Updates

Press Coverage
New York Post
Friday, September 30, 2016

City Councilmember Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations, said the hearing elicited a number of contradictions from prior accounts from City Hall.

 

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Press Coverage
DNAinfo.com
Friday, September 30, 2016

Council member Kallos told those present at the hearing that he agreed to limit Shorris' questioning to two-and-a-half hours because the mayor's office told him that Shorris had to be on a plane to Oklahoma for a mayoral conference the same day.

But Shorris said he was not going to Oklahoma and added that he had no idea why the City Council got that impression.

Kallos said he found the misinformation "disturbing." The city council later released a statement on the matter.

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Press Coverage
The Village Voice
Thursday, September 29, 2016

Councilmembers Ben Kallos, chair of the committee of governmental operations, and Vincent Gentile, the chair of the oversight and investigations committee, sparred with a soft-spoken Shorris, who spoke in exhausting detail of his involvement in the deed removal beginning two years ago.

 

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Press Coverage
New York Daily News
Thursday, September 29, 2016

City Councilman Ben Kallos asked First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris if he would say on the record why he could only testify for a limited time.

 

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Press Coverage
Gothamist
Friday, September 30, 2016

"Something went very wrong here," said Councilmember Ben Kallos, Chair of the Council Committee on Governmental Operations. "We must address the issues of mismanagement, communication failure and outside influence."

 

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Press Coverage
New York Observer
Thursday, September 29, 2016

The miscommunication today played out in “real-time,” as City Councilman Ben Kallos, the chairman of the committee on governmental operations put it, when, during the hearing, he asked Shorris why he had to leave—”for the record.”

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Press Coverage
Wall Street Journal
Thursday, September 29, 2016

Councilman Ben Kallos, a Manhattan Democrat and chairman of the hearing, pointed out that Mr. Shorris is responsible for about 30 different agencies, making it difficult for him to know exactly what each is doing.

 

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Press Coverage
New York Times
Thursday, September 29, 2016

Councilman Ben Kallos of Manhattan asked why Mr. Shorris had not followed up to make sure his decision — that the center should remain a nursing home — had been observed.

 

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Press Coverage
The Architect's Newspaper
Monday, September 26, 2016

Faulting “a process that has failed to protect and preserve significant community assets, like Rivington House,” Councilmember Margaret Chin, whose district includes 28 Liberty, along with speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Councilmember Ben Kallos, and Manhattan borough president Gale Brewer, favor a process that would make deed restriction changes subject to a ULURP.

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Press Release
Thursday, September 29, 2016

"There is no place for bigotry and hatred toward Muslims or any other religious group or race in New York City," said Council Member Ben Kallos, Progressive Caucus Vice-Chair. "We must do everything in our power to fight racism wherever we see it in our City. New York City's reputation as this country's largest melting pot must go on without instances of discrimination and hate."

 

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Press Coverage
Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, September 27, 2016

“We want to give the public an unprecedented view into what’s happening and the different forces and actors at play,” said Councilman Ben Kallos, a Manhattan Democrat and chairman of the Committee on Governmental Operations, which is holding the hearing.

"Eric Phillips, the mayor’s chief spokesman, said: ‘We’re happy to have the city’s second-highest official and top lawyer testify. Providing that level of transparency, cooperation and accountability to the council and public are critical to the mayor.”

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Press Coverage
Gotham Gazette
Friday, September 23, 2016

Council Members Ben Kallos, Rory Lancman, and Elizabeth Crowley - all Democrats like de Blasio - have each submitted a request that legislation be crafted around regulating 501(c)(4) nonprofits. Kallos’ bill drafting request is “on point” with a recent proposal made by Citizens Union, a government reform group. That proposal would require that 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(3) organizations created at the behest of elected officials to promote their own image or agenda be treated like political committees under the city’s campaign finance laws. This would entail detailed disclosure of contributions and expenditures, limits on contributions similar to those for political candidates, and oversight by the Campaign Finance Board.

“Anytime you’ve got elected officials whose political campaigns are limited in the money they can raise affiliated with 501(c)(4)s that engage in quasi-electoral activities that don’t have the same limits, that is a place we should be paying attention,” Kallos said in a phone interview. Kallos chairs the Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations, where the bills would likely be introduced and heard.

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Press Coverage
Gotham Gazette

Kallos

Council Member Ben Kallos (photo: John McCarten for the City Council)

Council Members Ben Kallos, Rory Lancman, and Elizabeth Crowley - all Democrats like de Blasio - have each submitted a request that legislation be crafted around regulating 501(c)(4) nonprofits. Kallos’ bill drafting request is “on point” with a recent proposal made by Citizens Union, a government reform group. That proposal would require that 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(3) organizations created at the behest of elected officials to promote their own image or agenda be treated like political committees under the city’s campaign finance laws. This would entail detailed disclosure of contributions and expenditures, limits on contributions similar to those for political candidates, and oversight by the Campaign Finance Board.

 

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Press Coverage
The Jewish Voice
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The tenants have gained the backing of Gale Brewer, the Manhattan Borough President and Ben Kallos, the City Councilman. Brewer said that the NYCHA’s promises have not been specific in telling residents what they stand to gain from the project.

