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Gotham Gazette
Ben Max

The governmental operations committee is headed by Council Member Ben Kallos, who is more knowledgeable about the campaign finance system than Council Member Alan Maisel, the chair of the standards and ethics committee -- somethign Maisel acknowledged in a prior interview with Gotham Gazette. Kallos has expressed concerns about some of the second package of bills, including around bill details and process.


City Land
Jonathon Sizemore

Ten bills will be aired for public opinion to place restrictions on and revamp the processes of the Board of Standards and Appeals. On December 6, 2016, Council Member Ben Kallos introduced five new bills regarding the oversight and operations of the Board of Standards and Appeals at the City Council’s stated meeting. The Board of Standards and Appeals, which was originally created to be an independent board tasked with granting “relief” from the zoning code, is empowered by the Zoning Resolution and primarily reviews and decides applications for variances and special permits.


The Real Deal

The City Council will discuss 10 bills Wednesday aimed at tightening the rules that allow property owners to bend zoning regulations.

Council member Ben Kallos is sponsoring the proposed bills that will target the Board of Standards and Appeals, Crain’s reported. The board is able to approve applications from landlords who argue they need to surpass zoning laws in order to make a profit from a development. In some cases, according to the publication, owners ask that a height restriction be relaxed so that revenue-generating apartments can be built. In other circumstances an owner may say that a lot is oddly shaped and it is therefore impossible to conform to zoning laws.

In 2011, the board approved 97 percent of applications that came before it, many of which had been opposed at the local council level. Kallos believes the board is too lenient.


Editorial Board

New York City Councilman Ben Kallos explained,  “New Yorkers want to get where they are going fast. Everyone hates traffic jams, especially when they are for road work, but no one is actually there doing the work. It’s about making sure we are only impeding traffic and causing traffic when we absolutely need to.”


Gotham Gazette
Samar Khurshid

New York City Council Member Ben Kallos, chair of the governmental operations committee, is an avid social media user who often solicits questions through Twitter during committee hearings. He’s well aware of the intersection of technology and governance and the issues that can arise with an elected representative’s use of social media. “Its pretty confusing to the public because they don’t know who to tweet sometimes,” he said of his own experience with separate accounts for official and campaign purposes. “So I have to spend double duty making sure I’m managing both, paying attention to both and ensuring that whether a constituent tweets my campaign or government [account], they get the services they need.”

He said officials should generally ensure that the distinctions between accounts are clear and they “respond from the right places and retweet from the right places.”

“It can be a little bit of a minefield,” Kallos said, “but you just have to be extra cautious.”


Kimberly M. Aquilina

A bill introduced in City Council on Tuesday gives a timeline for when scaffolding has to come down or the building owner has to pay up.

The bill would set a 90-day deadline for building owners to fix a dangerous condition, according to Kallos' office. Another 90 days could be requested if an extension is required.

After the deadline, the city would finish the construction work or repairs and the building owner would have to foot the bill.


Editorial Board

But sidewalk sheds have been known to overstay their welcome, like a drunken uncle, sometimes sticking around for a dozen years or more, providing magnets for drug dealers, homeless people, trash, and worse. To remedy the situation, city councilman Ben Kallos, who represents the Upper East Side, proposed a new law on Tuesday that would give building owners three months, with the possibility of a three-month extension, to make repairs and remove scaffolding and sidewalk sheds, the New York Times reports. If the work is not completed in that time, the city will step in to do it, and charge the owner for the work.


Upper East Side Patch,NYC
Brendan Krisel

City Councilman Ben Kallos, who represents the Upper East Side and parts of Midtown, proposed a new bill to wage war on the city's nearly 9,000 units of scaffolding — also known as sidewalk sheds — by placing strict regulations on how long scaffolding is allowed to stay up and by punishing people who opt to leave scaffolding up rather than finish inspections and construction projects.

If passed, the bill would require building owners take a scaffolding unit down within 90 days of its construction, according to a press release from Kallos' office. If needed, building owners could receive a 90 day extension to fix a dangerous condition.


New York Daily News
Erin Durkin

Construction sties that block roads and snarl traffic when no actual work is going on would face fines under a bill being introduced Tuesday in the City Council.

The legislation, sponsored by Councilman Ben Kallos, would require that roadblocks like traffic cones, barrels and Jersey barriers only be set up in the street for one hour before and one hour after work is underway.

Kallos (D-Manhattan, photo) said drivers often encounter traffic backups caused by construction barriers and road closures, only to find the site empty.

