New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos


The Jewish Voice New ExpressCare Clinic Opens at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan by Editorial

New ExpressCare Clinic Opens at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan

ExpressCare will provide patients with fast access to walk-in, urgent care seven days a week

NYC Health + Hospitals recently announced the opening of an ExpressCare Clinic at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan. The clinic will be the public health system’s first location in Manhattan, building on the system’s vision to transform care for New Yorkers in all five boroughs. Providing faster access to medical care for patients with non-life-threatening conditions, the new clinic will be open seven days a week operating from 6pm to midnight on weekdays, and from 10am to midnight on weekends and holidays. The clinic will offer walk-in services for conditions — such as colds, flu, sprains, skin rashes, minor cuts and lacerations, and certain types of infections. Patients who typically use the emergency department for these conditions will find shorter wait times and faster service at the ExpressCare clinic.

NYC Council Member Diana Ayala helped to secure $1.6M in mayoral funds for the construction of the new urgent care center at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan. In the meantime, the ExpressCare clinic will temporarily share space with the hospital’s Geriatric Outpatient Services until the new, permanent space is built.

“We are excited to add a new health care option for the community we serve in East Harlem and upper Manhattan,” said Alina Moran, CEO, NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan. “ExpressCare will help reduce wait times in our emergency department and provide immediate medical attention for patients in need of urgent care. The new service expands our ability to connect patients to high-quality care when they need it.”

“The new ExpressCare Clinic at Metropolitan Hospital will help ensure patients are receiving high-quality medical care promptly and close to home,” said Council Member Diana Ayala. “I am proud to have worked with the Mayor’s Office to secure additional funding for the clinic’s future space, and in the interim, I look forward to welcoming this vital resource to the community.”

beat10ztalk Why We Should All Praise City Council Member Ben Kallos by Editorial

Why We Should All Praise City Council Member Ben Kallos

Ben Kallos, NYC Council Member, introduced a bill that would require city agencies to begin making their data available via user interface / API. This would be a major step towards increasing city efficiency, by enabling the private sector to build solutions that meet their own local needs.

How we currently interact with various government agencies — even for simple tasks like renewing a license, reporting a power outage, or casting a vote — is incomprehensibly cumbersome and time consuming. There’s little reason why these processes have not already been app-enabled and mostly automated, except that our city agencies are fractured and don’t have the bandwidth to pull themselves off legacy systems into the modern world.

Queens Gazette Officials Call For End To Use Of Dirty Fuel Oils by Editorial

Officials Call For End To Use Of Dirty Fuel Oils

City Council Member Costa Constantinides, Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, and state Senator Michael Gianaris on December 9th called for an end to the use of numbers 6 and 4 fuel oil in power plants. They were joined by the Astoria Houses Tenants Association, Queensbridge Houses Tenants Association, Ravenswood Houses Tenants Association, Jacob Riis Senior Center, Urban Upbound, American Lung Association, Asthma Coalition of Queens, and WeACT.

Ending the use of Number 6 and 4 oils would help reduce emissions produced by the plants in order to meet goals set by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. They called on the power plant operators to demonstrate how they plan to comply with Local Law 38 of 2015, which requires that they phase out use of number 6 oil in plants citywide by 2020. They also called on the plant operators to phase out use of number 4 oil sooner than the scheduled 2030 phase-out. Numbers 6 and 4 oils are considered to be the dirtiest grades of oil available. They are linked to air pollutants that pose risk to public health, including particulate matter, nitrous oxides and sulfur dioxide.

The Real Deal City considering crackdown on landlords who skirt zoning rules by Editorial

City considering crackdown on landlords who skirt zoning rules

The City Council will discuss 10 bills Wednesday aimed at tightening the rules that allow property owners to bend zoning regulations.

Council member Ben Kallos is sponsoring the proposed bills that will target the Board of Standards and Appeals, Crain’s reported. The board is able to approve applications from landlords who argue they need to surpass zoning laws in order to make a profit from a development. In some cases, according to the publication, owners ask that a height restriction be relaxed so that revenue-generating apartments can be built. In other circumstances an owner may say that a lot is oddly shaped and it is therefore impossible to conform to zoning laws.

In 2011, the board approved 97 percent of applications that came before it, many of which had been opposed at the local council level. Kallos believes the board is too lenient.

New York Daily News Lulu heroes and zeroes by Editorial

Lulu heroes and zeroes

The good news is that 10 members flat-out refused the money: Brad Lander, Alan Maisel, Carlos Menchaca and Mark Treyger of Brooklyn; Andy Cohen of the Bronx; Dan Garodnick, Ben Kallos, Mark Levine and Helen Rosenthal of Manhattan; and Steve Matteo of Staten Island.

Not only did they say no, but Mark-Viverito gave all 10 the option to beg off for the three-and-a-half years left in their terms. All 10 did.

Garodnick and Lander are turning down $15,000 yearly, Matteo is declining $5,000 and the rest, $8,000. They believe that all Council members should be paid the same and put principle before personal interest. Salute their integrity.