Dear Chairman and Commissioners,
We write once again on behalf of the 8.5 million residents of New York City to protect and promote the Open Internet and net neutrality.
New York City, through its City Council and its Mayor, is committed to universal broadband in order to bridge the digital divide. Yet the divide between those who can access reasonable broadband service and those who cannot will remain unbridgeable unless the Commission uses its mandate to expand access to broadband to protect and promote the Open Internet and net neutrality. There are 6.4 million people in New York State who have yet to adopt broadband, whose access to necessary and useful information and applications must be protected and promoted. Whether you use legal authority deriving from Telecommunications Act of 1996, Section 706 –the mandate to promote broadband deployment – or reclassify broadband under Title II of the Communications Act, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must protect the Free and Open Internet.
Without net neutrality, cable companies would have the power to censor, block or otherwise discriminate against the digital tools necessary to thrive in the modern world.
Just behind Mark-Viverito and Matteo was City Councilman Chaim Deutsch, who missed just one of his 83 meetings last year; City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal, who missed only two of 115 meetings; and City Councilman Ben Kallos, who was absent from two of 105 meetings.
To track attendance, we counted all the meetings that each member was obligated to attend in calendar year 2016, including committee and subcommittee meetings, and then determined how many he or she missed. (City Councilman Bill Perkins was left out of the analysis since much of the data we used is from 2016, when Inez Dickens still held his Harlem seat.)
Any time a member had two meetings scheduled at the same time, we didn’t count the conflict as an absence. But other absences – for medical reasons, jury duty or funerals – were included.
This may strike some as unfair, but an extended absence can affect performance – and in some cases, it appeared to correlate with lower scores on other measures, like introducing and passing bills.
Yet one representative who missed substantial time due to medical leave nonetheless performed well on the other measures. City Councilman Jumaane Williams missed 15 days for medical reasons, but came in at No. 2 in our overall rankings.
“New Yorkers are exhausted by overdevelopment,” city councilman Ben Kallos, a leading opponent of the tall tower, tells the New York Times. “This is about standing up and showing the city that there’s another way to do things.”
Jon Kalikow, the president of Gamma Real Estate, says it would be a “disastrous outcome” if the city were to adopt the rezoning proposal.
“This building could dramatically change the character of our neighborhood,” says Alan Kersh, founding president of the East River Fifties Alliance, which opposes Gamma’s proposed tower and has more than 2,000 supporters, including 45 nearby co-ops and condominiums. Kersh lives across the street from the construction site in a 47-story building called the Sovereign.
At a July 7 meeting with elected representatives, MTA officials agreed to maintain current service levels on the M57 line, going back on an earlier proposal that would have increased headways on the route from 10 to 12 minutes during AM peak hours and from 12 to 15 minutes during PM peak hours. “The M57 was going to have the most cuts, and they’ve agreed to make no service changes to the M57,” Kallos said.
The proposed changes, scheduled to take effect in September, were first announced by MTA New York City Transit in a June 16 letter to elected officials and community boards. The letter also proposed reductions in service frequency on the M31, M66 and M72 bus lines that would increase scheduled wait times by 11 to 33 percent. Despite opposition from elected officials at the July 7 meeting, the MTA has not altered its proposal to cut service on the three lines, Kallos said.
A zoning debate in Manhattan's Sutton Place may seem like just another posh neighborhood telling a developer its project is not welcome.
But City Hall is listening for a bellwether in the bickering.
A zoning proposal put forward by residents of the neighborhood may force Mayor Bill de Blasio to finally have to reckon with a much-criticized affordable housing program he pledged to examine 15 months ago, experts said.
Near the beginning of 2017, Gamma Real Estate filed plans for a co-op on Sutton Place. Some nearby residents said the project, which is now slated to be nearly 800 feet high, would tower over the neighborhood and change its character.
“New Yorkers are exhausted by overdevelopment,” said Ben Kallos, the city councilman who represents the area and a leading opponent of the tall tower. “This is about standing up and showing the city that there’s another way to do things.”
Critics of the project say that supertall towers in residential areas tend to overwhelm the neighborhood and displace less wealthy residents. Still, both Mayor Bill de Blasio and his predecessor, Michael R. Bloomberg, rezoned large sections of the city for ever taller buildings.
The zoning change, which was proposed by Mr. Kallos and other elected officials as well as neighborhood residents, has been in the works for two years. The proposed rezoning was recently approved by the Manhattan borough president, Gale Brewer, and unanimously endorsed by the local community board. Mr. Kallos hopes that the City Council will approve the proposal after the city’s Planning Department holds a public hearing on the matter in August.
The hackathon will feature speakers, judges, and mentors from the New York City Council, New York State Office of Temporary & Disability Assistance, FWD.us, Fueled, Major League Hacking, New York Immigration Coalition, CUNY Dreamers and other New York-area organizations. Event sponsors include Impact Hub NYC, The Studio Project, Innovation Collective, “I Am An Immigrant,” Major League Hacking, Civic Hall, and AlleyWatch.
This year’s hackathon theme is “I Stand With Immigrants.” Participants will come together to build apps, websites, and other digital products to highlight the immigrant experience and create opportunities for allies to stand in solidarity with New York’s vibrant immigrant community. The theme is a continuation of the new Immigrant Heritage Month 2017 campaign from “I Am An Immigrant,” titled “I Stand With Immigrants,” a call for immigrants and allies across the country to celebrate our nation’s shared immigrant heritage.
Last month, Kallos wrote to the department questioning the use of “public safety” to justify the after-hours permits. None of the work cited — including excavation and pouring concrete — “should qualify for ‘public safety,’” Kallos wrote.