“New Yorkers want to get where they are going fast. Everyone hates traffic jams, especially when they are for road work, but no one is actually there doing the work,” he said. “It’s about making sure we are only impeding traffic and causing traffic when we absolutely need to.”


Crain's New York
Aaron Elstein

Sidewalk sheds, the unattractive steel-and-wood structures that pop up anytime a building is being built, repaired or has been deemed unsafe, have spread across the city like kudzu during the past decade. As Crain's described in a cover story earlier this year, approximately 190 miles of them are devouring sidewalk space, cutting off sunlight and hurting businesses trapped underneath.

But at long last, there may be relief for exasperated New Yorkers.

On Tuesday, City Councilman Ben Kallos introduced a bill that would require sheds to be taken down if no work is done on the building above for seven days, with exceptions for weather and other issues. The legislation would close a loophole that allows landlords to keep dormant sheds up forever, so long as the city's Department of Buildings grants a permit, which it routinely does. The bill would also let the city do the work and bill the property owner.

Laurent Delly, who has lived near a shed that has stood since 2004 at the corner of West 123rd Street and Lenox Avenue, called the bill great news for the city. "We would be pleased with a tangible solution to this chronic issue, which has affected all of us as New Yorkers for years," he said.


Roma Torre

Sometimes it feels like once scaffolding goes up in the city, it stays up forever. But building owners could soon be facing a deadline for taking it down.

Manhattan Councilman Ben Kallos is pushing a bill that would put strict limits on how long scaffolding can be installed on city buildings.

The story was first reported by The New York Times.

The measure would give building owners up to six months to finish repairs so the scaffolding can be removed. 

If the repairs aren’t completed in time, the city would finish the work and charge the owner.

The city requires scaffolding to protect pedestrians from falling debris during repair work.

Supporters of the bill say the structures are ugly and hurt business. 

Critics say building owners don’t always have the money on hand to make expensive repairs.


CBS New York
Marcia Kramer

A New York City councilman has declared war on building scaffolding, claiming landlords should be forced to take them down if no work is being done.

Councilman Ben Kallos (D-5th) is seeking a new law that imposes a time limit of 90 days to fix a dangerous condition, with the possibility of a 90 day extension if needed.

“Sidewalk sheds are the guest that you invite to your home but never leaves,” he tells CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer.


Carolina Leid

In response, Councilman Ben Kallos is proposing a law requiring time limits.

"I put in a proposal that would give landlords three to six months to do the work. They wouldn't be able to stop that work at any point for more than seven days. And if they don't do the work, the city needs to step in and do the work ourselves and make bad landlords pay," Councilman Kallos said.


New York Times
Winnie Hu

The new bill will be introduced Tuesday by Councilman Ben Kallos, who represents the Upper East Side. If passed, it would give a building owner three months, with the possibility of a three-month extension, to make repairs to a facade so that scaffolding can be removed in a timely manner. If the work is not completed in that time, the city will step in to do it, and charge the owner for the work. The proposal would allow exceptions for factors such as bad weather, permit delays or in cases where removing scaffolding would be deemed dangerous to public safety.

“A specific timeline for landlords to get the work done will finally work toward holding someone accountable for scaffolding that goes up and never comes down,” Mr. Kallos said.

While the bill is likely to draw support from many residents and businesses, it faces strong opposition from many building owners. Carl Hum, a senior vice president for the Real Estate Board of New York, a leading real estate trade group with more than 17,000 members, said the proposal was “ill conceived and should be reconsidered.”

Frank Ricci, the director of governmental affairs for the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents 25,000 building owners and managers, said that owners sometimes do not have the money on hand to make costly repairs.


NBC News 4 New York
Andrew Siff

Sidewalk scaffolding are a nuisance, an eyesore, and they're up for too long, New Yorkers complain. A city lawmaker is proposing a plan to fix this. Andrew Siff reports.


Gotham Gazette
Samar Khurshid

When asked if his committee was the appropriate venue for the campaign finance bills, he said it was the speaker’s office that made the decision. “I have no experience with campaign finance bills, I deal with ethics issues,” he said, in a sense echoing the critique made by others who’ve questioned why campaign finance bills were heard in his committee as opposed to their typical place, government operations, the committee chaired by Council Member Ben Kallos.

The proposals have created some degree of internal tension within the Council for multiple reasons, including the committee venue. Additionally, before the bills were introduced, Council Member Kallos was openly skeptical of the effect they might have, telling the New York Times, “I am concerned about undermining the best parts of a system that has worked for the people.”

