Updates

Press Coverage
Friday, March 31, 2017

He was caught on video hurling a table at a 46-year-old man on E. 81st St. at 3:38 p.m. March 18, police said. Sources said Uno was trying to scare the man.

Despite her notoriety, this is Barrionueva’s first arrest and she was released without bail.

City Councilman Ben Kallos, a Democrat who represents the Upper East Side, said residents have complained about her for years.

“I’m hoping that between law enforcement and city agencies providing mental health (treatment), that she isn’t subject to jail,” Kallos said.

Uno was held on $2,500 bail.

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Press Release
Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thank you for reaching out with your concerns about a mentally ill woman on the Upper East Side. We share your compassion for her well-being and concern for the safety of those around her, and we want to advise you of our best options here.

As many of you have noted in your comments, she is suffering from a mental illness, and as a City and a community, we must do everything we can to get her the help that she needs. As you likely know, mental illness in itself is not a crime, but physical assault of any kind, including spitting on someone, is -- and it will not be tolerated.

 

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Press Coverage
DNAinfo.com
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Kallos, who was one of several politicians to create the Eastside Taskforce for Homeless Outreach and Services (ETHOS) last year, said that until the woman is proven to be a harm to herself or others, he can't do anything about her.

"She's been brought to the hospital on numerous occasions and assessed by a psychiatrist," he told DNAinfo New York on Tuesday. "If anyone has been spat on, touched without consent, chased, or threatened, I will go with them personally to the 19th Precinct to swear out a complaint so that the city has additional resources to help her."

Kallos said he's successfully helped connect homeless New Yorkers with services in the past, and even sat down with the Department of Homeless Services last October to go through a list of local homeless people one by one to see what kind of services they needed. 

"We've had success in some places, but there are some folks we haven't seen recently because people have accepted help, or found help on their own," he said. "The worst case is that they just disappear and we don't know what happened to them."

Kallos noted that the Upper East Side is very dense, so when there is one person singing or screaming, it's bound to impact thousands of people and amplify the the problem.

"We have been putting immense pressure on this administration to address the homeless concerns in this community and we have asked them to use every tool [they have]," he said.

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Press Coverage
Our Town
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

One of Manhattan’s busiest — and slowest — bus routes will soon join the growing list of select bus services (SBS). The M79 crosstown bus, which serves more than 14,000 riders each day, is expected to make the change in service later this May. The select service will require riders to pay at kiosks on the sidewalk before boarding the bus, in an attempt to cut down on time spent idling and improve the route’s 4.3 mph average speed. Signs with real-time arrival information will also be installed at each stop. The annual operating budget is expected to be approximately $1.73 million, according to the January 2017 MTA Transit and Bus Committee meeting handbook.

Council Member Ben Kallos, who represents the Upper East Side, personally requested that the service be implemented.

“Our crosstown buses serve tens of thousands of passengers a day and it makes a huge difference and cuts a lot of time off people’s commutes,” he said. “On 79th Street I, like many residents, have had to wait in lines around the block to get on the bus and I’ve often found that when the lines get that long it’s faster to just walk where I’m going instead of waiting for the bus.”

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Press Release
Monday, March 27, 2017

New York, NY – The cost of trash in New York City is soaring from $63.39 a ton in 2007 to $129.81 a ton in 2016. . Overall city spending on 

waste export is increasing from an average of $300 million from 2010 to 2014 to $360 million this year to $420 million in 2021. Driving the increased spending is the long-term contracts for four Marine Transfer Stations three of which are slated to begin operations in 2018 and 2019. Both are according to a new report by the New York City Independent Budget Office.

“New York City is throwing money in the trash by continuing to build marine transfer stations. The City should save hundreds of millions of dollars a year by continuing to send all residential waste from Manhattan directly to New Jersey by truck instead of by barge through Staten Island,” said Council Member Ben Kallos.

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Press Coverage
New York Post
Monday, March 27, 2017

“Over the next few years, however, as the remaining stations begin to operate, the city’s per-ton waste export costs will likely continue to be higher than the existing short-term contracts they replace.”

The IBO findings distressed one city official.

“New York City is just throwing money in the trash by building marine transfer stations,” said City Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan).

