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Roosevelt Island Daily
Peter McCarthy

After running on a platform calling for more Pre-K funding, City Council Member Ben Kallos began delivering right away, increasing the number of seats in his district 5-fold, with Roosevelt Island alone gaining 49.

It was an exhilarating moment for Roosevelt Island Parents' Network leader Eva Bosbach when Ben Kallos, early in his first term on the City Council, announced funding for 49 additional Pre K seats for the community.

Along with vigorous moral and philosophical support, Kallos acted as navigator, guiding the Roosevelt Island Day Nursery, led by Executive Director Pamela Stark, through the bureaucratic intricacies of the Department of Education in getting its application approved.

At the same time, Bosbach and Susy del Campo Perea organize



League of Independent Theater
League of Independent Theater

NY Council Member, and LIT endorsed candidate, Ben Kallos announced on Monday, Aug 22an incredible piece of legislation that allows community members to use City-owned buildings for rehearsals and performances. 


Our Town
Madeleine Thompson

Councilman Ben Kallos said he has written a letter to DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia requesting more information about the plan.

“The big concern that many constituents have is whether or not commercial carters as part of a franchising system would be required to dump in the neighborhoods that they pick up, or whether they might use this marine transfer station to force all the private carters who have franchises for Manhattan to dump on the Upper East Side,” Kallos said.


Miranda Neubauer

The Mayor's Office of Data Analytics and Councilman Ben Kallos are seeking feedback on proposed geospatial open data standardsbeginning Friday.

The proposed standards follow fromlegislationintroduced by Kallos and signed into law last year to improve on the city's open data law. It mandates the establishment of a technical standard that requires every public data set containing address information to utilize a standard layout. The law states that if there is a dataset for which an agency cannot use such a layout, the agency must provide the city and the Council with the reasons preventing it from doing so and a date by which it will be able to comply.

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"Our goal is to make government location-aware and the best way to do that is to standardize geographic information across of all our datasets, so that folks can just throw it on a map easily," Kallos said.



El Diario
El Diario

Con el objetivo de proteger a los inquilinos de Nueva York, el concejal Ben Kallos, con el apoyo de la defensora del pueblo Letitia James y la presidenta de Manhattan Gale Brewer, presentó este martes una propuesta de ley que busca regular a las empresas hacer el chequeos de los arrendatarios y crean las llamadas “listas negras de inquilinos”, con el fin de que estas compañías otorguen información justa sobre los residentes.



And looks, here are some entrants already on Instagram and Twitter! Even City Council Member Ben Kallos is taking part:


CM Ben Kallos is working #PreservationPays (Historic Districts Council)


You'll find some more interesting facts about the buildings in the Historic Districts Council's slideshow "How Historic Preservation Benefits New York City," below. The slides also describe how historic preservation—as a driver of New York City's multi-billion-dollar tourism trade, a creator of good paying jobs, and an attractive option for affordable housing—is a positive force for the financial well-being of the city.


Waterfront Alliance

With a chorus of “ayes,” the New York City Council passed legislation on August 16 that reconstitutes the Waterfront Management Advisory Board(WMAB), and with the stroke of a pen, Mayor de Blasio made it law on August 31. “As we build more sustainable, resilient, equitable waterfronts across the five boroughs, we’ll be counting on the voices of New Yorkers to help us,” he said before he signed the bill into law.

An important forum for governmental and civic representatives to work together to shape waterfront projects, the WMAB was created in 1977 but then mostly dormant for 30 years. After strong advocacy by the Waterfront Alliance and other groups, it was revived in 2009, but was active only for about four years.


