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Media Post
Tobi Elkin
2/21/17
 

“Look out Silicon Valley, here comes Silicon Alley, supported by a city government that is providing the funding, space, and data the tech sector needs to thrive,” stated New York City Council Member Ben Kallos.

 

DNAinfo.com
Shaye Weaver
2/20/17
 

Councilman Ben Kallos, who attended the CB8 meeting on Wednesday, supported finding new use for the Queenboro Oval, telling tennis players to "get on the Roosevelt Island tram" to play at the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club or to back the creation of a non-profit that could maintain tennis courts at the location.

He pointed to the Riverside Clay Tennis Association which maintains courts at Riverside Park near West 96th Street.

"If you don't want to worry about the RFP and don't want Parks to have to worry about ethics laws, the best thing you can do is get the community board to pass a resolution saying that it wants to work with a nonprofit like Riverside and I can give funding from my office to get that started," Kallos said.

 

Madison County Courier
Madison County Courier
2/14/17
 

“New York State should be a national role model for voter access and voting rights, with same-day registration, early voting, and no-excuse absentee voting,” said NYC Council Member Ben Kallos, chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations. “I applaud Attorney General Schneiderman’s efforts to get these voting reforms passed, and in the City Council we will continue to support that effort with resolutions calling on the state legislature to do the right thing.”

 

Gotham Gazette
Samar Khurshid
2/13/17
 

Council Member Ben Kallos, chair of the governmental operations committee, has been pushing the city to do better for years and, at his request, the latest reports now show spending information by general categories of appropriation. But, he points out, the report still fails to connect budgeting with agency goals, despite being mandated by the city charter. “The MMR should be treated as an investment document,” Kallos said in a phone interview, “and spending should be tied to specific programmatic performance goals so New York City residents know how their tax dollars are being spent and can advocate for them to be increased or decreased.”

 

City Land
Jonothon Sizemore
2/7/17
 

Council Member Elizabeth Crowley was combative when questioning Chandler. Citing the Committee’s report, Crowley noted that while permits issued by the DOB were up 15 percent from 2014 to 2016, fatalities had gone up 100 percent in that same time. She laid blame for the rise in deaths on a “lapse in safety standards and supervision on the behalf of the DOB.” Crowley, sponsor of the prevailing wage bill, was baffled that the DOB would oppose requiring prevailing wages and apprenticeship training, which she pointed out that the School Construction Authority already requires for all its developments.

Council Member Benjamin Kallos expressed concerns over DOB’s testimony against apprenticeship programs. Kallos noted, and DOB conceded, that there are apprenticeship programs offered in a range of languages other than English, so language may not be such a bar. Further, when asked how many programs require a G.E.D. or its equivalent, the DOB was unable to provide an answer because it did not track such things. Kallos asked DOB to reconsider its position based on the lack of data to back the DOB’s assertions.

 

1010 WINS
Al Jones
2/6/17
 

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Department of Sanitation and City Councilman Ben Kallos were handing out free reusable bags to help residents prepare for the implementation of a new ‘carryout bag law.’

However, the law is not without opposition.

Walking out the Fairway market on East 86th Street, Chris told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones that he likes the reusable bags, and uses them all the time. He also runs a delivery service.

 

New York Daily News
Kenneth Lovett
1/26/17
 

"New York City is in the midst of a homelessness crisis that is severely impacting our most vulnerable residents, with currently 23,365 children are living in our city's shelter system," Kallos said. "We should be doing everything we can to prevent more families from ending up in already crowded shelters."

Hevesi's plan previously has been backed by 111 state Assembly members from both parties, a group of eight breakaway Senate Democrats who help make up a leadership coalition with the Republicans, and a range of other public officials.

Hevesi has said his plan would cost the state and feds $450 million, but it would ultimately save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars by relying less on costly shelters. It would also be a big savings for the city, he has said.

 

Reveal Center For Investigative Reporting
Miranda S. Spivack
1/23/17
 

The business model has worked well for the company, which was founded in the paper era in 1934, and has helped countless residents who want to find information about their community’s laws and see how they compare with others.

“We don’t believe we own these codes,” Wolf said. “We believe we are a service provider. We take the raw ordinances and put the codes online.”

The information, he says, doesn’t belong to his company. “It is not our information; it is the public’s information.”

New York City recently became a client of American Legal Publishing.

Ben Kallos, a city council member who helped nudge the city toward embracing a new system for publishing its laws, said making laws easily available to the public should be a no-brainer.

“If it is just out there and publicly available, residents can actually read laws, interact with them and use them and be empowered.”

 

The Real Deal
Kathryn Brenzel
1/19/17
 

One of the more contentious bills would require construction workers involved in projects of a certain size that receive $1 million or more in any kind of government assistance to receive state-approved training. Contractors would be required to participate in apprenticeship programs approved by the New York State Department of Labor if working on projects that are 100,000 square feet or more or have 50 or more residential units. A similar bill was introduced in 2013, but was revived by Council member Ben Kallos. Kallos noted on Wednesday that since 2012, 72 percent of construction-related accidents occurred on sites where contractors didn’t participate in apprenticeship programs.

“No one should die from a construction accident that could have been prevented with proper education, apprenticeship, and protections for a worker’s right to say no to a dangerous situation,” he said in a statement.

Brian Sampson, president of the New York chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, a nonunion organization, said the bill wrongly equates the apprenticeship programs with safety. He argued that the law would force workers to either join a union — since unions already participate in the programs — or apply for a program independently, which can take six to 18 months. He said this is likely to put hundreds of workers out of jobs.

