New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Community

As a&nbsp;<a href="/about/biography"><strong>third generation Upper East Sider</strong></a>, I am committed to maintaining our neighborhood's quality of life. I will support and work with our community centers such as cultural and religious institutions as well as neighborhood associations to ensure our neighborhood remains safe, clean and a wonderful place to live.

Upper East Side Patch Bill Aims To Tackle Empty Stores And 'Landlord Extortion' In NYC by Todd Maisel/

Bill Aims To Tackle Empty Stores And 'Landlord Extortion' In NYC

"We thought the problems in the building were dangerous, but the landlord ignored us and there is no mechanism to get them to fix the issues," Velkov said. "The city said that they couldn't do anything and the landlord could just revoke the lease – we just don't have any rights."

Sarah McNally, owner of McNally Jackson Book stores in Manhattan and Brooklyn, said she is being forced out of her store in Manhattan and will have to relocate.

"We are being replaced by chains," McNally said. It would've helped to have the non-binding arbitration and mediation."

Councilman Ben Kallos, (D-Manhattan) a co-sponsor of the bill, ­­decried the spread of chain stores.

"New York City doesn't need another Starbucks or a bank – it's the last thing we need," Kallos said. "Instead, we get empty storefronts and there are vacancies everywhere. We need to save small business in this city instead of having darkness."

City Land Construction Begins on Renovation of Upper East Side Community Center by No Byline

Construction Begins on Renovation of Upper East Side Community Center

On June 8, 2018, City Council Member Ben Kallos, together with the New York City Housing Authority, announced the start of renovations and upgrades for the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center.

Council Member Kallos allocated $680,000 in Fiscal Year 2015 and $350,000 in Fiscal Year 2017 for upgrades to the senior center and youth center. NYCHA and the City Council, including former Council Members who represented the neighborhood, provided the remaining funding.

Council Member Kallos said, “The Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center is truly one of our community’s cornerstones. I could not think of a better way to put this money to good use in a way that will benefit the everyday lives of my constituents. I am looking forward to the work being completed and happy for those who will reap the benefits.”

 

Upper East Side Patch Renovation Begins At UES Nonprofit Neighborhood Center by Brendan Krisel

Renovation Begins At UES Nonprofit Neighborhood Center

City Councilman Ben Kallos and the New York City Housing Authority teamed up to fund the project.

"The Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center is truly one of our community's cornerstones," said Council
Member Ben Kallos. I could not think of a better way to put this money to good use in a way that will
benefit the everyday lives of my constituents. I am looking forward to the work being completed and happy for those who will reap the benefits," Kallos said in a statement.

AM New York Roosevelt Island officials plan ‘art trail’ in an effort to boost tourism and business by Shaye Weaver

Roosevelt Island officials plan ‘art trail’ in an effort to boost tourism and business

“There are so many vacant spaces,” Councilman Ben Kallos said at the unveiling. “Hopefully we can turn those spaces into art spaces, as well. This is just the beginning.”

The island already has its share of public art with six sculptures and a few galleries, including the stunning white marble columns at the FDR Four Freedoms Park, the climbable “Blue Dragon,” Cornell Tech’s WPA murals on its campus, Gallery RIVAA, Motorgate Gallery murals inside the parking garage, among others — all of which will be included on the art trail, officials say.

Time Out New York LIC Flea & Food officially opens for the season this weekend by Rebecca Fontana

LIC Flea & Food officially opens for the season this weekend

This weekend, May 12 and 13, the free LIC Flea & Food market will open in Long Island City at 5-25 46th Avenue from 11am to 6pm. It’s your chance to visit the market while it’s actually in its namesake LIC: It will move over to Astoria beginning the weekend of May 19. 

Time Out New York: City Council passes measure to make NYC quieter at night by Clayton Guse

City Council passes measure to make NYC quieter at night

It’s no secret that New York is an obnoxious place—it’s known as the city that never sleeps for good reason. But any resident here will tell you that they absolutely cherish their beauty sleep. 

On Tuesday, the City Council passed a measure aimed at keeping Gothamites from being woken from their peaceful slumbers. The legislation, dubbed the Noise Complaint Response Act, proposes more strict standards and oversight on construction crews that operate after hours (between 6pm and 7am).

Introduced by Council Member Ben Kallos, the measure would require the city’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to more thoroughly inspect and respond to late-night noise complaints. Currently, crews working overnight are forbidden from creating noise that exceeds 85 decibels within 200 feet of a residential building. This legislation forces that figure to drop to 75 decibels in 2020 and removes some barriers that prevent the DEP from investigating noise complaints. 

AM New York Council Expected to Pass Measure Limiting After-Hours Construction Noise by Sarina Trangle

Council Expected to Pass Measure Limiting After-Hours Construction Noise

A bill empowering the city’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to quell after-hours construction noise was voted out of a Council committee Monday. Councilman Ben Kallos, who sponsored the measure, expected his colleagues to approve the measure at a scheduled meeting on Tuesday.

“New Yorkers hate getting woken up early or kept up late at night with construction,” Kallos said, noting that noise concerns are the most common complaint logged in the city’s 3-1-1 system. “[The DEP] actually agreed and worked with us on this legislation that makes a huge update to the city’s noise code.”

Kallos noted that the legislation will task the DEP with crafting rules specifying how long inspectors have to respond to complaints about after-hours work and which grievances ought to be prioritized because the noises are expected to continue. A DEP spokesman said the rulemaking process typically takes six months to one year.
 

 

Brooklyn Daily Eagle NYC: Success of ‘City-Wide’ Bike-Share Program Not Wide Enough by Mary Frost

NYC: Success of ‘City-Wide’ Bike-Share Program Not Wide Enough

Officials, including Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez, chair of the Council Committee on Transportation, and Councilmember Ben Kallos, said the move was all about equity for the outer boroughs.

"We have spent years working to get bike sharing in all five boroughs and although we have made a lot of progress some areas don't have it,” Kallos said in a statement.

 

AM New York City Construction Hits Record High with Midtown Leading the Charge, Data Shows by Sarina Trangle

City Construction Hits Record High with Midtown Leading the Charge, Data Shows

The area’s councilman, Ben Kallos, said he fields complaints daily about overdevelopment and is worried the city is not ready to absorb the population boom it is experiencing.

“They don’t have the school seats we need for the people living here and moving here,” he said. “The Second Avenue Subway is already surpassing ridership goals and they are adding more and more trains.”

The New Yorker The Story Behind the Unjust Shutdown of Gothamist and DNAinfo by Anna Heyward

The Story Behind the Unjust Shutdown of Gothamist and DNAinfo

Since the shutdown of Gothamist and DNAinfo, there has been talk among laid-off staff members of seeking funding to start a new local-news outlet to replace what’s gone. Their experience with Ricketts, several said, has only confirmed their belief in the importance of unions in protecting the rights of workers. On a recent afternoon, former staffers held a rally at City Hall, at which politicians, union leaders, and reporters from other publications showed up in solidarity. It was a muggy, overcast day. Peterson, the Guild director, told the crowd, “We come not to mourn but to organize.” Whitford, wearing a black T-shirt and black jeans, spoke later. “Anyone out there thinking of unionizing, don’t be scared by what happened to us, because this is the worst that can happen,” she said. Later, Ben Kallos, a city-council member from the Upper East Side, told the crowd, “Head over to Broadway, see a little show called ‘Newsies.’ I don’t want to give the end away, but the workers always win.”