Council Member Brad Lander, sponsor of one of the new bills, disagrees. First, Lander told Politico New York that the Times report had mischaracterized the bills under consideration. On Tuesday, shortly after the speaker’s news conference, Lander told Gotham Gazette the concerns over the bills would be addressed through amendments and that criticism of their timing was unfounded. That the bills were heard through the standards and ethics committee rather than the governmental operations committee made little difference, he said, since the same people and advocacy groups would testify even if there were separate hearings. He also noted that Kallos, the governmental operations chair, was present at the hearing as well.


Zoe Rsenberg Tanay Warerkar

A consortium of community members and elected officials continue to rally against a skyscraper proposed for a low-rise residential block on East 58th Street. The East River Fifties Alliance, which includes officials like City Council Members Dan Garodnick and Ben Kallos, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and neighborhood stakeholders, are not letting up on their fight against Bauhouse Group’s proposed 950-foot tower at 426-432 East 58th Street despite last week’s court ordered auction of the site due to the developer’s mounting fiscal troubles.


Upper East Side Patch,NYC
Brenden Krisel

The Department of Buildings (DOB) issued an order to stop work on the demolition of three existing 5-story buildings at 428, 430 and 432 East 58th Street because safety measures have not been put in place to protect tenants living in the adjacent 426 East 58th Street, according to DOB files.

The stop work order was issued following an audit request from City Councilman Ben Kallos, the Wall Street Journal reported. Kallos told the Journal that the developers had requested an application to stabilize 426 East 58th Street in order to complete demolition on the adjacent three-buildings.



Representatives from the FDNY, along with firefighters from Rescue 1 and Engines 53, 91, 58, 76, 44 will be on hand to receive a Proclamation from Council Member Ben Kallos at City Hall.

81-year-old Jim Duffy was trapped on the fifth floor of an apartment building on East 93rd Street that quickly became engulfed by fire.


Wall Street Journal
Josh Barbanel

The plan, which the groups and officials said they were ready to formally propose to the City Planning Commission as early as this week, calls for buildings in the neighborhood to be no taller than 260 feet.

“I want to stop the march of 1,000-foot towers into residential neighborhoods,” said Councilman Ben Kallos, a Manhattan Democrat who is supporting the zoning change.

The groups hope it is approved before development work begins at the site. The proposed change also could discourage bidders at the auction, which was ordered by the court following a dispute between Bauhouse Group and its lenders, led by N. Richard Kalikow.

The zoning change isn’t the only hurdle the project faces. On Wednesday, the Department of Buildings blocked a permit needed to complete demolition of the site, after conducting an audit requested by Mr. Kallos.

The delay is a further setback, since the demolition was intended to enhance the site’s value to potential bidders.

The permit application, submitted as a result of a bankruptcy court order, was for stabilizing a building next door to the tower site, so demolition could proceed. But the buildings department blocked it.

Mr. Kallos said he was told that plans to protect tenants of the building, 426 E. 58th St., weren’t adequate.
Shaye Weaver

UPPER EAST SIDE — A "broken" voting system is to blame for the hourslong waits endured by voters during the election this year, say local elected officials who are calling for an overhaul including more polling sites and the option to mail in ballots.

Lines to vote in the next election could be shortened by opening new polling sites to spread out the crowds, Councilman Ben Kallos said.

"If you are part of a church, a synagogue, a nonprofit center, you could be incredibly helpful. If you're from a school and not a poll site let us know," he told residents during a Community Board 8 meeting Wednesday.

"We need to expand the number of poll sites. We can even put one in your lobby, as long as it is ADA accessible," he said.


Queens Chronicle
Nicholas Theodorou

Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), chairman of the Committee on Governmental Operations, echoed the importance of homeless people being ensured their vote is counted.

“We must ensure that everyone who can vote is voting no matter their housing status,” he said.

Kallos and Wills also worked together on a law that allows those being detained in city jails to vote.

“And with so many people awaiting trial with an overwhelming majority of men of color who shouldn’t be in our system, they need to be protected and they need their rights protected,” Kallos said at the press conference.

Although at the time of the press conference it was too late to register to vote, Matt Borden, of the DHS, wanted to ensure that those who are eligible to cast ballots would be told how to do so.


New York Times
J. David Goodman

The number of polling places in New York City has declined in recent years, with the 1,205 operating this year about the same as in 2012 but down from 1,349 in 2008, when President Obama was elected to his first term. Many polling places were consolidated to comply with federal regulations related to people with disabilities, said Councilman Ben Kallos, an Upper East Side Democrat who leads the governmental operations committee.

Over the same period, the number of active registered voters has increased to 4.5 million from 4.1 million.