 

City Land
Editorial Board
1/18/17
 

Occupying a prominent site that formerly hosted the Vanderbilt mansion at the south end of Grand Army Plaza, the building was designed Ely Jacques Kahn in a Modern Classical style. Bergdorf Goodman was among the original tenants, and grew to become one of the City’s iconic department stores, ultimately purchasing the entire building.

The vernacular Italianate 412 East 85th Street House was built circa 1860, and is a rare surviving wood-framed house on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The house has had a series of owners, and undergone some minor alterations, but remains largely intact. The house’s owners, Catherine De Vido and Susan Jordan, supported landmark designation. Council Member Ben Kallos, Gale Brewer, and preservationist organizations also urged Landmarks to designate the property.

The Harlem Branch of the YMCA, now the Jackie Robinson YMCA Youth Center, was completed in 1919 to designs by architect John Jackson. At the time of its construction, YMCAs were racially segregated, and the Harlem Branch was built for the use of African Americans. The building served as a center for Harlem intellectual and social life, and Harlem Renaissance luminaries such as Langston Hughes, Richard Wright and Paul Robeson are associated with the YMCA. There was no opposition to designation on the November 12thhearing. Chair Srinivasan said the cultural and social history associated with the building made it “a standout.”

 

Bicycling.com
MOLLY HURFORD
1/13/17
 

Citi Bike has seen nearly 37 million trips completed since its inception in 2013, with few serious injuries and no deaths—but with more riders joining the bike share, they see further safety measures as a necessary step. (Learn everything you need to be a safer rider with the Bicycling Complete Book of Road Cycling Skills.)

“As Citi Bike ridership soars even during the dark winter months, it is important that we look for new innovative ways to keep pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers safe,” said Council Member Ben Kallos in a press release. “By testing out the Blaze Laserlights, the city is showing its commitment to safety in our streets.”

 

Mobile Marketing Magazine
Tim Maytom
1/13/17
 

“As Citi Bike ridership soars even during the dark winter months, it is important that we look for new innovative ways to keep pedestrians, cyclists and drivers safe,” said city council member Ben Kallos. “By testing out the Blaze Laserlights the city is showing its commitment to safety in our streets.”

 

New York Times
Lawrence Downes
1/6/17
 

 

A bill introduced last month by City Council member Ben Kallos would try to end this ridiculous time warp. It would require building owners to finish repair work in six months, so that sheds can be removed. If work on a building ever stopped for seven or more consecutive days, landlords would have to take the sheds down or risk being fined.

 

Village Voice
Stephen Miller
1/6/17
 

Council Member Ben Kallos, who represents Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side, said his grandfather used the vehicular elevator while serving as a doctor at Coler-Goldwater Hospital. Kallos first remembers taking the tram with elementary school classmates in the 1980s. “We had a birthday party on Roosevelt Island, and that’s the first time I remember going there,” he said. “At the time, the only way you were going to get there was on the tram.”

The tram served as an '80s backdrop not only for Kallos’s childhood memories, but also for high-flying scenes in the cheesy 1981 Sylvester Stallone thriller Nighthawks, where Sly’s character pilots a helicopter in a bid to rescue hostages held in one of the tram cabins.

Finally, the subway opened in 1989. The next year, the city came to an interim agreement with the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, the state authority that manages the island, to continue operating the tram, which remained popular.

 

http://motherboard.vice.com/en_ca/read/second-avenue-subway-opening-party-photos
1/5/17
 

The New York City subway is the lifeblood of the city, outgoing MTA chairman Thomas Prendergast said the other night—that is, the sort of circulatory system that people tend to move through, drift through like blood cells (5,650,610 each weekday, to be precise), not a place they move to. On New Year’s Eve, it was the opposite: six stories down was the figurative height of urban accomplishment, a gleaming destination unto itself. The crazy idea of launching the Second Avenue Subway at a New Year's Eve party inside a subway station—of launching the subway at all, on deadline—was Governor Cuomo's, said the governor, who was standing on a dais above a crowd of well-dressed revelers and not far from a black sign hanging on the wall that said, miraculously, in white Helvetica letters, “72 STREET. 24 HOUR BOOTH.”

“I said to my family, I said, ‘You know how about this for an idea? We have a New Year’s Eve party in the new subway station.’ And they gave me that look, like you know, ‘There’s crazy Dad again!’ But, I said, ‘This is unlike any subway station you’ve ever seen. You look at this mezzanine level, which subway stations normally don’t have. It’s open, it’s airy. You look at the public art that is in all these stations, it is amazing." Here, the walls were decorated with amusing, live-size mosaic portraits of everyday New Yorkers by artist Vic Muniz, including one of a couple of bulky, bearded Brooklynites holding hands. Cuomo did not mention that, nor did he acknowledge another obvious amazement: the station was litter-free, with not a rat in sight.

 

DNAinfo.com
Noah Hurowitz
1/4/17
 

The rezoning proposal is currently being reviewed by the Department of City Planning, and the group expects an answer on whether the city will move forward with a uniform land-use review process, or ULURP, in the next few weeks.

The process, which would begin as soon as DCP certifies the application, would take months to complete, requiring reviews by Community Board 6, the Manhattan Borough President, the City Planning Commission, and City Council.

But the proposal already has the support of key figures in that process, including Borough President Gale Brewer, CB6, and city council members including Ben Kallos and Dan Garodnick.

 

New York Times
Emma G. Fitzsimmons
12/30/16
 

Even Yorkville’s city councilman, Ben Kallos, 35, who grew up in the neighborhood, is weighing how he and his wife can afford to stay in the district. He said there was little he could do to slow rising rents.

“Where I have to place much of my focus is on helping rent-regulated tenants stay in their apartment and exercise their rights,” said Mr. Kallos, a Democrat who has also pushed to set a height limit on so-called superscrapers in the neighborhoods he represents.

