New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos


<P>While serving as Chief of Staff to <A HREF=" York State Assembly">Assembly Member Jonathan L. Bing</A> our office received an honor from the <A HREF="">New York League of Conservation Voters</A> for introducing environmentally friendly legislation that helped enable the <A HREF="">MTA's Select Bus Program</A>.</P>
<P>As someone who grew up in New York City and State the environment including our City and State parks, greenways such as running and bike paths, and waterways are of integral importance. As a child I grew up playing in <A HREF="">Carl Schurz</A> and <A HREF="">John Jay</A> parks, and as an adult I've hiked in our State parks with <A HREF="">Surprise Lake Camp</A>, biked over 75+ miles of our greenways with <A HREF="">Transportation Alternatives</A>, swam across the East River with <A HREF="">NYC Swim</A> and in the Hudson River with the <A HREF="">New York City Triathlon</A>, and trained everywhere with the <A HREF="">Asphalt Green Triathlon</A> team.</P>
<P>As an avid user of our City and States natural resources, you won't find a better advocate for our environment. After all what other candidate would fight to keep the City's rivers clean enough to swim in?</P>

Letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio proposing $15.24 billion in potential savings and revenue in order to invest $827 million in spending on programs that support children, families, seniors, and our planet

Monday, June 15, 2020

As we face unprecedented times and a budget that must-see painful cuts, we should look for possible waste and opportunities for revenues and savings. I have proposed $15.24 billion in potential savings and revenue for our city’s budget in order to invest $827 million in spending on programs that support children, families, seniors, and our planet that will reduce costs and generate revenues. 

AM New York C.B.5 Parks and Public Spaces Committee votes to support chemical pesticide ban by Chriss Williams

C.B.5 Parks and Public Spaces Committee votes to support chemical pesticide ban

Councilmembers Ben Kallos and Carlina Rivera’s bill banning the use of chemical pesticides in city green spaces is gathering community support. 

Manhattan’s Community Board 5 Parks and Public Spaces Committee, which covers a center slice of Midtown from 59th to 14th Sts., unanimously passed a resolution in favor the legislation on Monday Feb. 3. 

“It’s a very dangerous chemical,” said spokesperson for Councilmember Rivera Jeremy Unger. “This is long overdue.” Under the bill, the Parks Department would be prohibited from using pesticides with glyphosate, the active ingredient in the popular weed killer Roundup. In 2013, Parks sprayed Roundup 1,300 times. Since 2014 the agency has cut their use of glyphosate-based weed killers by 70 percent, a spokesperson said. When Parks does use glyphosate, it does not spray the chemical inside of playgrounds, dog runs or “when the public is in the immediate vicinity” the spokesperson added. 

At the meeting, Unger cited a 2015 World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research of Cancer (IARC) study which linked glyphosate to cancer as evidence to do away with the synthetic weed killer. But there is not a complete consensus in the scientific community on the effects of the compound on humans which some members of the community board brought up. 

“There is substantial debate and controversy and it’s not settled,” said committee member Tod Shapiro. He then asked Unger if the “feel good legislation” was sort of a liberal “hobby horse political thing, divorced from actual substance?”

Two years after the WHO study, the European Commission reauthorized the pesticide until 2022. And earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reiterated their 2019 stance on the chemical stating that there are “no risks of concern to human health” when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label.  The EPA decision comes a year after high-profile case were a California couple claimed they got non-Hodgkins Lymphoma after using Roundup for years. 

The Verge New York City is cracking down on plastic bottles by Justine Calma

New York City is cracking down on plastic bottles

New York City is cracking down on plastic bottles

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order to eliminate plastic bottles from city agencies and properties

USA - Technology - Wired NextFestPhoto by Ramin Talaie/Corbis via Getty Images

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order yesterday banning the sale of single-use plastic beverage bottles on city-owned and -leased properties — which means the bottles could vanish from an area nearly equivalent to a quarter of the city. The move also bars city agencies from purchasing or selling beverages packaged in single-use plastic containers.

The move would eliminate at least 1 million single-use plastic beverage bottles that the city buys each year, according to the executive order. It could also have wider-ranging effects since the city owns or leases over 17,000 properties spread over an area about twice the size of Manhattan (roughly 43,000 acres). That includes city parks — and, by extension, The Trump Organization’s two skating rinks in Central Park and golf course in Ferry Point Park in the Bronx.


“Take that Trump,” city councilman Ben Kallos tells The Verge. Kallos introduced two bills in 2018 that would stop the city from selling single-use plastic bottles on city property. He’s still pushing for the city council to pass legislation to codify the ban into law, in case another mayor down the line tries to undo de Blasio’s executive order.

“We can change what normal is and get to a more sustainable future,” Kallos says. “We don’t have a choice because there is a climate emergency and we can show Trump the right way to do it.”

In 2017, Donald Trump ended restrictions on bottled water sales in US National Parks that had been in place since 2011. He’s also rolled back dozens of environmental protections since taking office. The Verge reached out to The Trump Organization’s golf course and ice rinks in Manhattan and did not receive a response by time of publication.

The new ban in New York City would go into effect by January 1st, 2021. It applies to bottles 21 fluid ounces or less, and some exceptions would be made “where reusable options are infeasible,” according to the executive order. It’s also important to note that New York City tap water is considered safe to drink, which makes the transition to reusable containers more feasible than in places like Flint, Michigan, where tap water has made residents sick.


New York City would likely become the first municipality to limit plastic bottle sales for not just water, but all beverages. San Francisco decided in 2014 to stop selling bottled water on city property and expanded that policy to San Francisco International Airport last year. Concord, Massachusetts, passed a city ordinance in 2012 ending the sale of bottled water anywhere in the town.

Plastic pollution is covering the planet, making its way into the bellies of sea life and exacerbating the climate crisis because it’s made with fossil fuels. Less than 10 percent of all plastics that have been thrown away have actually been recycled.

“They are hurting the earth,” de Blasio said as he signed the executive order yesterday. “We don’t need them. Time to get rid of them.”

One Green Planet NYC Passes Resolution Calling on Organizations to Divest from Deforestation by Eliza Erskine

NYC Passes Resolution Calling on Organizations to Divest from Deforestation

On November 14, New York City Council passed a resolution requesting that government and corporations divest from agriculture industries that monetize deforestation and therefore accelerate global warming. 

Downtown Waterfront Alliance Kicks Off City of Water Day by Dan Metz

Waterfront Alliance Kicks Off City of Water Day

“I believe climate change is real,” said Kallos, “and in June we passed a climate emergency resolution. We are the largest city in the world to do so. We’re gonna continue fighting every day to fight climate change so that the organization doesn’t have more waterfront in our city.”

Proactive Investors Here's why New York City's climate emergency resolution is a step in the right direction by Uttara Choudhury

Here's why New York City's climate emergency resolution is a step in the right direction

Capstone Turbine CEO Darren Jamison says even ‘moderate’ incentives for using existing green off-the-shelf technologies can have a big impact on local climate