New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Health

Public health is a necessity in a City as large as ours. All of us from infants to seniors should have access to quality health care. We must support our health institutions and provide preventative health care services such as immunizations to lower expensive treatment costs. Cutting vital health care services from our budget has historically only increased treatment costs in the long term. Through proper support and preventative health care services we can make our City a healthier place to live.

Upper East Side Patch UES University To Build New Biotech Hub With $9M City Grant by Nick Garber

UES University To Build New Biotech Hub With $9M City Grant

Rockefeller University will build a life-sciences hub on its Upper East Side campus, part of the mayor's push for new public health spaces.

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Rockefeller University will build a new life-sciences hub on its Upper East Side campus as part of a citywide push to make New York the "public health capital of the world," Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday.

The $9 million grant to Rockefeller will help it convert some of its existing academic research labs into a new incubator for life-science companies, dubbed the Tri-Institutional Translational Center for Therapeutics.

The $9 million grant to Rockefeller University will help it convert existing research labs on its Upper East Side campus into a new incubator for life-science companies.

City officials said the 26,000-square-foot facility will be the first of its kind among the Upper East Side's collection of biomedical institutions, and will link up with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weil Cornell Medicine to conduct research.

The facility has been years in the making, according to City Councilmember Ben Kallos, who began meeting with Rockefeller University to discuss the incubator space shortly after taking office in 2014.

""Biotech will own the future and if we learned any lesson in 2020, it is that New York City needs to become a hub for this industry as soon as possible," Kallos said in a statement. "These biotech centers will create thousands of good-paying jobs and have the potential to be crucial in discovering life-saving cures and treatments for diseases right here on the Upper East Side"

The city funding will cover only part of the cost of the new labs and Rockefeller will need to raise the rest, Kallos's office said.

The combined $38 million in grants announced Thursday are part of LifeSciNYC, a $500 million initiative launched by the de Blasio administration in 2016 to grow the city's life-sciences industry over the next 10 years.

De Blasio's administration has also backed a controversial proposal to greatly expand the New York Blood Center on East 67th Street, which officials said would help the city recover from the coronavirus pandemic by adding thousands of square feet of new lab space. Some neighbors, however, have opposed the plan due to its size and impact on the surrounding blocks.

Rockefeller University, whose York Avenue campus stretches between 63rd and 68th streets, opened four new buildings on a platform above the FDR Drive in 2019.

One of the nation's most prestigious research institutions, Rockefeller's faculty have won 26 Nobel Prizes.

"The combined research strengths of three world-leading biomedical institutions provides an unparalleled foundation to ensure the success of the new Tri-Institutional Translational Center for Therapeutics," Rockefeller President Richard P. Lifton said in a statement.

"By consolidating existing collaborations and providing much-needed biotech incubator space into the bargain, this new center will focus the boldest biomedical science in the world on solving today's most challenging medical problems – while also growing the fast-emerging biotech sector in New York City."

New York County Politics MANH Lawmakers on the Move, May 19, 2020 by New York County Politics

MANH Lawmakers on the Move, May 19, 2020

Kallos, Powers, Brewer Urge de Blasio to Open Streets, Sidewalks to Restaurants

Council Member Ben Kallos

Council Member Ben Kallos

Yesterday, Councilmembers Ben Kallos (D-Yorkville, Lenox Hill) and Keith Powers (D-Upper East Side, Carnegie Hill) and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D) wrote a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), urging him to open streets and sidewalks to restaurants to facilitate social distancing.

The letter followed reports that Upper East Side bars have been serving patrons who were gathering outside the establishments without regard for social distancing guidelines. The lawmakers suggested that to fix the problem, the City’s streets should adapt to make following those guidelines easier.

“We are all in this together,” they wrote. “It is not working to confine New Yorkers to narrow sidewalks and rely on enforcement to prevent crowding. The best way to keep New Yorkers safe is to reorder our streets for social distancing.”

Read the full letter here.

StreetsBlog Shake Shack Steals Public Space in Tribeca as More Lawmakers Demand Open Streets for Restaurant Revival by Gersh Kuntzman

Shake Shack Steals Public Space in Tribeca as More Lawmakers Demand Open Streets for Restaurant Revival

Council Member Ben Kallos of the Upper East Side joined the fight on Sunday, firing off a letter to the mayor demanding the removal of parking so that restaurants in his district could operate safely. Kallos said his concern came after watching crowds gather outside restaurants in his neighborhood during the warm weekend.

“I have long thought about the fact that on a given street with 5,000 to 10,000 people living on it, there are 50 parking spots — which means that 50 people prevent 5,000 to 10,000 people from having complete streets with bike lanes, bus lanes and micromobility,” Kallos told Streetsblog on Monday. “But now people are engaging in risky behavior, so let’s create safe spaces to reduce the risk of behavior they’re going to engage in anyway.”

Kallos likened it to the city’s distribution of free condoms.

Upper East Side Patch Outdoor Cafes May Solve Overcrowded UES Sidewalks: Lawmakers by Brendan Krisel

Outdoor Cafes May Solve Overcrowded UES Sidewalks: Lawmakers

New York City should create open space for businesses to establish outdoor cafes where customers can safely take in a meal or drink outdoors while remaining at a safe distance from others, City Councilmembers Ben Kallos and Keith Powers wrote in a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio this week. Both lawmakers said that restaurant owners will continue to risk fines and create dangerous, crowded situations if the city's approach does not change.

"Rather than rely on enforcement or fine individuals and small businesses that may already be hurting financially from the pandemic, we should adapt our city's streets to allow for and encourage safe practices. Without granting businesses a better option, we are afraid restaurants and bars may just take the risk and pay whatever violations may be issued as a cost of doing business rather than shutter their doors permanently," Kallos and Powers wrote.

New York County Politics East Side Lawmakers Talk Coronavirus in Virtual Town Hall by Ayse Kelce

East Side Lawmakers Talk Coronavirus in Virtual Town Hall

Electeds on the Upper East Side are continuing the citywide effort to keep local government connected with its constituents during the worst crisis the City has seen in recent memory.

Last Tuesday, Councilmember Ben Kallos (D-Upper East Side, Midtown, El Barrio and Roosevelt Island) brought together NYC Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot, a senior analyst at NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and a plethora of Upper East Side electeds in a virtual town hall via Zoom to talk about the coronavirus.

Among the other electeds in attendance were U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens), Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright (D- Upper East Side, Yorkville, Roosevelt Island), State Senator Liz Krueger (D-Upper East Side, Lenox Hill), Council Member Keith Powers (D-Upper East Side, Carnegie Hill) and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D).

Statement in Support of Expanding Beds at Coler Public Hospital for Coronavirus Treatment

Monday, March 16, 2020

We need every bed we can find to care for those who may come down with coronavirus. These 350 beds at Coler public hospital can really help provide the critical care that our family, friends, and neighbors may need to recover. I am proud to represent so many hospitals, including public hospitals like Coler, that can play a pivotal role in treating our most vulnerable.

Once we are through this crisis, we must reverse the damage done by the Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century in 2006 that recommended closure of 9 facilities, affected 57 hospitals and 81 acute care and long-term care facilities removing as many as 4,200 inpatient beds from our healthcare system. We must rebuild a resilient medical system that can run at a fraction of built capacity, ready to take on the next major medical emergency or pandemic.