Wall Street Journal
Josh Dawsey

Even before dawn broke in New York City on Tuesday, the lines of voters stretched down the block.

With reports of high voter turnout, some voters in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens said they waited hours to cast their ballots. Officials reported broken scanner machines and confusion at some polling sites.

“There were massive, massive lines and fire-code issues because so many people couldn’t get inside,” said Councilman Ben Kallos, a Manhattan Democrat, referring to a polling site on the Upper East Side.

Still, early indications showed that the city’s Board of Elections had fewer problems Tuesday, compared with the presidential primaries in April.


Nathan Tempey

2014 report by the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, formed following problems with the 2012 presidential election, concluded that "no voter should have to wait more than half an hour," and that where that happens, "corrective measures should be deployed." And as research cited by the New York Times today found:

Early voters, urban voters and minority voters are all more likely to wait and wait and wait. In predominantly minority communities, the lines are about twice as long as in predominantly white ones[...]And minority voters are six times as likely as whites to wait longer than an hour to vote.

Citing the presidential commission's report, Manhattan Councilman Ben Kallos, chairman of the Council Committee on Governmental Operations, wrote, "At poll sites across the city, New Yorkers are reporting long lines. The consolidation of poll sites crammed too many election districts into mega-poll sites and left New Yorkers waiting on mega-lines. For safety, the fire code limits how many people can occupy a space and the number of voters at certain poll sites is dangerously close to those limits. We need additional, wheelchair-accessible poll sites to reduce lines and ensure a safe voting experience."

Perhaps even more troubling than technical and logistical malfunctions is poll worker misdirection, based on false understandings of law and procedure. At PS 142 in Carroll Gardens, reader Nicole Yoblick wrote:

The people working at my booth giving out forms were instructing us that we have to vote ALL democratic or ALL republican, that we could not pick and choose or the machines would reject the form when scanned. They said it had happened multiple times already...So we would not be allowed to vote for a democratic president and a republican senator. This is wrong!"


February marked my 35th birthday and there was no better way to spend it than with many of you at our First Friday meeting and celebration. Thank you to those who attended (I hope that you enjoyed the cake) and to everyone in District 5 who helps me love my job every day.

Last month, the New York Times covered a proposal I will introduce in the Council to provide 1.4 million New Yorkers working in the private sector with an opportunity to save for retirement. We also launched the Eastside Taskforce for Homeless Outreach and Services (ETHOS) and passed bold ethics reforms that will go a long way toward preventing corruption.

This month you have a chance to vote on how to spend $1 million in our community, at our Participatory Budgeting voting sites this month or by absentee ballot.

Will you commit to vote or request your absentee ballot today?

Ben Kallos
Council Member


March 4: First Friday

March 8: Policy Night

March 15: Investor Protection with the Attorney General’s Office

March 16: Protecting Immigrant Families from Scams with the District Attorney's Office

March 23 - April 2: Vote on Participatory Budgeting


  1. Retirement Security for All
  2. Homeless Taskforce Launched
  3. “United” U.S Senators Booker and Gillibrand
  4. Limiting Corruption with a Full Time Legislature
  5. Better Budget
  6. Participatory Budgeting: You Decide How to Spend $1 Million


  1. Stopping Superscrapers
  2. Affordable Housing Registration, Enforcement, and Application
  3. Fighting for More and Broader Affordability in Mayor's Housing Plan
  4. Construction Safety
  5. Smoke Alarm Giveaway


  1. Universal Pre-K
  2. Sotheby’s Art Show
  3. Chess in the Schools


  1. Crosstown Bike Lanes
  2. Rallying for Offshore Wind Energy
  3. Energy Town Hall
  4. Marine Transfer Station


  1. Fight for $15
  2. Freelance isn’t Free


  1. Elections Empowering Everyone
  2. “Automatic Benefits” Featured on Effective Radio
  3. Free and Open Source Software


  1. Legislative Corner
  2. In the Neighborhood
  3. Legal Clinic
  4. Mobile District Hours
  5. Ben In Your Building


  1. City Council Events
  2. Events Funded by My Office
  3. Community Events
  4. Community Resources

Dear Friend,

It has been two years, one month and twenty four days since I began serving as your City Council Member. I am deeply proud of the work we have accomplished together and excited for the road ahead.

I want to thank all whom I have already had a chance to meet and look forward to meeting you or seeing you again at my District Office at 244 East 93rd Street for First Friday, Policy Night, or another event listed at Or I can come to you for Ben In Your Building.