The Real Deal
The Real Deal

Council member Benjamin Kallos recently proposed stronger regulation on data companies that provide tenant blacklists to landlords. [Crain’s]  Konrad Putzier


City Limits
Roshan Abraham

One issue that adds to the confusion is a communication gap between city agencies, who have to explain complex projects to the public, and board members, who must parse civic-planning jargon to understand how new projects will impact them. A solution to this would be for each board to have professional planning staff, something envisioned by the city charter but very rarely achieved in practice. Councilmember Ben Kallos introduced a bill in March 2015 requiring the appointment of at least one planner for every four community boards. The bill has yet to go to a vote.
Cassy Sommer

The bill, introduced by Councilwoman Debi Rose (D-North Shore) and Councilman Ben Kallos, who represents the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island, would add a council member, the commissioner of Parks and Recreation, and the commissioner of Housing Preservation and Development to the WMAB. It would also expand the number of public members of the board to 18, half to be appointed by the mayor and half to be appointed by the City Council speaker.

"When I was appointed chair of the Council's committee on waterfronts, I learned that this board had been inactive for so long," said Rose. "That was unacceptable to me, especially in light of all the new development taking place along our waterfronts. This bill will expand the size of the board to incorporate more community stakeholders, and to engage more city agencies. It is my hope that the expansion of the WMAB will help us better oversee development on our waterfronts and improve their overall upkeep."


Zoe Rosenberg

The dreaded tenant blacklist that debriefs landlords on whether prospective renters have appeared in housing court is still making it hard for those on the list to rent apartments in New York City. Now, Councilman Ben Kallos has introduced legislation to the City Council’s Consumer Affairs Committee that would require the blacklist to paint a fuller picture of why certain tenants have ended up in housing court, the Times reports. Unsurprisingly, things aren’t always as they seem on the database.




The Real Deal
Kathryn Brenzel

New proposed legislation aims to help tenants blacklisted for their history in housing court.

Councilman Benjamin Kallos on Tuesday introduced legislation to the council’s Consumer Affairs Committee that would force screening companies to provide landlords with fuller descriptions of housing court cases. The measure is intended to combat overzealous tenant blacklists, which are compiled by tenant-screening data companies based on housing court records.

Housing attorneys argue that the blacklist is riddled with errors and fails to show when a tenant won a case, the New York Times reported. After two years of being homeless, Margot Miller, 68, recently was denied housing at an apartment for low-income seniors when the owner discovered that she had been sued by her previous landlord.


Gotham Gazette
Gotham Gazette

"When there aren't public postings, that's a good indication there may be patronage involved, or worse yet conflicts of interest," Kallos told the New York Daily News. "New Yorkers would know about the 350,000 jobs the city has, and the city could expand its pool of qualified applicants."


New York Times
Kim Barker Jessica Silver-Greenberg

 Margot Miller, who has been living at a convent in Harlem, was disqualified from an apartment because she had once been sued by a landlord, landing her on a tenant blacklist.CreditMichelle V. Agins/The New York Times

After two years of being homeless, napping in stores open all night and more recently staying in a convent in Harlem, Margot Miller found out in March that her luck was about to change: She had qualified for an apartment for low-income older adults.


“This is to inform you that a rental unit has become available,” the letter from the building’s owner, Prince Hall Plaza, began.


Elated, Ms. Miller, 68, said she immediately went to the building’s office to claim the apartment. But after a background check, she said, the building reversed course.


“I go there, I’m all excited,” Ms. Miller said. “The woman there then does something on the computer. Then she said, ‘You can’t have this.’”


She was disqualified, the woman told her. Not because of her credit score. (At 760, hers was stellar.) And not because of a criminal record. (She had none.)


New York Daily News
Erin Durkin

"When there aren't public postings, that's a good indication there may be patronage involved, or worse yet conflicts of interest," Kallos said. "New Yorkers would know about the 350,000 jobs the city has, and the city could expand its pool of qualified applicants," Kallos said.


Real Affordability For All

"This is a major victory for our coalition and for countless New Yorkers. Through intense advocacy and organizing, we demanded a better plan with deeper affordability, and that’s what the New York City Council has secured. We are very grateful to City Council Members Jumaane Williams, Ritchie Torres, Donovan Richards, and Ben Kallos for their tireless leadership on behalf of the most vulnerable low-income New Yorkers. They played a crucial role in securing a stronger, more robust affordable housing and rezoning plan,” said Maritza Silva-Farrell, Campaign Director of Real Affordability for All.
Shaye Weaver

Councilman Ben Kallos opposed the new Citi Bike station last year and plans on working with the DOT to get it moved.