Austin Finan, a spokesman for Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, said the administration’s top priority remained protecting affordable housing and building new units.

PhotoWorkers on Second Avenue between East 69th and East 70th Streets, completing work on the 72nd Street station. CreditDave Sanders for The New York Times

“We pursue that goal in every neighborhood in the city, including on the Upper East Side,” Mr. Finan said.

Across the United States, good transit access often leads to higher real estate prices, with home values near rapid transit in Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Phoenix and San Francisco far outpacing other properties during the last recession, according to a report by the American Public Transportation Association.

 

Gotham Gazette
Ben Max
12/30/16
 

Per the de Blasio administration, “only 43 percent of working New Yorkers have access to a plan that can help them save for retirement,” but they are often subject to large fees, and “even those who have started to save do not have much: 40 percent of New Yorkers between the ages of 50 and 64 have less than $10,000 saved for retirement.”

The city-focused ruling from the Department of Labor, which applies only to municipalities of a certain size, comes after DOL paved the way for state-run programs earlier this year. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo already has a commission studying the issue. A state program could supercede a city one, though it would also depend on the details of the programs if the city were to launch one before the state. It is too early to tell which level of government will act first. In the city, Public Advocate James and City Council Member Ben Kallos are expected to lead on introducing legislation at the City Council, and the bill would likely go through Kallos' governmental operations committee.

 

City Land
Jonathon Sizemore
12/29/16
 

The site for the skyscraper forms an L-shape, wrapping around several existing buildings and fronting both Third Avenue and 88th Street. Last year the developer carved out a lot measuring four by twenty-two feet on the development’s 88th Street front. Doing so allowed the owner to avoid strict zoning requirements, including height limits for narrow buildings between two low-rise buildings. The move also allowed the owner to designate space on the side facing 88th Street as a required rear yard, when in practice it would serve as an entrance to the skyscraper. The Department of Buildings approved the carve-out.

In May 2016, after construction had begun, the scheme came to the notice of Council Member Ben Kallos who, with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, requestedthat Buildings immediately stop construction at the site for a review. Together, they called the 88 square-foot lot “the smallest created in modern times” and “unbuildable” with “no legitimate purpose.” Buildings stopped construction at the site shortly after.

Working with the City, the developer proposed increasing the carved out lot to ten by twenty-two feet. On October 27, 2016, Buildings approved the increased size, stating that the agency considered the now larger lot “developable.”

 

Wall Street Journal
Josh Barbanel
12/29/16
 

Carnegie Hill Neighbors, a preservation group said it planned to file an administrative appeal, and is preparing to go to court if necessary to stop the project.

“I am not sure what kind of building you can build on a 10-by-22-foot lot but I sure wouldn’t want to live there,’ said Council member Ben Kallos, a Manhattan Democrat, who is opposing the project.

 

Queens Chronicle
Ryan Brady
12/23/16
 

Sick of the Board of Standards and Appeals approving projects contrary to their wishes, members of Queens civic associations are highly supportive of a 10-bill package before the City Council to make the agency more transparent.

A hearing on the bills, some of which were introduced by Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) this month and others of which were introduced before, was held on Dec. 14.

Some of the measures that stand out include a bill that would create a $25,000 fine for lying on an application; one that would require the agency to reference arguments made by community and borough boards and the City Planning Commission in its decisions; and another that would mandate the creation of a map showing locations where variances and special permits have been granted.

 

Upper East Side Patch,NYC
Brendan Krisel
12/23/16
 

Three City Council members — Jumaane Williams, Ben Kallos and Carlos Mechaca — released a statement offering their condolences to the worker's families and pledging to make sure developers are held accountable when a job site is unsafe.

The joint statement reads:

"We're saddened to offer our prayers of peace and comfort to the family and friends of yet another young man who lost his life on a New York City construction site. If it is even possible to make such news worse, getting it during the holiday season must be unimaginable. My thoughts are with them.

 

Gotham Gazette
Ben Max
12/21/16
 

The de Blasio administration is bringing in a new chief administrative officer to work under First Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris starting January 1. Laura Anglin, who comes to City Hall after serving as president of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities for the last seven years, “will support the work of a number of City agencies,” according to the December 15 press release announcing her hire.

Those agencies include several within Shorris’ 30-agency portfolio, the vastness of which was a key point of contention at a City Council oversight hearing in September. At that hearing, which focused on the administratioan’s mistakes in removing deed restrictions on Rivington House, City Council Member Ben Kallos asked Shorris a series of questions about the structure of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s upper management and whether the first deputy mayor has too much on his plate. Kallos indicated that he believes de Blasio should have a deputy mayor for operations like some of his predecessors.

 

Our Town
Madeleine Thompson
12/20/16
 

Council Member Ben Kallos, who represents the area, said some restaurants may count fines for e-bikes as part of the cost of doing business. “I’ve made a very simple request going on two years now saying ‘I’d like [residents] to no longer accept deliveries from people who show up with e-bikes,” he said. “Ultimately I think that if a restaurant gets fined $100, that’s the cost of doing business but if they lose 100 customers in a night, that has an impact.” While his office did not assist in the data collection of data, Kallos said he fully supports the idea of the survey and would suggest it to other communities that feel they have a commercial cycling problem. “Hopefully other neighborhood associations in this district, as well as around the city, will see this as a model and start working so that instead of just complaining about e-bikes people are actually empowered to do something about it,” he said.

Mason said her organization isn’t “against cyclists,” and was quick to say she didn’t want to resort to ending her patronage at the poorer scoring restaurants. Mason was recently hit by an electric bike in Queens, and wants everything possible to be done to increase her neighborhood’s safety. Ideally, Mason would like to see the Department of Health include adherence to commercial cycling rules in their letter grades for restaurants. “We’re hoping that the restaurant community will be responsive,” she said. “We want to keep the restaurants in business.”