If you would like to compare my goals with actions over the past two years, please have a look at my 2013 Policy Book as well as my Inauguration and two States of the District, where we looked to the past and prepared for a bright future. I am proud of these achievements, but I know we have much more to do together. Thank you for your support over the past two years. I am looking forward to the next two.


Thank you to everyone who was a part of my State of the District. Our numerous accomplishments are the result of collaboration with you and it was a nice opportunity to celebrate the great work we have done together fighting for our community and city. 

The big news this month was our rezoning proposal to stop superscrapers in residential neighborhoods. We also passed a law to improve health education, held two hearings on my legislation to fight children’s hunger and obesity, and introduced legislation to end the corrupting influence of stipends and outside income.

In February, we will hold an energy forum, where you can hear from experts on how to save on your bills and save the environment. The City Council will also hold two hearings on the Mayor’s housing and zoning plans. What do you want the East Side to look like fifty years from now?



Ben Kallos
Council Member

P.S. Join me in celebrating my 35th Birthday at First Friday on February 5, 8am - 10am. RSVP to reserve your slice of birthday cake.


  1. State of the District
  2. Limiting Corruption with a Full Time Legislature 
  3. We Filed to Stop the Superscrapers
  4. Bridging the Digital Divide
  5. Community Boards


  1. Health Education Co-Prime on Cumbo’s Law
  2. Fighting Hunger and Obesity
  3. Art Show


  1. Second Avenue Resurfacing
  2. Vision Zero Report Card
  3. Crosstown Bike Lanes Meeting Notice


  1. NYCHA Infill Plan
  2. Affordable Housing Legislation
  3. ZQA/MIH coming to the Council
  4. Hope Count, February 8
  5. Homelessness Forum
  6. MS 177 Homeless/Refugee Play


  1. Sutton Area Conservancy $6K Grant
  2. Beyond Coal Victory
  3. Top Scores from Environmental Group NYLCV
  4. Queensboro Oval


  1. Paid Family Leave & $15 Wages with VP Biden and Gov Cuomo
  2. Free Construction Training at Stanley Isaacs
  3. Grocery Worker Retention Act


  1. Office Hours at Civic Hall
  2. Free Law Founders on WashingTECH Podcast


  1. Asphalt Green Snowman Showdown
  2. Roosevelt Island Library Visioning Session


  1. Legislative Corner
  2. In the Neighborhood
  3. Volunteer
  4. New Legal Clinic Schedule
  5. Mobile District Hours
  6. Ben in Your Building
  1. City Council Events
  2. Events Funded by My Office
  3. Community Events


  1. Volunteers of Legal Serice (VOLS) Elderly Project Legal Clinic
  2. El Museo del Barrio Group Visits for Schools
  3. Metropolitan Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty (Met Council) Hotline
  4. New York Cares Coat Drive
  5. DOROT

Yesterday, we filed the most sweeping residential re-zoning plan by a community group in New York City history. I was proud to lead the effort with East River Fifties Alliance, with co-applications to the Department of City Planning by Council Member Daniel Garodnick, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and State Senator Liz Krueger.

The new zoning plan for the Manhattan area between 52nd Street and 59th Street, east of 1st Avenue, will restrict supertowers and over-development in the neighborhood with a contextual height cap of up to 260 feet, incentives for schools, and a requirement for mandatory inclusionary housing.

Happy New Year! I hope you had a happy holiday season with family and friends. I would like to send a special thank you to all who attended the holiday party at my office and made it so wonderful.

This past year I was most focused on fighting overdevelopment, maintaining quality of life, and improving access to affordable housing and government benefits to help New Yorkers that need it most. Please join me as we usher in the New Year at my annual State of the District on January 10th, as we reflect on our accomplishments and plan for 2016, please RSVP.

Please tell me about your 2015 and about your New Year's resolutions for 2016.
P.S. We are closed for the federal holiday on January 1, with no First Friday, but hope you will join me in celebrating my birthday as I turn 35 at the First Friday on February 5th, to secure your party favor and slice of birthday cake please RSVP


