Updates

Press Coverage
Our Town
Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Councilman Ben Kallos condemned the arrests and the city’s actions.

“We as a community joined together in a grassroots action to exercise our First Amendment rights,” said Kallos. “It’s a dark day for democracy when an administration is arresting seniors and NYCHA residents who are trying to protect a children’s playground from a garbage dump.”

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Press Coverage
StreetsBlog
Monday, June 2, 2014

As part of a raft of bills on government data and transparency, Council Member Ben Kallos has introduced legislation that would require the city to release and map data about where NYPD issues moving violations, among other things. The bill would open up new traffic enforcement information to the public...

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Press Coverage
New York Daily News
Thursday, May 22, 2014

In a letter to City Hall, officials who oppose the 91st St. Marine Transfer station ask Mayor de Blasio to investigate the hikes in a probe similar to the one he announced of the new 911 system. That project was $1 billion over budget and six years over due.

“Responsible budgeting would require oversight and review,” said the letter from six elected officials, including City Councilman Ben Kallos, state Sen. Liz Krueger and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.

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Press Coverage
Curbed
Sunday, May 25, 2014

In a letter to City Hall, six elected officials—including City Councilman Ben Kallos, State Senator Liz Kruger, and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney—are calling for increased oversight from Mayor de Blasio, as well as a probe into the project's budget similar to the one he recently announced over the new 911 system that's $1 billion over-budget and six years late.

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Press Coverage
DNAinfo.com
Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The development includes a multimillion-dollar investment in the esplanade and a number of other community benefits secured by local community leaders and elected officials, according to local Councilman Ben Kallos.

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Press Coverage
AM New York
Wednesday, May 28, 2014

New York City's crime map can tell you where a burglary or assault occurred, but a bill being introduced today would make the city plot traffic tickets and summonses as well, the legislation's author, Councilmen Ben Kallos told amNY.

Kallos' bill requires noncriminal violations to be posted on the city's crime map along with dates, times and location information down to the longitude and latitude coordinates, if possible.

He said this level of detail would bolster the city's Vision Zero pedestrian safety effort by providing more exact locations of incidents and traffic violations.

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Press Coverage
AM New York
Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Constituents in Councilman Ben Kallos' Upper East Side district voted to spend $300,000 for 15 electronic signs on the westbound stops of the M96, M86, M79 and M66 crosstown buses.

Kallos then set aside an additional $340,000 for 17 electronic signs on M31 downtown and westbound stops.

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Press Coverage
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Upper East Side) urged the city to re-think the whole plan.

“It is time to re-imagine our solid waste management plan to reduce, reuse and recycle, instead of putting Marine Transfer Stations in densely residential neighborhoods,” he said. “A forward-thinking plan for a greener city will provide relief to over-burdened neighborhoods and protect the thousands of residents and students within feet of these proposed marine transfer stations.”

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Press Coverage
New York Daily News
Monday, May 26, 2014

Under legislation to be introduced by Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), the city would be required to post all government notices on its website — from announcements of a community board meeting to an application for a new sidewalk cafe.

“There’s literally hundreds and hundreds of places where the government has to make a public notice — but nobody knows what the government is doing, because the public notice requirements are so arcane,” said Kallos, chairman of the government operations committee.

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Video
Sunday, March 23, 2014
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Video
Friday, April 11, 2014
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Video
Sunday, May 4, 2014
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Press Coverage
Slashdot
Thursday, May 29, 2014

"New York City Council Member Ben Kallos (KallosEsq), who also happens to be a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) developer, just introduced legislation to mandate a government preference for FOSS and creating a Civic Commons website to facilitate collaborative purchasing of software. He argues that NYC could save millions of dollars with the Free and Open Source Software Preferences Act 2014, pointing out that the city currently has a $67 million Microsoft ELA. Kallos said: 'It is time for government to modernize and start appreciating the same cost savings as everyone else.'"

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Press Coverage
Gotham Gazette
Thursday, May 29, 2014

On Thursday, Council Member Ben Kallos will introduce the Free and Open Source Software Act that, if passed by the City Council, would bring the requirement to New York. The law would require the City to look first to open source software before purchasing proprietary software. In addition, Kallos, chair of the Council's government operations committee, will introduce a Civic Commons bill to create a central site to store all of the open source software the City uses which could promote sharing among cities.