But Sanitation Department spokesman Vito Turso said the waste transfer stations and other city investments in rail and barge-based waste export “take trucks off the road, improving air quality and slashing greenhouse gas emissions.”

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Press Release
Friday, March 24, 2017

New York, NY – Supportive housing for seventeen women and children is being welcomed on the Upper East Side at 316 East 91st Street by every local elected official, Community Board 8, faith and non-profit leaders, as well as principals, parents, and children who attend schools across the street from the proposed site.
 
Win, led by former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, will lease 17 two-bedroom apartments to be built by RiverOak and Azimuth Development in a seven-story building at 316 East 91st Street. The site will also contain a Sunshine Early Learning Center for children and housing and support for homeless women and their children.
 
22,973 children and 17,548 parents make up more than two-thirds of New York City’s homeless population which has reached crisis levels. In response Council Members Ben Kallos and Dan Garodnick, Senator Liz Krueger and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer launched the Eastside Taskforce for Homeless Outreach and Services (ETHOS) to connect city agencies with non-profits and faith-based institutions providing direct services to the homeless and to build new supportive housing on the Upper East Side.
 
“You can’t solve the homeless crisis without providing the transitional services and supports necessary to keep people leaving shelter, out of shelter. Moms and their kids still need our help once they walk out of the shelter doors and permanent supportive housing provides the kind of wraparound services that will help them gain greater skills, more independence, and keep them from sliding back from their gains,” said Christine Quinn, President and CEO of Win. “The support and work of city officials like Councilman Ben Kallos should be an example to everyone. Homelessness isn’t someone else’s problem, it’s all of ours —and we need all hands on deck to help solve it."

“Our city’s homeless women and children need supportive housing that can help them succeed, and that’s what they are getting from Win. New York City needs more supportive housing in every neighborhood to get more than forty thousand parents and children out of shelters and into permanent housing,” said Council Member Ben Kallos, Co-Founder of the Eastside Taskforce for Homeless Outreach and Services (ETHOS). “‘Give me your tired, your poor … Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,’ you are welcomed here on the Upper East Side where we will feed you, clothe you, and build you supportive housing. Thank you to Win for bringing more supportive housing to the Upper East Side, Eastside Taskforce for Homeless Outreach and Services members for their leadership, fellow elected officials, Community Board 8 Manhattan, and to our principals, parents who are teaching us how important it is to welcome and support homeless individuals.”

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Press Coverage
Village Voice
Thursday, March 23, 2017

Elected officials have joined the war against e-bikes: in December, East Side councilmen Dan Garodnick and Ben Kallos issued a “report card” grading restaurants. Establishments that used e-bikes for delivery automatically received failing grades. Kallos told the Voice that he would like to see doormen refuse entry to delivery workers using e-bikes.

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Press Coverage
Upper East Side Patch
Friday, March 24, 2017

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Upper East Side Politicians, community members and even some compassionate middle schoolers braved chilly weather Friday morning to gather in front of the site of a future supportive housing development to announce their support of the project.

Their message: Woman and children in need of supportive housing are welcome on the Upper East Side.

The building site — located on East 91st Street between First and Second avenues — will eventually be home to a 7-story, 17-unit facility that will also contain office space and a 7,000-square-foot Sunshine Early Learning Center. The supportive housing component will be operated by Women in Need (WIN), a nonprofit that helps house homeless women and their children and get them on their feet, which will lease the 17 two-bedroom apartments.

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Press Coverage
DNAinfo.com
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Councilman Ben Kallos has set aside $1 million in capital funds under the participatory budgeting program to go toward improvement projects on the Upper East Side. Starting Saturday, residents of District 5 who are 14 and older can vote on which ones should receive the money.

 
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Press Coverage
West Side Spirit
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Low-income seniors and families now have access to high-speed internet service for less than 15 dollars per month through a new program available to customers of Charter Communications, the cable giant that acquired Time Warner Cable last year and offers broadband service in New York through its Spectrum brand.

“Over a million New Yorkers will have access to low-cost broadband” through the Spectrum Internet Assist program, City Council Member Ben Kallos said at an event announcing the initiative at Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center on East 93rd Street last week.

