New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Public Safety

We must work together to keep our neighborhood safe from crime and emergencies like construction accidents. In the wake of the two crane collapses on the Upper East Side last year that claimed 9 lives, we must increase financial support for emergency services, improve construction regulation and community notice, as well as expand our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/get_prepared/cert.shtml&quot; target="_BLANK"><strong>Community Emergency Response Teams</strong></a>.

REAL ESTATE WEEKLY Drones could soon be used for inspecting NYC buildings by Editorial Board

Drones could soon be used for inspecting NYC buildings

council members Robert Cornegy and Ben Kallos sponsored the bill to conduct a study into the use of drones after lamenting on the 303 miles of scaffolding that crowds NYC streets.

According to Kallos, “If laid out side to side, city scaffolding would stretch from Central Park to the Canadian border. The average age of a sidewalk shed is 308 days. One is old enough to have its bar mitzvah, which is 13, and some are old enough to vote.”

TAPinto Crime Takes Top Spot in Neighborhood Public Safety Survey by Marc Bussanich

Crime Takes Top Spot in Neighborhood Public Safety Survey

Meanwhile, Councilman Ben Kallos, who voted against the budget because the $1 billion NYPD spending cut doesn’t amount to defunding the police, doesn’t believe that there is correlation between the cut and an increase in crime because there are more active police officers today than previous mayoral administrations.

“In 2020, we have more police officers than [Michael] Bloomberg had and more police officers than [Rudy] Giuliani had. And we still remain one of the biggest police forces in the country, spending over six billion dollars a year,” said Kallos.

heavy. One Killed in New York Scaffolding Collapse by Rosel Labone

One Killed in New York Scaffolding Collapse

On July 14, a wall collapse at a Brooklyn home forced an evacuation of three buildings.

NYC Council Member Ben Kallos responded to the event in a statement on July 17, where he said, “We cannot keep watching bricks fall, scaffolding collapse, injuring and killing New Yorkers.

“These bricks should never have been allowed to deteriorate to the point that they fell and the scaffolding should never have collapsed.

“We must pass a law forcing the inspection of every inch of scaffolding as soon as possible. We must pass a law to require building owners to maintain their buildings or step in as a city and do the work ourselves. My deepest sympathies to the families of those killed and injured in this latest collapse and they have my pledge to keep fighting so no one faces the same threat.”

NY1 Construction Accident Raises Questions About Oversight of Buildings by Rocco Vertuccio

Construction Accident Raises Questions About Oversight of Buildings

In December, a woman walking near Times Square was killed when part of a building facade fell.

The City Council then considered legislation to allow the Department of Buildings to use drones to inspect building facades more quickly, but the bill stalled.

“It seems not a day goes by that another piece of a building falls on somebody,” said Manhattan City Council member Ben Kallos. 

Building owners often erect sidewalk sheds to protect passersby from debris that may fall from unsafe buildings, but some fail to quickly repair the unsafe condition. Kallos proposed legislation that would allow the city to impose tougher fines in such cases and charge the owners for repairs.

“There shouldn’t be a place where any part of a building is falling on anybody,“ said Kallos. 

ABC7 Partial balcony collapse in Chelsea is latest in rash of structural failures in NYC by Jeremy Murn

Partial balcony collapse in Chelsea is latest in rash of structural failures in NYC

CHELSEA, Manhattan (WABC) -- The latest in a rash of recent structural failures throughout New York City, a balcony partially collapsed in Chelsea Friday.

Firefighters were called to a five-story building on West 15th St. just after 7 p.m.

They determined that a partial collapse occurred from a third floor rear balcony.

The metal cladding underneath the balcony became dislodged, falling into a backyard.

No injuries were reported.

The Department of Buildings was investigating.

Thursday afternoon, one person was killed and at least three others were injured after scaffolding collapsed at a building on East 36th St.

Authorities say it appeared workers were doing facade restoration on the roof level of the 11-story building when a rigging platform gave way.

The incident sparked a call from City Councilman Ben Kallos to pass laws for stricter inspection of scaffolding and requiring building owners to maintain their buildings.

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. 

New York Post NYPD faces first major budget cut in decades amid ‘perfect storm’ of factors by Julia Marsh, Nolan Hicks

NYPD faces first major budget cut in decades amid ‘perfect storm’ of factors

The NYPD is facing its first budget cut in at least two decades — thanks to a “perfect storm” of events including “dire economic circumstances,” fallout from the George Floyd killing and calls for reform from the progressive wing of the City Council, experts and insiders said.

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Meanwhile, the City Council’s 21-member progressive caucus is meeting with criminal justice reformers who want $1 billion in cuts this year to the NYPD’s $6 billion budget as a response to charges of police misconduct.

“Many members of the progressive caucus have already come out in favor of #Defund NYPD and we will be taking a formal position as a caucus shortly,” said Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), the group’s chair co-chair.