 

DNAinfo.com
Shaye Weaver
12/19/16
 

If the DOB decides to uphold its decision, then the developer can appeal with the city's Board of Standards and Appeals.

The challenge against DDG's plans, which can be submitted by individuals or organizations, was filed by local group Carnegie Hill Neighbors as well as politicians including Brewer, Councilman Ben Kallos, State Senator Liz Krueger and the law firm Carter Ledyard & Milburn. 

Their petition argues that DDG has made no changes to resolve zoning issues raised when it first filed plans with the city.

 

Dear Friend,

Over the last two weeks New Yorkers have made me even prouder to represent this City as they have come out by the tens of thousands, taking action to support everything from a woman’s right to choose to keeping our nation and City open to immigrants and refugees. To stay informed about ways to defend New York City values against the threats of the Trump Administration, sign up to get more frequent messages from me with notifications of upcoming actions (you can unsubscribe at any time).

As we make our voices heard nationally, we must reinvest in leading on the local level. In the spirit of community collaboration, it was a pleasure seeing almost two hundred residents at my State of the District event, where I highlighted much of what we have accomplished together over the past three years, and what we can achieve on the East Side and in New York in 2017.

We continue our push to bring true Universal Pre-K to the East Side and Roosevelt Island, to fight against overdevelopment, and to bring scaffolding down throughout the city. We are also taking action to support women's healthfire safety, and construction safety.

How will you get involved this month?

Sincerely,

 

Ben Kallos

SPECIAL EVENTS:
 
February 10, 11:30am
ERFA Town Hall
 
February 16, 2pm-4pm
Fire Safety Prevention Event 

February 16, 5:30pm-7:30pm
Pre-K Registration Event 
 
February 17, 10am-4:30pm
NO-COST Mammogram Van 
 
 
 
DISTRICT OFFICE EVENTS

February 3, 8am-10am
First Friday

February 14, 6pm-7pm
Brainstorming With Ben


TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. SanctuaryNYC
  2. Holocaust Remembrance Day
  3. Muslim Ban
  4. Take Action and Resist
  5. New York Times Editorial Supports Scaffolding Reform
  6. 50 Year Agreement Reached on the Roosevelt Island Tram
  7. City Council Funding for Local Non-Profits Due February

EDUCATION

  1. Universal Pre-Kindergarten Presentation on Registration
  2. Free State and City College
  3. Meeting with Parent Teacher Associations

HOUSING & ZONING

  1. East River 50s Alliance Town Hall
  2. Protecting the Rent Freeze
  3. Safe Construction Jobs Act Hearing
  4. Historic Districts Council is Hiring

PARKS & THE ENVIRONMENT

  1. Opening the Queensboro Oval
  2. Climate Change on SciQ
  3. Solar Energy in New York City

TRANSPORTATION

  1. Update: Fighting for a Select Bus Service Stop at East 72nd Street
  2. Successful Commercial Bike Safety Event
  3. Honoring the Second Avenue Subway Task Force
  4. Job Posting: Program Manager at Citi Bike

GOVERNMENT TECHNOLOGY AND TRANSPARENCY

  1. The NYC Civic Innovation Fellows Program
  2. The Commons: Co-Working Space Opens on the Upper East Side

COMMUNITY

  1. Third Annual State of the District
  2. Judicial Inductions
  3. Due This Friday: Join Your Community Board
  4. Free Tax Preparation by AARP Tax Aide at Lenox Hill
  5. Supporting the Homeless, ETHOS Update
  6. 3 Kings Day at El Museo Del Barrio
  7. Judicial Inductions
  8. Rally Opposing Anti Labor Secretary Nominee
  9. Our Lady of Peace Parishioners Appeal Church Closing
  10. NYC Ballet Family Saturdays: $5 Ticket Offer
  11. NYC Urban Debate League Is Looking for Volunteer Judges
  12. 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 in Part by My Office
  9.  

Happy New Year! Your gift for the holiday season and surviving nearly a decade of construction is a brand new Second Avenue Subway.

On Sunday January 22, I will be hosting my annual State of the District event with FREE reusable bags at Memorial Sloan Kettering and everyone is invited. At the State of the District, I will be discussing the busy year my office has had and highlighting some of the victories we have accomplished with our many community partners. RSVP to reserve your bag.

In December we continued to fight for responsible development. I introduced a bill aimed at fighting the proliferation of scaffolding by limiting how long it can be up without work being done or completed. The battle to rezone the Sutton area continued in December as the community and elected officials submitted the rezoning application to the City. As the property was sold at auction to the original lender, the race to rezone continues. At 180 East 88th Street we submitted a zoning challenge to force the developer to follow the zoning laws. We are even reclaiming public park land from a private use and need your opinion on what the park should look like.

As I continue to fight special interests I am proud to have passed laws to open up the deed restriction process and improve our campaign finance system by stopping public dollars from amplifying the voices of special interests doing business with the city so that public dollars only amplify the voices of voters like you.