Recently the councilman suggested the agency move it around the corner against Ruppert Park on Second Avenue between East 90th and East 91st streets.

“This is a very uphill battle,” Kallos said. “Citi Bike has not moved very many locations, except to the extent that we’re able to work with the community for minimal changes.”


New York Amtersdam News
Simone R. Johnson

A coalition of city and state elected officials, transport officials and activists have come to together to push for effective fixes that would improve overall bus service. The group includes elected officials such as Borough President Eric Adams, State Sen. Daniel Squadron, Assembly Member Ron Kim, City Council Members Chaim Deutsch, Vincent Gentile, Ben Kallos and Peter Koo, Director of the NYC TransitCenter Tabitha Decker, Executive Director and Tri-State Transportation Campaign Board Member of the MTA Veronica Vanterpool, Executive Director of the Riders Alliance John Raskin, Campaign Associate of NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign Jaqi Cohen, bus rider activist from Queens Jeanne Majors and bus riders.


New York Daily News
Erin Durkin

Also out for stretches of time for medical reasons were Annabel Palma (D-Bronx), who was gone from last July to October, Debi Rose (D-Staten Island), from January to March, and Inez Dickens (D-Manhattan), from September to December.

Posting perfect attendance were Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), Republican minority leader Steve Matteo, and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.


Our Town
Madeleine Thompson

Combined with the 90 seats added by fellow Councilman Ben Kallos — whose district borders Garodnick’s on the Upper East Side — back in May, there has certainly been an improvement, but a 2014 WNYC report estimated that there are 2,118 four-year-olds in Kallos’ district, the majority of whom will have to go far outside their neighborhoods for pre-k.


Our Town
Madeleine Thompson

The final piece of the funding puzzle that has been missing from the East River Esplanade project fell into place last month when the City Council approved roughly $2 million for several revitalization purposes. Combined with the $45 million rounded up by Councilman Ben Kallos from various sources in past years, funding for the project has reached just over $47 million, though that may not be the final tally.

“A lot of East Siders are envious of the West Side parks,” Kallos said. “When I came into office, the East River Esplanade was literally falling into the river and in some places still is.”


New York Times
Jim Dwyer

In effect, the public was paying to give the bundlers even more clout.

“The city should not be providing public dollars to amplify the already strong voices of special interests,” said Ben Kallos, a Democratic councilman who is the chairman of the committee on governmental operations. In May, he held a hearing on a bill that would eliminate the matching contributions for money bundled by someone doing city business. Mr. de Blasio’s counsel, Henry Berger, testified in favor.

“Lobbyists play a number of roles in city government, some of which are very, very important,” Mr. Berger said. “Their influence on the electoral process as demonstrated in the 2013 campaign is significant, and can be reduced by this, and we think it is appropriate to do so.”


New York Times
J. David Goodman

“I want to get to the bottom of what happened at Rivington, St. Nicholas and other sites,” said Councilman Ben Kallos, an Upper East Side Democrat whose committee oversees the Citywide Administrative Services Department, which grants deed restrictions. “The Council has a responsibility to hold an oversight hearing on deed restrictions.”

In preparation for a hearing, the de Blasio administration on June 15 released to Ms. Mark-Viverito’s office a list of 14 properties around the city that it said had pending applications for deed modifications or removals when the Rivington House deal came to light. The city halted new deed changes shortly after.


The Real Deal
Rich Bockmann

The Council bill, backed by members Ben Kallos and Donovan Richards, would require the Department of City Planning to create a map of the spaces and report twice a year on the status of each POPS. It would also mandate the DOB to report annually on complaints and violations.


