Updates

Press Release

  Today Council Member Ben Kallos, Chair of the Committee on Governmental Organization, applauded the New York City Council’s response to the Mayor’s FY 2015 Preliminary Budget and FY 2014 Preliminary Mayor’s Management Report. Kallos praised the budget response as promoting transparency and efficiency in government, and increased opportunity for all New Yorkers.

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Press Release

Public Advocate Letitia James will be joined by food advocates on the steps of City Hall to announce a proposal that would provide universal free lunch for all New York City public school students. Over 75% of city public school students are eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch. That’s an estimated 780,000 students.  

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Press Release

 Council Member Ben Kallos joined students and educators of P.S. 290 and other Manhattan schools to protest this year’s New York State English Language Arts (ELA) Exam, following the conviction of educators across the City that this year’s exam was unfair, incompetent and contrary to their teaching. 

 

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Press Release

 Council Members Ben Kallos, Jimmy Vacca and Mark Levineintroduced a resolution today adopting sweeping reforms to the recruitment and appointment process for community boards and calling on borough presidents to do the same. Resolution 164, co-sponsored by Council Members Danny Dromm, Antonio Reynoso, Carlos Menchaca, Brad Lander, Ydanis Rodriguez, Ritchie Torres and Debi Rose, includes recommendations for instituting member term limits, instituting independent screening panels for applicants and requiring conflict of interest forms of applicants.

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Press Coverage
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Community board members would face term limits if a resolution introduced in the City Council is adopted by boards across the city.

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Press Coverage
TechPresident
Friday, April 11, 2014

 New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked.

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Press Coverage
New York Times City Room
Friday, April 11, 2014

We asked some other newcomers to reflect on their first 3.33 months.

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Newsletter

Last week, I celebrated 100 days representing you in the New York City Council. In just this short time, I have already been able to achieve many of the promises made before I took office. With a few well on their way, it seems that they weren't promises but plans.

You can see for yourself by reading my policy book, but here are a few items from the book that we've been able to accomplish by working together:

  • I was front and center in the movement that won $300 million in pre-kindergarten funding for New York City with to make us a nationwide leader by giving every child a fair start;
  • I am committing millions in funding to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in our schools;
  • Stop and frisk reform has become a reality; and
  • I co-sponsored the bill to expand paid sick leave to half a million New Yorkers so we can all be healthier.

There is still much more to do. I am more committed than ever to taking on the challenges and seizing on the opportunities that face our neighborhood and city.  As your Council Member, I am taking on the tough fights on your behalf:

  • I am fighting the marine transfer station on 91st Street every day, reorienting the debate to focusing on increasing recycling and reducing waste citywide;
  • I am protecting residents from unsafe construction and being kicked out of their affordable housing;
  • I am bringing accountability to city agencies, from the Board of Elections to community boards;
  • I am advocating for ferry service for Roosevelt Island; and
  • I am working to provide educational support outside the classroom by supporting community learning schools.

And I am proud to maintain an attendance record of 100% -- because you deserve a representative that shows up!

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Press Coverage
Daily Kos
Saturday, April 12, 2014

At PS 290 in Manhattan, City Councilman Ben Kallos (D) joined the protests and chanted along, earning the praise of the parents as well as Principal Sharon Hill.

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Press Coverage
WBAI
Saturday, April 12, 2014

City Watch invites guests who are  involved with social, economic, political and cultural issues in New York City. Our guests give information that we hope will enable our listeners to actively participate in a more informed way.

Listen to the show

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Press Release

Elected officials, Housing Alliance Against Downsizing (HAAD) and hundreds of tenants from 28 former Mitchell-Lama buildings protested HPD’s downsizing of elderly, medically challenged and single-parent tenants who are being forced to downsize into 0-bedroom and 1-bedroom apartments, demanding a moratorium on the disastrously-implemented policy. 

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Press Release

New York, New York -- Council Member Ben Kallos is demanding an independent review of the skyrocketing costs to build and operate new Marine Transfer Station costs in the 2006 Solid Waste Management Plan. In a letter to the Independent Budgeting Office, Kallos calls for an updated investigation into the Upper Manhattan Marine Transfer Station costs due to dramatic changes since the IBO’s last review in 2012. Estimated capital costs have gone from $43.9 million in 2002-2005 to $121.8 million in 2008-2009 to $181.6 million in 2013-2014 while it has been estimated that the barged trash will cost New Yorkers a billion dollars over 20 years; $600 million more than the current system. 
  

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Press Coverage
Fast Company
Friday, April 4, 2014

It would be tough to find something people like to complain about more than politicians. Now, thanks to New York City's Participatory Budgeting project, we get to do part of their job for them.

With the fast flow of information these days, the average citizen can easily be just as informed as any local politician or policy wonk. So why do we need politicians to spend our tax dollars for us? Especially when it comes local communities, people have a visceral and intuitive understanding of the changes they want to see.

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Press Coverage
New York Daily News
Thursday, April 3, 2014

City Councilman Ben Kallos slammed the Board of Elections in a letter Wednesday for its blame-dodging response to a scathing Department of Investigation probe.

Kallos, chair of the Governmental Operations committee, had told to board to hand in a plan on how they’d fix a slew of problems identified by DOI, which found the board was riddled with nepotism and allowed dead people to vote.

Instead, officials at the problem-plagued agency sent in a response that dismissed most of DOI’s recommendations as outdated and vague.

 

 

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