Thank you all who attended the Holiday Party in early December, it was great seeing everyone at my district office. I hope to see many of you at my State of the District event on January 22. RSVP

Sincerely,

Ben Kallos
Council Member

 

SPECIAL EVENTS

January 22, 2017
1pm-3pm
State of the District Address

January 23, 2017
6:30-9:30pm
Trading the Sky Panel

January 26, 2017
2:30-5pm
Commercial Bike Safety Event

DISTRICT OFFICE EVENTS

January 6
8am-10am
First Friday

January 10
6pm-7pm
Brainstorming With Ben

January 12
5pm-6pm
Landmarking and Land Use Clinic

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. INVITATION: State of the District with Free Bags
  2. Opening the Second Avenue Subway
  3. Campaign Finance Laws Passed
  4. Scaffolding Reform
  5. Traffic Cones
  6. Delivery Bike Safety
  7. 180 East 88th Street Construction Permit Challenged
  8. Sutton: Citation for Charles Fernandez
  9. Join Your Community Board

HOUSING AND ZONING

  1. Reforms to Stop BSA Variances from Neighborhood Plans
  2. Preventing the Next Rivington: Deed Restriction Reforms Signed into Law
  3. Unveiling Henderson Place District Marker
  4. Join Me for "Trading the Sky" Panel Discussion
  5. Land Use Clinic
  6. Mapping the Shadows of New York City
  7. Freinds of the Upper East Side Historic Districts 2017 Awards: A Call For Entries

ENVIRONMENT

  1. Opening the Queensboro Oval Under the 59th Street Bridge
  2. Cleaner Air From City Power Plants
  3. Con Edison Steam and Power Plant at East 74th Street

COMMUNITY

  1. Apply for Pre-K
  2. Help the Homeless by Counting Those in Need
  3. LifeSciNYC
  4. NYCEDC Works Toward Starting Life Sciences Incubators
  5. Proclamation for Sally Minard
  6. Tours for Schools
  7. Firefighter Raises Money for Upper East Side Fire Victims
  8. Night at the Opera
  9. Park NYC Roll Out
  10. E-Waste Event at the 92nd Street Y
  11. The Glass Room with Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito

OFFICE UPDATES

  1. Happy Holidays
  2. Remembering the Fallen at Pearl Harbor
  3. City Council Funding for Local Non-Profits
  4. Legislative Corner
  5. Free Legal Clinics
  6. Here to Help
  7. Mobile District Hours
  8. 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

Friend,

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and are looking forward to the December Holidays. Please join me and my staff at our District Office for our annual Holiday Party this coming Tuesday, December 6, from 5pm to 7pm.

Many have reached out to me following this year’s Presidential Election results. As with all situations, we will move forward as we have on countless issues over the last three years, together. While some want to build walls, we must build connections by organizing communities in our buildings, block, neighborhood, borough, city, and state. Whether you want to focus on public education, access to reproductive health, affordable housing, public transportation, the environment, protecting our immigrants, or another issue, we are here, as always, to support and empower you.

As covered by The Wall Street Journal, the East River 50s Alliance and I helped obtain a stop work order on the demolition job connected to the proposed 950-foot Sutton Superscraper. We also formally submitted our rezoning proposal, the next big step towards capping the height of buildings in the Sutton Area at 260 feet. As Co-Chair of the East River Esplanade Taskforce with Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, I worked with the City and Friends of the East River Esplanade to open the East 90th Street Pier Park.

As we celebrate the holidays, I reflect on how thankful I am to be your Council Member and for our partnership in making our community a better place. Whatever you need, whether it is a free menorah or help with housing, we are here to help.

Sincerely,

Ben Kallos
Council Member

P.S. First Friday is December 2nd and Policy Night is December 13th. Also be sure to RSVP for my State of the District event on Janaury 22, 2017 at Memorial Sloan Kettering. 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Holiday Party
  2. Stop Work Order Issued at Sutton Tower
  3. 90th Street Pier Opens as Park to Public
  4. Improvements to the Mayor’s Management Report
  5. Proclamation for Heroic Firefighters
  6. New This Month: Land Use and Landmarking Clinic with Historic Districts Council

ELECTION 2016

  1. The Presidential Election
  2. Long Lines on Election Day
  3. Homeless Outreach to Encourage Voting
  4. Registering as an Organ Donor Gets Easier and Disenfranchised Incarcerated Voters Get Absentee Ballots

TRANSPORTATION

  1. Bike Safety Program Reels in Results
  2. Protecting Tenants from 2nd Avenue Subway Displacement

HEALTH & SAFETY

  1. Universal Free School Lunch
  2. Obamacare Signup
  3. Preparing for Emergencies
  4. Free Smoke Detectors, Preventing Home Fires
  5. Medicare Enrollment Event

HOUSING

  1. Eastside Task Force for Homeless Outreach Meets to Make a Difference
  2. Supreme Court Denies Appeal to Remove Landmark
  3. Advocacy Protects NYC’s Integrated Communities from Proposed HUD Policy
  4. Tenants & Neighbors Protecting Our Affordable Housing
  5. Landmarks50 Alliance Luncheon
  6. Protecting affordable Housing on Roosevelt Island

EQUALITY

  1. Supporting Pay Equity for Female City Employees
  2. National Women’s History Museum
  3. Language Access

COMMUNITY

  1. Apply for Kindergarten
  2. Public Service Award from NCJFE and Blue Card Dinner
  3. Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway
  4. Constituent Spotlight: “Madam Secretary” Goes Green
  5. Pre-Turkey Day Shred-A-Thon
  6. Junior Tennis League and Meeting with Parents
  7. Welcoming Windward
  8. Goodwill Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
  9. In the Community

OFFICE UPDATES

  1. Legislative Corner
  2. Progressive Caucus: 15 Priority Bills Passed
  3. Free Legal Clinics
  4. Here to Help
  5. Mobile District Hours
  6. 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 Association
  6. Community Events for Kids
  7. Community Events for Adults
  8. Resources Funded in Part by My Office
Vote Today: Election Day

Today is Election Day and you can vote at the polls from 6AM to 9PM. 
Verify You Are Registered to Vote: https://voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us/ 
Find Your Poll Site: https://nyc.pollsitelocator.com/search 
Remember your Assembly District and Election District to skip the line at the front door and go straight to get your ballot and vote.