  1. Better Management for New York City
  2. Improving Quality of Life
  3. Superscrapers and Zoning
  4. Affordable Housing
  5. Automatic Benefits Don’t Miss Out
  6. Help the Homeless
  7. Discretionary Funding 
  9. Citizen Preparedness Corps Training 
  10. Rockefeller Ground Breaking
  11. Carl Schurz Park Playground
  12. Senior Fitness Class a Success
  13. Climate Works for All
  15. 86th Street Subway Station Wi-Fi
  16. Second Avenue Resurfacing
  18. Cornell Tech, P.S/I.S Computer Science Program
  19. Trevor Day New School Opening
  20. DOE Universal Pre-K
  21. Bronx Science Launch Labs 
  22. Roosevelt Island Library Community Meeting 
  24. Reforming Campaign Finance ahead of 2017 Elections
  25. City Council 2.0 New Website
  26. Hack for Heat
  27. Office Hours at Civic Hall
  29. Construction Safety
  30. NYCHA Sandy Recovery Jobs Available
  31. Out of This World Job Opportunity: Become an Astronaut 
  32. NYCHA Tech Job Training
  33. Emergency Snow Laborers Needed
  35. Would You Like to Be My Neighbor? Affordable Housing on 93rd Street
  36. Community Board 
  38. Legislative Corner 
  39. In the Neighborhood
  40. Volunteer 
  41. Here to Help
  42. Legal Clinics
  43. Mobile District Hours
  44. Ben in Your Building 
  45. City Council Events
  46. Community Resources
  47. Community Events

Read Whole Issue of Newsletter


I hope you had a healthy and happy Thanksgiving, as we did. We celebrated a very special holiday with our NYCHA residents, with Lexington Houses residents receiving new stoves from my office's funding (and an untimely gas outage was fixed ahead of Thanksgiving) and free turkeys from the New York Common Pantry for the residents of Robins Plaza and Stanley Isaacs and Holmes Towers.

As the holiday season continues, we are partnering with Chabad Upper East Side to provide free menorahs that you can pick up from our office. And of course, I invite you to join us at our holiday party on Thursday, December 17, 5pm-7pm, in our District Office at 244 E 93rd Street. I hope you can attend, and please remember to RSVP.

This month we kept up the campaign against superscrapers, including in testimony on the Mayor’s zoning proposals, held a public hearing on legislation to recover $1.6 billion in outstanding debt to the city, and passed a law I introduced.

Here on the East Side, we continued the battle against the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station with a bill requiring air quality monitoring, announced a master plan for the East River Esplanade from 62nd Street to 78th Street and are giving you a chance to decide how we spend over $1 million in City Council District 5 funding at Carl Schurz Park at a visioning session on December 15.

I hope to see you at my office for First Friday or Policy Night or at our rent freeze screening on Roosevelt Island on Monday, December 7. And as we approach the new year, please save January 10 at 1pm on your calendar for our annual State of the District event.

I am thankful to have this amazing job as your council member. What are you most thankful for this holiday season?


Ben Kallos


  1. Building and Preserving Neighborhoods for All New Yorkers
  2. Recovering $1.6 Billion in Debt to the City
  3. Marine Transfer Station Air Quality
  4. Getting "Dark Money" Out of Our Elections
  5. A Happy Thanksgiving at NYCHA


  1. Do You Qualify to Have Your Rent Frozen?
  2. $2.6 Billion for Supportive Housing
  3. Identifying Affordable Housing Hidden by Bad Landlords
  4. Worst Landlords
  5. Preserving an Historic House at 412 E 85th Street


  1. New Playground for Carl Schurz Park
  2. East River Esplanade Visioning
  3. FDR Renovations Completed
  4. Funding for the Second Avenue Subway
  5. Beyond Coal


  1. Passing a Law to Make Standardize Locations
  2. Fight for $15
  3. Clean Slate


  1. Medicare Update and Enrollment
  2. Cooking with Kallos
  3. American-Italian Cancer Dinner
  4. LGBT Center


  1. 86th Street Business Improvement District
  2. Community Board Applications
  3. Free Menorahs in My District Office
  4. Papal Appeal
  5. Big Apple Circus
  6. Gifford Miller’s Portrait at City Hall


  1. Legislative Corner
  2. In the Neighborhood
  3. Volunteer
  4. Here to Help
  5. Legal Clinics
  6. Mobile District Hours
  7. Ben in Your Building
  8. City Council Events


  1. Free Storage Bins for E-Waste Recycling
  2. Organics Collection
  3. Emergency Snow Laborers Needed
  4. Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, Advance Directives Project
  5. Citizen's Committee Neighborhood Grants
  6. Bike New York
  7. Jewish Association Serving the Aging
  8. Community Events

Fall has come, and things are moving fast again. In October we continued our fight against superscrapers in residential neighborhoods, stepped up efforts to clean up 86th Street, and held an info session for Domestic Violence Awareness Month where we launched a new family law clinic. We also entered next phase of Participatory Budgeting, where you help us spend $1 million in our community, and it's not too late to get involved!

