agencies may soon find sweet relief. Speaking at a City & State sponsored technology event on Thursday night, City Councilman Ben Kallos said he is interested in revamping the FOIL system. Kallos hopes to simplify requests by allowing online submissions, as well as a way to track the request’s progress online. A draft of the legislation is currently being written and the details have not fully been worked out, but Kallos said he hopes it passes the Council quickly.

 

Our Town
Ben Kallos
3/20/14
 

Since taking office in January, I have been working to ensure you have the services you need, while also working to expand pre-k and afterschool programs to all children, opening up government for public participation, and fighting the marine transfer station slated to be built in our neighborhood.

A new report from Pledge 2 Protect has offered further evidence that the 91st St. Marine Transfer Station will hurt our city. I oppose the marine transfer station and support instead a modern approach that will reduce waste, increase recycling and protect residential neighborhoods – and I am working to spread the word in city government.

 

Our Town
Daniel Fitzsimmons
3/20/14
 

 Residents of District 5 have just been handed a blank check.

Councilman Ben Kallos announced his office is taking part in an abbreviated participatory budgeting program with $1 million available to spend.

Under normal circumstances, a council member taking part in participatory budgeting – where constituents vote on how to spend a certain amount of money in the district – gets seven months to hear and vote on proposals from the community. Because Kallos took office in January, however, the process is being expedited.

 

City and State
City and State
3/20/14
 

 

 

DNAinfo.com
Lindsay Armstrong
3/18/14
 

UPPER EAST SIDE — New playground equipment at theStanley Isaacs Houses, handrails that will help seniors navigate the steps at Carl Schurz Park, and an updated cooling system at the67th Street Library where many people take refuge during the hot summer months.

All of these proposals could go from wish list to reality through Councilman Ben Kallos’s participatory budgeting program.

 

DNAinfo.com
Lindsay Armstrong
3/17/14
 

UPPER EAST SIDE — The City Council is considering a resolution that would bring civics lessons out of the classroom and into real life for New York City teens.

Councilman Ben Kallos introduced a resolution last week in support of a state bill that would lower the age requirement for serving on neighborhood community boards. Currently, a person must be 18 to become a community board member. The bill, which is backed by Assemblywoman Nily Rozic and state Sen. Andrew Lanza, would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to serve.

 

Gothamist
John Surico
3/17/14
 

Last week, a bill was introduced to the New York City Council that would lower the required minimum age for Community Board members from 18 to 16.

By doing so, the bill's creator, the newly elected Councilman Ben Kallos, hopes to offset the low percentage of Millennials involved with their Community Boards: in Manhattan, only 6 percent of this year's applicants were between the ages of 18 and 24. Kallos believes it'll be a real-life civics lesson, providing exciting insight to unexciting meetings.

 

New York Magazine
Caroline Bankoff
3/17/14
 

Last week, the newly elected Ben Kallos introduced a bill that would lower the minimum age for Community Board members from 18 years old to 16 years old. According to Kallos, allowing more teens the chance to sit on the governing bodies, which don't make laws but do advise the city on neighborhood matters such as zoning, traffic, liquor licenses, and budgets, will "lay the groundwork for a lifetime of civic engagement."

 

Gotham Gazette
David Howard King
3/16/14
 

Albany, N.Y. – With the dawn of national Sunshine Week on Sunday, good government advocates will intensify their campaigns for more transparency in New York State, where progress in open government is seen as a mixed bag.

The state has made headway in providing online access to public records, but the state legislature and city government are failing to grant greater access to meetings where policy decisions are made.

 

Our Town
Daniel Fitzsimmons
3/6/14
 

Freshman Councilman Ben Kallos, representing the Upper East Side, held a hearing Monday as chair of the Government Operations committee aimed at overhauling the application and appointment process to the city’s 59 community boards.

Kallos’ office reported about 1,500 spots were opening across the five boroughs, and that reforms in recent years had been achieved but never standardized.

 

 

JP Updates
Jacob Kornbluh
3/3/14
 

Mark Levine, a Jewish councilman from Harlem and Washington Heights, was selected to lead the Jewish caucus in the City Council.

There are 14 Jewish members in the City Council, up from 10 in the previous Council.

 

New York Daily News
Celeste Katz
2/28/14
 

The Board has not been “anywhere near as cooperative” as necessary in responding to a 2013 DOI investigation that detailed nepotism, incompetence, inefficiency -- and even possible crimes, DOI Commissioner Mark Peters (pictured center) told a joint hearing of the City Council Government Operations and Oversight and Investigations Committees.

 

TechPresident
Miranda Neubauer
2/28/14
 

 

Last weekend, around one hundred members of New York City's civic hacker community came together to help develop tools that would be useful for City Council and local Community Board members as part of Code Across NYC, organized by Code for America brigade betaNYC. As part of the event, open government advocates Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council member Ben Kallos discussed their transparency advocacy. With input from five Community Board members and New York City officials, the weekend program resulted in the creation of 20 projects, of which 12 were submitted for five awards.

 

 

TechPresident
Miranda Neubauer
2/28/14
 

 

Last weekend, around one hundred members of New York City's civic hacker community came together to help develop tools that would be useful for City Council and local Community Board members as part of Code Across NYC, organized by Code for America brigade betaNYC. As part of the event, open government advocates Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council member Ben Kallos discussed their transparency advocacy. With input from five Community Board members and New York City officials, the weekend program resulted in the creation of 20 projects, of which 12 were submitted for five awards.

 

 

TechPresident
Miranda Neubauer
2/20/14
 

Newly-elected New York City Council member Ben Kallos' constituent event Thursday afternoon was unusual in several respects: there were some connectivity problems, and the issues discussed ranged from a proposed municipal ID system and the Comcast/Time Warner merger to proprietary software used by the City Council and data analytics.

Kallos hosted a Google Hangout with about ten participants to announce his online constituent services, including SeeClickFix, and to discuss issues of concern to his constituents and the New York City technology community. For the SeeClickFix effort, he is building on an established program run by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, which has been using the platform on the island, part of his district along with the Upper East Side, since 2010.

 

Our Town
Daniel Fitzsimmons
2/19/14
 

A new report by a group opposing the construction of the waste transfer station on the Upper East Side claims that the city’s comprehensive waste management plan is deeply flawed –the latest salvo in a battle between local residents and a city that’s struggling to adequately deal with the trash it generates.

 

City and State
Kristen Meriwether
2/18/14
 

As part of his continued push to increase transparency in the New York Police Department, Commissioner Bill Bratton announced on Tuesday that the department will open up TrafficStat to more city agencies. The reforms are aimed at meeting Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero goal of zero traffic fatalitie

 

New York Daily News
Jan Ransom
2/14/14
 

As Upper East Siders continue their campaign to upend the reopening of the E. 91st St. waste transfer station, the politicians refuse to suggest an alternative site. Mayor de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito support the five borough plan.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/uptown/pols-trash-talk-leads-article-1.1613973#ixzz2tuMD8Mzr

 

TechPresident
Miranda Neubauer
2/11/14
 

 

While there was a lot of hype about a report that the NYPD is testing Google Glass, in the short-term a policy-shift toward more accessible NYPD data has the potential to be more consequential for New Yorkers at large.

 

New York Times
Javier Hernandez
Nikita Stewart
2/8/14
 



Councilman Ben Kallos at a rally supporting Mayor Bill de Blasio’s prekindergarten proposal in Manhattan last month. Ángel Franco/The New York Times