Statement from Council Member Ben Kallos on Being Named Chair of the Committee on Governmental OperationsSubmitted by admin on Wed, 01/22/2014 - 2:46pm
New York, NY – Today, on the naming of City Council committee assignments, the following statement can be attributed to Council Member Ben Kallos (District Five, Manhattan):
"I am honored to be named Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations, where I will work with my committee to create a government that is more open, transparent, and accountable to the working families that make our city great. Our task will be to make our city more efficient at seamlessly serving all of our city’s residents, so that government just works for the people."
He will serve on the committee with a bipartisan and geographically diverse committee, including Council Members David Greenfield, Mark Levine, Ritchie Torres and Steven Matteo.
Kallos’ priorities on the Committee on Governmental Operations include:
• Reforming the community board system in partnership with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer to improve openness, accountability and transparency;
• Working with the Campaign Finance Board and the Voter Assistance Commission to expand and further empower public financing of campaigns to promote the best candidates;
• Working with the New York City Board of Elections to ensure smooth elections and greater enfranchisement of New Yorkers; and
• Working with the Commission on Public Information and Communication (COPIC) as well as the Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS) to promote transparency through the facilitation of open data for the public.
The Committee on Governmental Operations reviews municipal structures and organization, with jurisdictions on the following agencies, boards, and commissions:
· The New York Law Department
· The Board of Elections
· The Board of Standards and Appeals
· The New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS)
· The New York City Community Boards
· The New York City Tax Commission
· The Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS)
· The Financial Information Services Agency
· The Commission on Public Information and Communication
· The New York City Campaign Finance Board
· The Voter’s Assistance Commission
Kallos was also named to the Women’s Issues committee, Land Use Committee, the Land Use Subcommittee on Landmarks, and the Committee on State and Federal Legislation.
"With Council Member Kallos on the Federal and State Affairs committee, I look forward to working closely with him to keep Albany accountable, including fighting for voting districts that are fair and equal. With our state and city governmentso connected, we need Council Members working to keep up the reforms we've begun,” said Bill Samuels, Founder of good government reform group the New Roosevelt Initiative.
At the beginning of his career in public service, Kallos put Albany voting records online so New Yorkers could hold politicians accountable. As Executive Director of New Roosevelt, he worked to help defeat corrupt politician Pedro Espada.
“Ben Kallos will be a strong advocate for women in the City Council. Joining the women’s issues committee will allow him a platform to be a leader on the issues that matter to women and their families, whether that’s creating opportunities for women-owned businesses or advocating for health coordinators in schools to better serve our kids,” said Sonia Ossorio, President of the National Organization for Women – New York City (NOW-NYC).