“This new service will ensure internet access is no longer a luxury that goes to the few, but is rather treated as a basic necessity in the 21st Century,” said New York City Public Advocate Letitia James.

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Press Coverage
DNAinfo.com
Thursday, March 16, 2017

The new service is meant to "bridge the digital divide" and bring the "absolute necessity" to those who haven't been able to afford it until now, according to Public Advocate Letitia James, who announced the service on Thursday at the Stanley Isaacs Community Center with Councilman Ben Kallos — both spearheaded the push for more affordable internet.

Charter's lead offer for residential high-speed internet at 100MB is $44.99 a month. 

Stanley Isaacs resident Ron Riley, 41, said that he'll now be able to afford internet access instead of relying on his smartphone. His son has a learning disability and frequently uses the phone's internet to watch educational videos.

"This is going to help get him online so he can watch YouTube and the programs he watches to learn," Riley told DNAinfo New York. "This will help me take care of him."

 

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Press Coverage
New York Daily News
Thursday, March 16, 2017

State regulators gave the Connecticut-based communication company permission last year to buy Time Warner Cable on the condition that it upgrade broadband speeds and expand high-speed Web service to low-income consumers.

City Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) and Public Advocate Letitia James supported the sale conditions.

“Access to affordable high-speed internet should not be a luxury reserved for few — it is increasingly important for everyone to have access in today’s society," James said in a statement.

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Press Coverage
NBC News 4 New York
Thursday, March 16, 2017

Elderly and low-income New Yorkers will soon have access to affordable high-speed internet, thanks to a new product from Charter Communications.

Spectrum Internet Assist offers qualifying seniors and families high-speed broadband internet for $14.99 a month. Standard features like email inboxes, internet security software and a modem are included for free.

 

Public Advocate Letitia James and City Councilman Ben Kallos announced the initiative at the Stanley Issacs Community Center on East 93rd Street Thursday.

"Access to affordable high-speed internet should not be a luxury reserved for few -- it is increasingly important for everyone to have access in today's society," said James. "New Yorkers young and old depend on internet access for basic life functions but too often do not have access in their own homes because services are truly cost prohibitive."

 

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Newsletter

Today, over one million low-income youth and seniors now have access to affordable high-speed internet.

As of 2015, more than 730,000 households in New York City do not have broadband, nearly 1 in 4 in Brooklyn and 1 in 3 in the Bronx, leaving them on the wrong side of the digital divide.

In 2013, I promised to secure affordable broadband for low-income New Yorkers from our internet franchisers. In 2015, when Charter Communications sought to merge with Time Warner Cable, I joined Public Advocate James testifying at hearings and advocating for the Public Service Commission to require any company acquiring Time Warner Cable help bridge the digital divide by providing low-income residents with low-cost high-speed broadband Internet which was secured by Governor Andrew Cuomo and an order of the Public Service Commission. Today, over one million low-income youth and seniors will have access low-cost high-speed broadband Internet. Learn more from the release, the announcement, or coverage in the New York Daily News, DNAinfo, and NBC

Spectrum Internet Assist
$14.99 per month for 30 Mbps downloads and 4 Mbps uploads, email and more
No contract, no cost for modem and no activation fees

Spectrum Internet Assist Eligibility
Families with children in public schools who receive free or reduced cost lunch
Seniors (over 65) who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Prospective enrollees must clear outstanding debt to Charter/Time Warner Cable/Bright House Networks from previous 12 months and may not have had broadband subscription within 30 days of signing up.

Visit SpectrumInternetAssist.com or Call 844-525-1574

We are one step closer to "Universal Broadband" and I will continue to fight until every New Yorker has access to affordable high-speed Internet and no one is left on the wrong side of the digital divide.

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Press Release
Thursday, March 16, 2017

National Women’s History Museum in Washington, D.C. Called for by
New York City Council Resolution

Resolution in Support of American Museum of Women’s History Congressional Commission recommendation for a new Smithsonian Museum for American Women’s History on the National Mall
 

New York, NY – A National Women’s History Museum is being called for by a New York City Council Resolution introduced as we commemorate Women’s History month. The resolution introduced by Council Member Ben Kallos and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, along with Council Members Karen Koslowitz, Jimmy Van Bramer, Laurie Cumbo and Elizabeth Crowley calls on the Federal Government to create a National Women’s History Museum in Washington D.C.
 