"Free and open-sourced software is something that has been used in private sector and in fact by most people in their homes for more than a decade now, if not a generation," Kallos said by phone on Wednesday, May 28. "It is time for government to modernize and start appreciating the same cost savings as everyone else."

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Press Coverage
Sunlight Foundation
Thursday, May 29, 2014

New Yorkers, meanwhile, can enjoy the fact that the newly proposed NYC POIA will give them a chance to show the feds how it’s done. Democratic Councilmember Ben Kallos introduced New York City’s version in order to achieve the same unimpeachable aim as the federal POIA: bringing government into the 21st century by putting all public government information online.

In several ways, the NYC proposal is stronger and goes beyond its namesake bill. Rather than simply expressing the sense of the legislative body that public information should be available online, NYC’s POIA mandates that:

Whenever the terms "public information," "public inspection" or "inspection by the public" are used in the charter or administrative code...the information provided by a city agency pursuant to any such requirement shall include...publication of all such information on the agency’s website, in an open format, and publication to the open data portal...no later than such time as such information is provided by any other means.

While the federal POIA foresaw putting the decision about what to put online in the hands of anadvisory council, the NYC POIA proposes to let existing restrictions on public information provide the guidelines for online access. In other words, in terms of making the meaning of “public” truly equivalent to “online,” New York’s proposal accomplishes this quite neatly.

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Press Release

 

New York, NY – Free and Open Source Software developer turned New York City Council Member Ben Kallos today introduced legislation mandating a preference for Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and creating a Civic Commons website to facilitate collaborative purchasing of software between agencies, cities, states and the federal government to save taxpayer dollars.

 

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Press Release

 

 The City Council today introduced two mapping transparency bills to make government information more meaningful by tying it to space and time.

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Press Release

 

Today, New York City Council Member Ben Kallos is introducing three bills designed to bring New York City’s public data into the 21st Century through increased transparency and accessibility online: “eNotices,” “Public Online Information Act" (POIA) and "City Record On-Line" (CROL). 

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Legislation
Thursday, May 29, 2014

Open GIS,” introduced by Kallos, Rodriguez and Lander, creates a new level of specificity for NYC Crime Map (http://maps.nyc.gov/crime/), specifying the exact location of the incident using GPS coordinates along with date and time for every violation, crime and arrest – including the exact location on the street where collisions occur. Current forms only record nearest intersection or street address, leaving the public without the specific corner or crosswalk on a street or pathway within a park where incidents occurred. The legislation will empower the NYPD, DOT and safety advocates in the public with the knowledge to address safety concerns with the precision necessary to prevent future otherwise preventable incidents, in line with the mission of Vision Zero.

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Legislation
Thursday, May 29, 2014

“OpenMaps,” introduced by Kallos and Vacca, mandates that data sets behind government maps, like those at NYCityMap (http://maps.nyc.gov/), become open and shareable so residents, civic hackers and developers can create apps to help:

  • Drivers find off-street parking at garages and lots;
  • Bicyclists find CityRacks and bicycle parking shelters;
  • Residents find free access to broadband and wi-fi;And government services of all kinds, including youth, aging, health, parks, cultural, and education services.
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Legislation
Thursday, May 29, 2014

Civic Commons Act, would encourage the collaborative software purchasing of free and open source software among agencies, cities and states to pool resources, avoid duplicated effort, create portable expertise, grow jobs, and reduce costs. A Civic Commons FOSS portal would be created to facilitate collaborative software purchasing and host the collaborative FOSS source code as well as FOSS projects identified as useful for government use. Civic Commons is currently a project of Code for America, a not-for-profit hosted at Commons.CodeForAmerica.org with more information available at wiki.CivicCommons.org.

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Legislation
Thursday, May 29, 2014

Free and Open Source Software Act (FOSSA), would minimize city contracts for proprietary software in favor of free and open source software (FOSS) that can be shared between government agencies and bodies instead of propriety programs that currently require the city and other municipalities, including the state, to pay private vendors over and over again for the same code. FOSS provides the city with power over the code and the freedom to study, modify, upgrade, improve, customize, maintain and redistribute within agencies and to other cities or states. Free software means code that is free from proprietary constraints, not free of charge.

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