November is busy too, and perhaps most importantly, I want to bring to your attention the Mayor's Zoning for Quality and Affordability proposal, which would change zoning citywide. How do you think our zoning should change? I believe, among other issues, we need to cap building heights in residential neighborhoods and protect historic districts.

I encourage you to testify on this issue at the Borough President's hearing on November 16, 6:00pm-8:00pm at Clinton School at 10 East 15th Street.
 Happy Halloween, and have a great Thanksgiving!


Ben Kallos


  1. Fighting Superscrapers and Rallying Against Sutton 58
  2. Cleaning up 86th Street with a Business Improvement District
  3. "Talking Truth" on the Marine Transfer Station
  4. Become a Participatory Budgeting Delegate

Housing and Zoning

  1. Zoning for Quality and Affordability
  2. FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts Report on Zoning
  3. NYCHA “Infill” at Holmes Towers

Health and Education

  1. Comprehensive Health Education Bill
  2. Domestic Violence Event and Clinic
  3. Senior Health Fair
  4. Ensuring Our Schools Have the Resources They Need
  5. New Computer Center at Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center


  1. John Jay Park Improvements
  2. Capital Improvements for Carl Schurz Park Playground

Good Government

  1. Preparing for Elections
  2. Where’s my FiOS
  3. The Commission on Public Information and Communication
  4. Cities/Law Schools Consortium
  5. Councilmatic Launch

Public Safety

  1. Remembering Police Officer Holder and Recognizing Our Police
  2. Carolyn Maloney meeting to Stop Gun Violence
  3. Mapping Traffic Violations


  1. Safe Staffing Levels for Nurses
  2. PSC CUNY Contract
  3. Progressive Caucus Advancement Conference
  4. 4th Annual Heroes of Labor Awards
  5. Sarah Kim


  1. The Latest on Cornell Tech
  2. JSA Fall Conference
  3. Fall Festivals
  4. Farewell to Matthew Washington
  5. Homelessness
  6. AEPi Breakfast

Office Updates

  1. Legislative Corner
  2. In the Neighborhood
  3. Volunteer
  4. Here to Help
  5. Legal Clinics
  6. Mobile District Hours
  7. Ben in Your Building
  8. City Council Events

Community Resources

  1. Emergency Snow Laborers Needed
  2. Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, Advance Directives Project
  3. Citizen's Committee's Neighborhood Grants
  4. Bike New York
  5. Jewish Association Serving the Aging
  6. Department of Sanitation: E-Waste Recycling and Organics
  7. Community Events

September was a month of celebration from Labor Day to Rosh HaShannah to Eid. Following Labor Day, I joined principals and teachers of PS 290 and PS 158 to greet parents and kids as they started a new year of learning and growing. On September 24, New York City schools closed for the first time ever for the Muslim holiday of Eid, truly making this a month of Religious inclusion, along with the Jewish High Holidays and the visit from Pope Francis who stayed right here on the Upper East Side.

The Pope's visit was about more than local significance, as he brought a message of inclusion, equality, and stewardship over the environment. I hope you will find that message throughout this newsletter, as I update you on what we've achieved over the past month, and what we can do together in October to make the world a better place. Before you read more, you might want to RSVP for our Senior Health Fair, sign up for a Participatory Budgeting Neighborhood Assembly, mark First Friday and Policy Night on your calendar, or reserve a spot at our Housing Legal Clinic.

Please also be aware of the oncoming Hurricane Joaquin. You can find information about Joaquin and hurricane preparedness at the website of the NYC Office of Emergency Preparedness.

I hope you enjoyed your September. How were your holidays?


Ben Kallos


  1. Fighting Superscrapers and Celebrating Mr. Herndon Werth
  2. Holmes Towers: “Infill Housing”
  3. DEC Considers Impact on Air Quality of MTS
  4. Decide How to Spend $1 Million in the Community


  1. Bike Safety Program Continues as Citi Bike Comes to Upper East Side
  2. Ferrying Progress for Roosevelt Island
  3. Hail a Yellow or Green Cab with Your Smartphone

Affordable Housing and Preserving Our Neighborhoods

  1. Rent Freeze Takes Effect
  2. Supporting Landmarks by Opposing Introduction 775
  3. Legislation to Protect Tenants


  1. Opening a New School on the Upper East Side
  2. UPK on Roosevelt Island
  3. Cornell Tech Town Hall, Tonight 10/1
  4. First Day of School
  5. Ramaz Rededication

Equality and Transparent Government

  1. Calling for Low-Cost Internet and Free Computers in Proposed Charter-Time Warner Merger
  2. Fighting for $15 with Vice President Joe Biden and Governor Andrew Cuomo
  3. Talking Election Reforms and More on City Watch
  4. Getting Your Ideas: Crowdsourcing the Law
  5. How to Become a New York City Council Member
  6. Nextdoor