Frequent Issues on Election Day:
  • Name not in the book? Vote by affidavit ballot and register to update your voter registration, do not leave without voting.
  • Machines aren't working? Get a paper ballot anyway and cast it in the emergency ballot box, your ballot will be fed into the machine and counted later when it is working.
  • Don't Have ID? No problem. You don't need a driver's license or municipal identification to vote, just your signature. You can wear whatever you want covering any part of your body. If you are a first time voter just bring the letter you received from the BOE confirming your registration and reminding you to vote (or a utility bill, bank statement, paystub, government check or other government document with name and address).
Please contact my office to report complaints that I can use to improve the Board of Elections.


Home Fire Prevention

The New York City Fire Department and the American Red Cross will host a home fire prevention event in my district office with those attending able to schedule a FREE smoke detector and carbon monoxide sensor installation in their home ahead of the holidays and winter season.

Fire Safety
Free Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector Installations 

Thursday, November 10, 6pm - 8pm 
District Office, 244 East 93rd Street
RSVP


Emergency Preparedness & Free Go Bag Kits

Please join me at the next meeting of the East 79th Street Neighborhood Association for a presentation by CERT Upper East Side and the Office of Emergency Management to learn how to put together your own Go Bag Kit and how to join your local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Emergency Preparedness:
Free Go Bag Kits & How to Join CERT
at the East 79th Street Neighborhood Association Monthly Meeting

Thursday, November 17, 6pm - 8pm
Upper East Side Rehabilitation and Nursing Center
211 East 79th Street, New York, NY
*Limited Supply of Free Go Bags Kits, Attendance and RSVP Required
RSVP


Medicare Open Enrollment

Please join me and the Medicare Right Center to learn more about Medicare benefits, the fall open enrollment period and programs that help pay Medicare costs.

Medicare Open Enrollment
Thursday, November 17, from 9:30am to 11am
Stanley Isaac's Neighborhood Center, 415 East 93rd Street
RSVP


Shred-A-Thon

I am proud to sponsor shred-a-thons by The Upper Green Side with Council Member Garodnick so you can shred your documents that contain personal information and 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. 

Shred-A-Thon
Sunday, November 20, 10am - 2pm 
92nd Street Green Market (at First Avenue)
RSVP

Autumn is here, leaves have fallen, and Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur have come and gone giving me some time to reflect and recharge ahead of what will be a busy November.

My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the two fires that occurred on the Upper East Side in October. On November 10, my office will host a fire prevention event with the help of the New York City Fire Department and the American Red CrossRSVP

While we continue to push for improvements to the M15 and M79 buses, I was proud to support the launch of a new app that shows you how bunched your bus is and how fast (or slow) it runs. Visit BusTurnaround.NYC

We also made progress in the fight against hunger by making access to government programs easier through Automatic Benefits. A national collaboration between the United Stated Department of Health and Human Services, Intuit, and my office will give the public a free “Benefit Assist” tool to identify what benefits those in need qualify for.

On November 8, Americans will turn out for the general elections, please make sure you go out and vote. The polls will be open from 6am. to 9pm. Make sure you know your poll site. Policy Night will take place Tuesday the 15th to avoid a conflict with Election Day.

I hope you had a safe Halloween and I wish you a happy Thanksgiving.

Sincerely,

Ben Kallos
Council Member

PS. Reminder First Friday is on the 4th and Policy Night is Tuesday the 15th due conflict with Election Day

Shannah Tovah and Happy New Year to those who celebrate and welcome to cooler temperatures and fall foliage for all. As I observe the Days of Awe between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, I ask your forgiveness. If I have disappointed you, please let me know so that I may earn your forgiveness and do better. May the coming months and year be a good one.

September finished with a six-hour hearing that I co-chaired to finally learn more about what really happened at the Rivington nursing home where deed restrictions were lifted, allowing the site to be become luxury condos. By questioning City Hall officials under oath and in public, we got a detailed account of what went wrong in an effort to ensure this doesn't happen again.

Improving bus service remains a priority. We met with MTA officials about bus service, petitioned for a 72nd Street stop on the M15-SBS, and are proposing bringing off-board payment to the M79. Please make your voice heard at Community Board 8.

As we enter flu season, please join me for my Annual Senior Health Fair on October 13 from 11am to 2pm at the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, where you can get free flu shots, health screenings, learn about Identity theft prevention, and more. RSVP today at BenKallos.com/Events.

You can also get a free IDNYC with a one year membership at NYC cultural institutions at the Roosevelt Island Senior Center, from the 11th to through the 17th (Monday 10am - 12pm & Tuesday – Friday from 9am to 5pm). Schedule an Appointment

There are six weeks left to get fresh fruits and vegetables from GrowNYC’s Fresh Food Box every Thursday, 3:30pm-6:30pm. Come by this Thursday to sign up for next week for just $12 while you still can.

Sincerely,

Ben Kallos

P.S. Due to conflicts with the Jewish Holy Days on Tuesday evenings, there will be no Policy Night in October.