Luisa Rollenhagen

Before the vote, the Rent Justice Coalition organized various tenant advocacy groups, including Make the Road New York and the Lower East Side-based GOLES to protest in front of Cooper Union and demand a rent rollback. Various elected officials were also present. City Council member Ben Kallos, who represents the 5th district, explained that 22 members of the council had written a letter to the RBG advocating for rent rollbacks, explaining that the drop of the PIOP should be taken into account when attempting to alleviate the pressure on rent-stabilized tenants, the majority of which are considered rent-burdened since over half of them pay about 36.4 percent of their income toward rent (affordable housing is classified as taking up less than 30 percent of a family’s income per month, Roberts had explained).


Happy New Year!  2012 was an amazing year, full of challenges to overcome, super storms and threats of apocolypse, unbridled success like the re-election of Barack Obama, landing the mars rover, discovering the Higgs Boson, and even sky diving faster than the speed of sound from space.  We enter 2013 in a world where more is possible than the year before.  What preconceived norms can we shatter in 2013?  I would love to know your New Year's resolution for how you will make the world a better place in 2013.


Following Sandy it was hard for many to return to normalcy, and some still haven't or never will.  The outpouring of support from the community was both humbling and amazing.  In my own volunteering I was struck by portions of the population displaced by Sandy as well as before by the economy or other factors.  As we celebrate  the Thanksgiving holiday please take a moment to pause and reflect on how lucky we are, give thanks, and lets figure out how to make things better for all of us.


Rosh Hashanah is the celebration of the Jewish New Year where many take pause and reflect on the year as they head in to the next.  In my reflection, I realize how great a year it has been and how integral you have been to my success.  Thank you for being a part of my life.  May you have a happy and healthy year!

Hope you join us for our Code v. Code Discussion Series: Laws that Hurt Us and Where They Come From event on Wednesday, October 17, or our Young Leaders event on Thursday, October 18.

Your support has put our campaign in the lead, according to today's public finance filing!  
Thank you to nearly 350 of you for investing almost $35,000 in our campaign for a better city.

Community Updates:

Happy 4th of July!  As we celebrate our Nation’s independence, it is a chance to suggest revolutionary ideas to make things better.  With that in mind, I hope that this season’s update is useful to you.

Hope you can join us for our Tech Event on Wednesday, June 27, First Amendment Event on Thursday, June 28, or our Community Event on Monday, July 9.

Happy Easter or Passover!  As we celebrate Spring, it is a chance to focus on renewal and what we can do to make things better.  With that in mind, I hope that this season’s update is useful to you.

You can read recent coverage on the campaign from the Upper East Side’s local paper Our Town which said:

“He’s positioning himself as a young voice, a progressive choice, someone who has worked tirelessly, frenetically even, on so many civic issues it makes the résumés of some sitting council members seem paltry by comparison.”


Please also join co-chairs and hosts many of whom you probably already know or should meet at a discussion on redistricting to support my campaign for City Council that has already garnered media attention as unique and substantive.  Our special guest is Mark Favors the lead plaintiff in Favors v. Cuomo who is seeking fair redistricting in 2012 to protect democracy and civil rights.  This lawsuit is responsible for the new congressional lines and will likely the lines for the New York State Senate.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012
7PM to 9PM
Traffic Bar, 986 2nd Ave

Buy your ticket now at


Like many of you who are receiving this I am doing my best to make the world a better place. Some days are better than others and most victories impossible to accomplish alone. To that end, I hope that this update as well as the last one inspire you to join a particular cause with me or are useful to you in other ways.

And last but not least

Like many of you who are receiving this I am doing my best to make the world a better place. Some days are better than others and most victories impossible to accomplish alone. To that end, I hope that this update as well as the last one inspire you to join a particular cause with me or are useful to you in other ways.

and last but not least,

New Year's is a great time to take stock in the previous year or previous two years, reflect on decisions past and present and perhaps begin anew.  In that spirit here is an update with some highlights that you may or may not already know about.