New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Ben Kallos

Introduction 1064-2018: Healthy Happy Meals

Restaurants in New York City that serve children’s meals would only be include drinks that do not contain added sugars or sweeteners. Specifically, combination children’s meals may only offer water, sparkling water, flavored water, flavored or unflavored nonfat or one percent milk, non-dairy milk, 100% fruit or vegetable juice, or fruit or vegetable juice combined with water or carbonated water as the default option. Customer could substitute a different drink of their choice by request, with monetary penalties up to $2,500 for restaurants that violate this law.

Introduction 3404-2018: Get Big Money Out of Special Elections

extend the first ballot question on campaign finance reform from applying only in 2021 to providing that same option for special elections and the elections that follow (which already halve existing limits) in the interim:

  • Lowered contribution limits from $2,550 citywide to $1,000, $1,975 for borough president to $750, and from $1,425 for city council to $500.
  • Increased public matching of every small dollar of $175 and under with 6 public tax dollars to 8 public dollars and small dollars of $250 and under for citywide with 8 public dollars.
  • Increased public grant from 55% to 75% of the spending limit.

Unlike, question one, lowered contribution limits and increased matching would be retroactively applied to candidates that select this option.

In addition to applying ballot question one to the special election the legislation goes further by lowering the minimum funds raised threshold to qualify for a public grant by half, just as other limits are halved. The threshold for Mayor is halved from $250,000 to $125,000 and for Public Advocate and Comptroller from $125,000 to $62,500. The first $250 of an individual New York City resident’s contribution would be applied toward meeting dollar amount threshold. Participating candidates would still need to collect the same number of contributions of 1,000 for Mayor and 500 for Public Advocate and Comptroller.

Introduction 1653-2017: Noise Complaint Response Act

This local law requires the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to set rules for specific time frames for inspections in response to certain types of noise complaints. It also requires DEP to submit annual reports on inspections in response to noise complaints and that all noise mitigation plans be filed electronically. This legislation also creates new violations for noise which exceeds certain decibel levels and authorize DEP to issue stop work orders in response to certain noise violations.

 

 

 

Introduction 1638-2017: Gender Sexuality Alliances in Middle and High Schools Act

This local law requires the DOE to report, for each middle and high school, whether such school has a gay-straight alliance or gender-sexuality alliance (GSA); the number of teachers and administrators who have received trainings related to supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning and gender non-conforming (LGBTQGNC) students; and a narrative description of the training offered by the department to support LGBTQGNC students, including whether any such training includes training related to GSAs.

Introduction 1389-2016: Time Limits for Scaffolding and Sidewalk Sheds

Nearly 9,000 scaffolds that entomb 190 miles of City sidewalks may soon be dismantled, under legislation introduced by Council Member Ben Kallos. Unnecessary scaffolding also known as “sidewalk sheds” would have to be removed if seven days pass without construction work.
 
Sidewalk sheds are temporary structures, made of wooden planks, boards and metal pipes to protect pedestrians from dangerous conditions that are being corrected or new construction. Scaffolding is not only an eyesore but attract crime such as drug deals and provide an alternative to shelter for homeless. Many sidewalk sheds persist for years, sometimes more than a decade. There are several sidewalk sheds in Council District 5 represented by Kallos that have been up for years, over two years at 340 East 64th Street and 301 East 95th Street and over three years at 349 East 74th Street. Often times, it is much more expensive to fix a dangerous condition than to leave a sidewalk shed up indefinitely

Kallos’ legislation would set the following timeline for sidewalk sheds in place for dangerous conditions:

  • 90 days for building owners to fix a dangerous condition,
  • 90 additional for building owners days to fix the dangerous condition upon extension,
  • After 180 days, the city would do the work to correct the dangerous condition and bill the owner for all costs.
  • Work could not be interrupted for more than 7 days without a mandate to take down the sidewalk shed or face heavy penalties.

Under the same legislation, new construction would need to continue without more than 7 days of interruption until the new development is safely capped off or completed. Exemptions in the legislation provide for weather, stop work orders, time awaiting permit renewals or in cases of safety risks.

Introduction 1393-2016: Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) Reporting on Variances

This bill would require the Board of Standards and Appeals to report information about applications for variances and special permits, and appeals of decisions regarding variances and special permits, to the Council twice per year, on dates approximately one and a half months prior to the mandated due dates for the Preliminary Mayor’s Management Report and the Mayor’s Management Report.