SPECIAL EVENTS

October 13, 11am-2pm
Senior Health Fair

October 11 - 14, 9am - 5pm
IDNYC Pop-up on Roosevelt Island
Schedule an Appointment

DISTRICT OFFICE EVENTS

October 7, 8am-10am
First Friday

October 6, 13, 20 & 29
3:30pm-6:30pm
Fresh Food Box
(Outside District Office)

No Policy Night


 

Download Newsletter in PDF

New York City’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget of $82.1 billion comes with funding increases to many programs that residents have come to rely on. This year’s budget has initiatives I am proud to have fought for, including:

  • $38.5 million added to Summer Youth Employment Program budget to fund 60,000 summer jobs for the city’s youth, 72 of which worked with Council Members of the Progressive Caucus
  • $4.9 million in additional funds for the Emergency Food Assistance Program, which increased funding for the purchase of food for those in need by over 40 percent

Programs I voted in favor of include:

  • $1.8 million in base lined funding for 1,400 seniors currently on waitlists
  • $16 million for 3,223 additional elementary school after school seats for a total of 6,600
  • $17.5 million to fund 26,000 after-school seats for middle-school youth in School’s Out NYC
  • $43 million in base lined funding to improve libraries
  • $10 million for cultural organizations
  • $22 million in base lined funding for District Attorneys, to create Alternatives to Incarceration Unit, reduce gun-related and other violent crimes
  • $2.5 million for Vision Zero education and outreach

To stay on top of the work I am doing and opportunities to have a say in our community, please sign up to receive our monthly newsletter at BenKallos.com/Subscribe

Sincerely,

Ben Kallos
Council Member, District 5

Download Newsletter in PDF

 

While summer is a great time to slow down, we also use it as a chance to catch up, with the introduction of legislation to protect hundreds of thousands from the “Tenant Blacklist,” fight patronage, and open city owned and operated spaces for the arts after hours, as well as passing legislation I authored into law to plan for climate change and a more resilient waterfront.

You can prepare for hurricane season with storms like Hermine with the Office of Emergency Management and our Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) on September 29 on Roosevelt Island where you can get your free “Go Bag” or “Go Bag Kit.” RSVP to reserve your free Go Bag.

Please join me for our annual Town Hall this September to learn and ask questions about Pre-Kindergarten seats in the district, the completion of the Second Avenue Subway, Bus Service, Parks Improvements, Bike Safety, and get your free reusable bag. RSVP to reserve your free reusable bag.

How was your summer?

Sincerely

Ben Kallos
Council Member

P.S. We will hold First Friday this month on September 9th.

SPECIAL EVENTS

September 15, 6pm
Town Hall

September 29, 6:30pm
Emergency Preparedness
(Go Bags Giveaway
)
 

DISTRICT OFFICE EVENTS

September 9
8am-10am
First Friday

September 13, 6pm
Policy Night

September 12, 19 & 26
6:30pm-8:30pm
Participatory Budgeting Neighborhood Assemblies

September 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29
3:30pm-6:30pm
Fresh Food Box
 

TOP HEADLINES

  1. Fighting “Tenant Blacklist” by Regulating Screening Companies
  2. Fighting Patronage
  3. Waterfronts and Resiliency, An Advisory Board Re-Established
  4. Emergency Preparedness CERT, Go Bag Giveaway
  5. Town Hall

ARTS

  1. Bill to Open City Owned Properties to the Arts
  2. ”Suicide Squad” Premiere Contest

TRANSPORTATION

  1. Moving the 91st Street Citi Bike Station
  2. Support Our Bus Drivers
  3. Gillen Brewer Students Take on Track Fires

COMMUNITY

  1. Suing to Protect Rent Freeze
  2. Register to Vote For President
  3. Supporting our Building Service Workers
  4. Girl Scouts Visit First Friday and Play Pokemon Go
  5. Preservation Pays, Challenge
  6. Participatory Budgeting:Neighborhood Assemblies Decided How to Spend $1 Million in the Community
  7. Adopt-A-Planter
  8. Fresh Food Box Continues at Office
  9. Affordable Rental Housing Opportunity, NYC Housing Connect
  10. Street Improvements Affect Available Parking
  11. Backing Folding Helmets

CITY COUNCIL UPDATES

  1. Legislative Corner
  2. Legal Clinic
  3. Here to Help
  4. Mobile District Hours
  5. Ben In Your Building

    EVENTS

    1. City Council Events
    2. Events Sponsored by My Office
    3. Community Events for Kids
    4. Community Events for Adults
    5. Resources

    I hope you had a chance to relax and enjoy yourself this month, maybe at Carl Schurz Park, where the New York Classical Theatre gave us our very own Shakespeare in the Park, with very well attended performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

    We secured dozens of additional Pre-Kindergarten seats for the East Side, which allow four year olds to go to school in their own neighborhoods. I allocated $2 million this year  to revitalize the East River Esplanade. This adds to $45 million I have previously secured as Co-Chair of the East River Esplanade Task Force with Congress Member Carolyn Maloney. And in Ruppert Park, I helped fund Big Belly solar compactor trash cans to keep the park clean and pest free.

    The Department of Investigation released its independent query into why the city removed deed restrictions on the Rivington Street nursing home, allowing it to be turned into luxury condos. The report confirmed that the best interest of the city was not given due consideration in this deal. I plan to hold a Council hearing in the fall to ask more questions and discuss proposals for how we can prevent a similar deal from happening again.

    Don't forget on Thursdays from 3:30pm to 6:30pm, until November 17, you can get a GrowNYC Fresh Food Box full of farm fresh produce for only $12 at my district office (order the week before). There are only a few weeks left of the summer -- make sure you are outside enjoying them.

    Sincerely,

    Ben Kallos
    Council Member

    P.S. We will hold First Friday this month on August 12, not 5.