  1. Getting Prepared for Hurricane Joaquin and the Next Emergency
  2. Celebrating the Holidays and Honoring Survivors
  3. Town Hall
  4. The WIRE in the Wall Street Journal
  5. Street Fairs
  6. Parades
  7. Welcoming Commanding Officer Delgado

Office Updates

  1. Legislative Corner
  2. In the Neighborhood
  3. Volunteer
  4. Here to Help
  5. Mobile District Hours
  6. Ben in Your Building
  7. City Council Events

Community Resources

  1. Bike New York
  2. Jewish Association Serving the Aging
  3. Department of Sanitation: E-Waste Recycling and Organics
  4. Community Events

The New York Times has covered our on going fight against the superscraper at Sutton 58 and a new fight that I am helping to lead to preserve our neighborhoods and landmarks

Bike safety program results are in following my summer launch ahead of Citi Bike expansion to the Upper East Side. My constituents can get $25 off an annual membership by visiting and are encouraged to take advantage ofa free 90-minute Citi Bike safety class taught by Bike New York monthly in my District Office that comes with a free day pass or a free month added to your annual membership.

The summer was busy and I hope you'll enjoy getting caught up in this newsletter, as we look ahead to the fall please be sure to join me for First Friday (on September 11 for the Labor Day weekend), the annual Town Hall with city agencies, and our annual Emergency Preparedness Month event where you can get a free Go Bag or Go Bag Kit.

Summer may be over, but I hope you took some time to relax or if you are anything like me, catch up on work. What are you looking forward to this fall?


Ben Kallos

Please Note: First Friday has been moved to Friday, September 11 to accommodate the Labor Day weekend.

Table of Contents
1. Fighting Superscrapers

2. Landmarks Preservation Fight Ahead
3. Bike Safety Program
4. Citi Bike Stations Moved & Safety Training
5. Ramp Moves as DEC Considers Impact on Air Quality
6. Decide How to Spend $1 Million in the Community
Good Government

7. Hero For Reform
8. City Record Online
9. Electronic Filing to Save Time and Money
10. Automatic Benefits to Help Low-Income New Yorkers
11. Improving 311
12. Affordable Housing
13. Healthy Happy Meals

14. Cooking with Kallos
15. Emergency Preparedness Event
16. Trash Walk
17. Boating with Ben
18. Summer Reading Celebration
19. Lexington Houses Family Day

20. Making Kids Smile
21. Penn & Teller Honored
Office Updates
22. Fall Interns
23. Here to Help
24. Mobile District Hours
25. Ben in Your Building
Community Resources
26. Bike New York
27. Jewish Association Serving the Aging
28. City Council Events
29. Community Events

Dear Neighbor,You’ve given me a remarkable responsibility: to represent you in City Hall.Under previous Council Member Jessica Lappin’s leadership, our communitythrived — a legacy I will diligently continue. I am honored to now representthe community where I grew up and where my mother still lives. My officewill always accessible be and available to you and can be reached bycalling 212-860-1950, visiting us at 244 East 93rd Street, or emailingbkallosatcouncil [dot] nyc [dot] gov. We have important work to do together. Every child should receive the sameworld-class education that I did at Bronx High School of Science. We can worktogether to implement innovative solutions such as identifying new spacesfor schools in our neighborhood, making pre-k universally available to helpchildren get a fair start, and creating CUNY college loan forgiveness programsto help our city’s economy thrive. Older New Yorkers and their caregivers must be supported so they can behealthy and independent. My mother is a senior who lives in the district, and Iam committed to keeping senior centers open and protecting vital services likeMeal on Wheels. We must protect and expand affordable housing. Those who made our neighborhoodwhat it is today deserve to see the benefits of their lifetimes of hardwork. New development, which will come with the completion of the SecondAvenue Subway, must include affordable housing for middle-class New Yorkers.We also have standing battles to continue. I am a member of Asphalt Green’sTriathlon Team and will continue to fight the Marine Transfer Station. I amworking to build a broad coalition of elected officials and community leadersin opposition to any dump in a residential neighborhood. It won’t be easy,it won’t happen right away, and I will need your help — but together, we candefeat it. If we invest in each other — our time, energy and compassion — our governmentcan work better for all of us. Please join me, so that together we canbuild a better city. Sincerely,Council Member Ben KallosDistrict Five: Upper East Side, Midtown East, El Barrio and Roosevelt Island