"Housing is right that will now be protected by providing every New Yorker facing eviction with consultation or representation by a lawyer," said Council Member Ben Kallos, vice-chair of the Progressive Caucus that carried the Right to Counsel in their platform. "Thank you to Mayor de Blasio and Department Social Services Commissioner Bank for their commitment to fighting homelessness with a universal access to counsel to keep residents from being evicted, in their homes and off the streets."
Resolution calling upon Congress to pass and the President to sign, legislation that would establish an American Museum of Women’s History as a part of the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.
This bill would require the Department of Education (DOE) to report to the Council and post publicly on DOE’s website a report regarding certain health services offered to students in city schools, specifically dental services, vision services, HPV vaccinations, contraception, and substance abuse counseling. The bill would also require DOE to report on outcomes for schools that offer such services compared with schools that do not. The report would be required annually, starting November 1, 2017
There are roughly 3.5 million private-sector workers in New York City, a significant percentage of whom have no access to retirement savings whatsoever. This bill would establish an individual retirement account (IRA) program for private-sector workers at businesses with 10 or more employees located in New York City that do not already offer retirement savings plans. Enrollment in the program is automatic, but employees may opt out. Contributions are handled through payroll deductions and set at a default rate, but employees may change their contribution rate. Savings accounts would be comprised of individual employees’ savings only; neither employers nor the City would contribute to individual accounts. Covered employers would be required to distribute program information to employees. The bill also sets forth a complaint procedure and civil penalties for violations.
The bill would establish a goal of zero waste in New York City by 2030.
The bill would require waste and recycling receptacles in common areas of buildings be labeled as either “landfill,” “recycling” or “compost.”
This bill would amend the deadline for candidates for public office to file a disclosure report with the Conflicts of Interest Board.
This bill would require owners to install and maintain radiator covers.
A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York and the New York city charter in relation to signage in privately owned public spaces
A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York in relation to penalties for violations of conditions and restrictions on privately owned public spaces
This bill would increase from $4,000 to $10,000the minimum penalty for a violation of the legal requirements applicable to a privately owned public space.
The proposed legislation would require the Department of Education (DOE) to track and report information on applications, offers of admission, and enrollment citywide, disaggregated by school, and further disaggregated by grade level, community school district of residence, council district of residence and zip code. The proposed legislation would also require DOE to report on anticipated seats available citywide and at each school in the next academic year.
City Councilman Ben Kallos, whose district includes many New York Presbyterian facilities, said Waldner’s was “wrong” to fire its union employees.
"Waldner's shouldn't be locking out hard-working employees, some of which have been with the company for 30 years," Kallos said.
“Any institution currently working with Waldner's should insist they end the lockout and negotiate in good faith,” he added.
Not at all coincidentally, Gamma Real Estate is in the process of building what could become a 700-foot skyscraper at 3 Sutton Place. The proposed development, which has been in the works for some time now (first as a 900-foot tower developed by Baohaus Group, then in its current form), has raised the hackles of community members and elected officials alike. Just last week, Manhattan Community Board 6 gave its approval to the rezoning resolution, and city officials like borough president Gale Brewer and City Council member Ben Kallos have voiced their support.
And according to the Wall Street Journal, the Municipal Art Society is also coming out in favor of building height caps. The society’s president, Elizabeth Goldstein, told the Journal that the ERFA is doing “something which is really unusual and kind of amazing.” MAS, you’ll recall, has pushed for more oversight of as-of-right development before, and has been one of the loudest voices against the “accidental skyline” created by Central Park’s supertall boom.
New York, NY - Four new active neighborhood leaders join Community Board 8 after being nominated by Council Member Ben Kallos and appointed by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. Manhattan's 12 community boards are local organizations each composed of 50 volunteer members serving staggered two-year terms. Community boards are tasked with being the independent and representative voices of their communities — the most grass-roots form of local government. The boards are pivotal in shaping their communities and work to enhance and preserve the character of the city's many unique neighborhoods. "More than a thousand people applied to be a member of one of Manhattan's 12 community Boards, the most we've ever had," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "I'm excited that so many Manhattanites want to be involved, even though that made the job of selecting members tougher than it's ever been. I'm delighted that these four new members are joining CB 8.”
“We are looking for our city's best and brightest with strong ties to the neighborhood to serve on our community boards. I am proud to nominate a neighborhood association founder, union organizer, parent and resident that will bring expertise in law, labor, public policy research, and finance that Community Board 8 needs to make decisions on land use and other complex issues before the board,” said Council Member Ben Kallos who previously served on Community Board 8. “Thank you to Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer for an open process that has encouraged hundreds to apply with an impressive group interview process as well as all the applicants and appointees for their service to the community.”
Back on the Upper East Side, City Councilman Ben Kallos says the cost of a neighborhood’s transformation is a loss of character.
“Small businesses are being forced out, and that’s making New York City a little less unique,” said Kallos.
At Charter, we strive to reflect the vibrant diversity of the communities we serve through every facet of our business. That starts with over 11,000 highly trained, diverse employees right here in New York, who help to deliver superior products and services to our three million customers throughout the state.
We’re committed to growing this workforce. Across our footprint, we are planning to hire 20,000 employees by 2020, including thousands of veterans. And so far this year, we’ve hired over 1,200 new employees in the state of New York.
We’re proud to offer our millions of customers the products and services that are most relevant to them. Charter has significantly expanded access to African-American focused and owned programming, as well as to Latino targeted English language programming. Additionally, our Spectrum Mi Latino Plan provides over 75 Spanish-language networks, the most Spanish-language HD channels, and Spectrum NY1 Noticias which provides news 24/7 throughout New York City. Spectrum’s telephone service includes unlimited calling to the US, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico across the entire footprint as well as to the Dominican Republic and Colombia for our customers in New York City.