    SPECIAL EVENTS
    August 20 & 21
    12pm – 4pm
    FDR Four Freedoms Park
    Imagination Playground & the Uni Project

    August 4
    6pm – 9pm
    FDR Four Freedoms Park
    Music at Sunset: Swing with Fleur Seule

    DISTRICT OFFICE EVENTS
    August 4, 11, 18 & 25
    3:30pm – 6:30pm:
    Fresh Food Box

    August 9
    6-8pm
    Policy Night

    August 12
    8am-10am:
    First Friday

    August 25
    6pm-7:30pm:
    Citi Bike Skills Class

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    TOP HEADLINES 

    1. Deed Restrictions Initial Investigation Findings
    2. More Pre-K seats to the Upper East Side
    3. Better Bus Service

    PARKS

    1. Investing Additional $2 Million in East River Esplanade
    2. Shakespeare in Our Park
    3. Cleaning Up Ruppert Park

    ENVIRONMENT

    1. Fresh Food Box
    2. Cooking with Kallos
    3. Reusable Bags
    4. Celebrating 40 Years of GrowNYC
    5. Kicking Off City of Water Day
    6. Catskill Challenge with Governor Cuomo
    7. Studying Microbes in Subways

    TECH

    1. Pokémon Go “PokéStop” at Our Office
    2. Law.com: Leading the Civic Revolution
    3. United Nations Civic Camp
    4. STEM Institute for Public School Teacher
    5. Free Course from NYU’s GovLab

    COMMUNITY

    1. Citi Bike Expansion and Station Modifications
    2. Holmes Infill Update
    3. Honoring Our Constitution

    CITY COUNCIL UPDATES

    1. Perfect Attendance
    2. Legislative Corner
    3. Legal Clinic
    4. Here to Help
    5. Mobile District Hours
    6. Ben In Your Building

    EVENTS

    1. City Council Events
    2. Events Funded by Our Office
    3. Community Events

    Dear Friend,

    This year's budget reflected years of hard work with hundreds of millions in savings, billions set aside for a rainy day and investments in our district's parks and public schools. I continue to fight to protect our tenants and preserve our neighborhoods helping rent stabilized tenants win a second consecutive rent freeze.

    As Co-Chair of the East River Esplanade Taskforce with Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, I've invested nearly $2 million in the Esplanade including adding irrigation, renovating, removing fences, and greening. I am also working with Community Board 8 to de-privatize our Queensboro Oval Park under the bridge and open it for the public, please circulate and sign the petition at BenKallos.com/petition/oval

    The Department of Transportation (DOT) will be completing the CitiBike rollout above 86th street, reducing the size of some stations, and infilling with new stations, a process I look forward to working with you to ensure takes you into consideration. DOT will also be painting crosstown bike lanes without taking away any traffic lanes or parking. We are also working with the newly formed East 72nd Street Neighborhood Association to restore the East 72nd stop for M15 Select Bus Service, please circulate and sign the petition at BenKallos.com/petition/m15sbs

    As Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations I continue to fight special interests with legislation to limit their influence, oversight hearings, and stopping lobbyists from running our elections.

    Stay-cation with me this July in the city and enjoy free Music at Sunset at Four Freedoms Park and A Midsummer Night's Dream at Carl Schurz Park, both supported with funding from my office and let me know what you think.

    On Thursdays from 3:30pm to 6:30pm, starting this July 7 running through November 17, you can now get a GrowNYC Fresh Food Box full of farm fresh produce for only $12 at my district office.

    Happy Fourth of July!

    Sincerely,

    Ben Kallos
    Council Member

    SPECIAL EVENTS:

    July 7, 14, 21, 28:
    3:30PM - 6:30PM
    Fresh Food Box

    July 10, 12PM
    Cooking with Kallos

    July 12, 14-17, 7PM
    A Midsummer Night's Dream

    July 16 & 17, 12PM - 4PM
    Imagination Playground

    July 21 & 28, 6PM
    Music at Sunset

    UPCOMING EVENTS:

    July 12, 6PM
    Policy Night

    July 28, 6:30PM
    CitiBike Street Skills Class

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    1. Budget Savings & Transparency
    2. Council Member Item Funding
    3. Celebrating Pride and Controlling Guns
    4. Cleaning Up 86th Street New Trash Cans and BID
    5. Fighting to Protect Our Landmarks
    6. We Won Another Rent Freeze

    Transportation and Parks

    1. Crosstown Bike Lanes
    2. Bike Share Completion, Infill and Reduction
    3. Bike Safety
    4. Restore the M15 SBS Stop at 72nd Street
    5. Rally for the Queensboro Oval

    Education

    1. Pre-K Seats for the East Side and Roosevelt Island
    2. Chapin Reduces Hours of Construction
    3. Global Sampling Day
    4. Rockefeller University’s Expansion Begins
    5. Food Policy Award & Free School Lunch Support from Rachael Ray
    6. Cultural After School Adventures Performances
    7. Congratulations Graduates

    Good Government

    1. Fighting Special Interests
    2. Keeping Lobbyists from Running Elections
    3. Fighting Corruption at All Levels
    4. Public Comment and Analytics Bills
    5. Voter Information Portal Becomes Law
    6. One Job to Do: Voting

    Equality

    1. Gender Pay Gap
    2. Free Feminine Hygiene Products
    3. Supporting the Striking Workers at the Hamilton
    4. Macy’s Fair Contract Rally
    5. Verizon Workers Strike Ends in Success
    6. Supporting Our Immigrant Families

    Community

    1. Get Your Fresh Food Box at My District Office
    2. Shakespeare in Our Park
    3. 180 East 88th Street Skyscraper Update
    4. Roosevelt Island Town Hall
    5. Literary Landmarks Dedicated to Remarque and Doctorow
    6. DOROT Turns 40
    7. Roosevelt Island Shabbat
    8. Street Fairs and Parades

    Office Updates

    1. Participatory Budgeting
    2. Summer Reading Challenge
    3. Join Coro’s New York City Youth Council
    4. In the Neighborhood
    5. Legislative Corner
    6. Legal Clinics
    7. Here to Help
    8. Mobile District Hours
    9. Ben in Your Building

    Events

    1. City Council Events
    2. Events Funded by Council Member Kallos
    3. Community Events
    4. Community Resources