In July 2014, Council Member Kallos and Cumbo introduced Resolution 354, which was adopted on September 10, 2014, calling on the United States Senate to pass and the President to sign H.R. 3979 of 2014 sponsored by Congress Members Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), which was signed by President Obama on December 19, 2014, becoming Public Law 113-291 and established the American Museum of Women’s History Congressional Commission. On November 16, 2016, the Commission presented a report to the President and Congress calling for the creation by the Smithsonian of an American Museum of Women’s History on the national mall.

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Press Release
Thursday, March 16, 2017

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
March 16, 2017

 

New York City Public Advocate Letitia James
New York City Council Member Ben Kallos
 

Affordable High-Speed Internet for New York City’s Low-Income Families and Seniors Announced by Charter Communications, NYC Public Advocate Letitia James and  NYC Council Member Ben Kallos 
 
Spectrum Internet Assist to Help Bridge Digital Divide with $14.99 per month 
30 Mbps Broadband for Low-Income Families and Seniors

 

NEW YORK CITY – March 16, 2017 – Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) today was joined by New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, and New York City Council Member Ben Kallos to announce the introduction of a new low-cost, high-speed broadband product, Spectrum Internet Assist, in its service areas in New York City.

The announcement was made at the Stanley Isaacs Community Center at the New York City Housing Authority’s Stanley Isaacs and Holmes Towers on East 93rd St. in Manhattan, where eligible families and seniors learned about Spectrum Internet Assist.

Priced at $14.99 per month, Spectrum Internet Assist offers eligible customers speeds up to 30/4 Mbps, which meets and even exceeds the Federal Communications Commission’s definition of “high-speed.” Spectrum Internet Assist includes standard features like email boxes, internet security software and a modem at no additional charge.

Spectrum Internet Assist is now available throughout Charter’s legacy service area, and will continue to be rolled out market-by-market, with a goal of covering the remaining Charter footprint by mid-2017.

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Press Release
Thursday, March 16, 2017

CITY HALL - Today, Council Members Rafael Salamanca, Jr., James Vacca, Ben Kallos, Corey Johnson and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. announced the introduction of legislation drafted in response to the Hunts Point tragedy that occurred late last year.
 
On December 7, 2016 two girls under the age of two were killed when a valve blew off a radiator in their Bronx apartment and filled their bedroom with scalding steam.  The apartment was identified as a cluster site under the duress of the New York City Department of Homeless Services. 
 
At the time, Council Member Salamanca and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. announced that they would be introducing legislation to rectify the problems surrounding the tragedy. Council Members Vacca, Kallos and Johnson  had previously been crafting legislation pertinent to these issues and are joining in sponsoring the following:
 
Intro 1489 (Kallos & Salamanca) - This legislation requires owners to install and maintain radiator covers.

 

###

Contact: 
Ryan Monell at 646-584-0463 or 
rmonellatcouncil [dot] nyc [dot] gov

 

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Press Coverage
Gotham Gazette
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Carter, who heads the city’s Law Department, testified before the Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations that the state and federal investigations into the mayor and his aides necessitated the hiring of outside counsel. “The ongoing investigations are criminal in nature,” Carter told Council Member Ben Kallos, the committee chair, “and I know from my 40 years of experience in law enforcement that that is a…specialized area of practice that requires experience because of the delicacy of the judgments to be made.”

Carter noted that the investigations involve an area of practice “particularly sensitive to conflicts of interest” and dozens of witnesses, some of whom insisted on independent counsel, thus the hiring of at least 11 outside law firms for the legal defense.

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Press Coverage
New York Post
Monday, March 13, 2017

His request comes after US intelligence and law enforcement agencies released a January report in the final days of the Obama administration that found the Russian government employed cyberattacks to undermine Hillary Clinton and boost Donald Trump.

Considering the request for additional funding, Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), the committee chair, asked Ryan why he isn’t taking up de Blasio on an offer for an extra $20 million provided the agency agrees to a series of reforms, including establishing a blue-ribbon panel to identify failures.

Ryan cited “philosophical” differences with the administration for not taking the money.

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