The NYCHA formally requested proposals from developers for the project on June 30. They said that they have tenant support for their plan to build 300 units, half at market rate and half affordable, in the public site of the playground. NYCHA officials, see the plan as a great way to raise desperately needed funds. The Housing Authority says it will use revenue from the new leases to fix the currently deteriorating apartments. NYCHA says the playground will be replaced in a different, yet-to-be-named location. They insist there has been plenty of communication with tenants.

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Press Release
Sunday, September 25, 2016

 

"Electric vehicles are now the standard for New York City's fleet," said Council Member Ben Kallos, Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operation. "Thank you to Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Lisette Camillo for her partnership and responsiveness to requests for a more aggressive adoption of a fully electric fleet. Thank you Mayor de Blasio for keeping New York City at the forefront in the fight against climate change."

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Press Coverage
Our Town
Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Bikes were the hot topic at the town hall held by Council Member Ben Kallos last Thursday.

Bike lanes, bike shares and the enforcement of biking laws seemed to weigh heavily on the minds of the 70 or so attendees at the event. It was not the first time an audience largely comprised of senior citizens has turned out in full force at a community meeting to raise concerns about bikes.

Department of Transportation Commissioner Luis Sanchez was present to address the issue, which he acknowledged but largely passed off to the city’s police department.

“NYPD is responsible for enforcing the laws,” Sanchez said. “[DOT] doesn’t have the power to actually write tickets, but what we do is we go to the restaurant because the restaurant is supposed to have a roster of their cyclists. … If they don’t then we can issue a violation to the restaurant.”

Sanchez and Kallos encouraged residents to go to their respective NYPD precinct community councils with specific questions or requests for more thorough enforcement.

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Press Coverage
Gothamist
Monday, September 19, 2016

In a letter delivered to NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye on September 1st, the Holmes Stakeholder Committee—which includes City Council Member Ben Kallos, Borough President Gale Brewer, and Holmes Tower residents—outlined their concerns with the selected site.

Of three proposed sites, the stakeholders claim, the playground was chosen "amid widespread resistance from the community to development that would take away the park from the children."

"The entirety of the Stakeholder Committee is not in favor [of the site], so there are a lot of questions about whether it really represents what residents chose," Paul Westrick, Kallos's Legislative Director, told Gothamist. Westrick added that although NYCHA held community engagement meetings this past February, they "were not well attended, and the public outreach they did wasn't really extensive." Because of a lack of community engagement, the stakeholders are requesting that the agency extend the proposal deadline from September 30th to November 30th.

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Press Coverage
New York Daily News
Monday, September 19, 2016

The Housing Authority insists that tenants of Holmes Towers on the Upper East Side have embraced its ambitious plan to raise cash by building luxury apartments on what’s now their playground.

That’s news to them.

The tenant “stakeholder committee” organized by NYCHA to vet the plan — along with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Councilman Ben Kallos — made clear in a recent letter obtained by the Daily News that they never signed off on it.

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Press Coverage
Politico
Monday, September 19, 2016

But there is no protocol for communication between the attorney general’s office and the Council, and transparency records show that in December 2015, Hospital Audiences received additional funding from the Council.

The Council did not raise red flags until April 2016 when, in a letter obtained by POLITICO New York, Dyer contacted Councilman Ben Kallos to explain the situation.

Hospital Audiences had been awarded $123,100 in the 2016 fiscal year through several different grants from seven Council members: Kallos, Peter Koo, Daneek Miller, Karen Koslowitz, Jimmy Van Bramer, Inez Dickens and Mark Treyger.

 

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Newsletter

Download Newsletter in PDF

New York City’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget of $82.1 billion comes with funding increases to many programs that residents have come to rely on. This year’s budget has initiatives I am proud to have fought for, including:

  • $38.5 million added to Summer Youth Employment Program budget to fund 60,000 summer jobs for the city’s youth, 72 of which worked with Council Members of the Progressive Caucus
  • $4.9 million in additional funds for the Emergency Food Assistance Program, which increased funding for the purchase of food for those in need by over 40 percent

Programs I voted in favor of include:

  • $1.8 million in base lined funding for 1,400 seniors currently on waitlists
  • $16 million for 3,223 additional elementary school after school seats for a total of 6,600
  • $17.5 million to fund 26,000 after-school seats for middle-school youth in School’s Out NYC
  • $43 million in base lined funding to improve libraries
  • $10 million for cultural organizations
  • $22 million in base lined funding for District Attorneys, to create Alternatives to Incarceration Unit, reduce gun-related and other violent crimes
  • $2.5 million for Vision Zero education and outreach

To stay on top of the work I am doing and opportunities to have a say in our community, please sign up to receive our monthly newsletter at BenKallos.com/Subscribe

Sincerely,

Ben Kallos
Council Member, District 5

Download Newsletter in PDF

 

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Press Coverage
League of Independent Theater
Monday, September 12, 2016

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. 

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Press Coverage
Roosevelt Island Daily
Monday, September 12, 2016

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

 

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Press Coverage
Our Town
Wednesday, September 7, 2016

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.

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Legislation
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

This bill would require persons who assemble or evaluate screening reports containing court history of residential tenants and applicants for residential housing to be licensed by the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). The bill would also require that all tenant screening reports contain certain information about each court proceeding referenced in the report. Finally, the bill would grant DCA enforcement authority, would establish civil penalties for violations, and would create a private right of action for tenants and prospective tenants injured by violations.
 

 

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