New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Erin Durkin

New York Daily News Lawyer tapped as Board of Elections commissioner refuses to give up lobbying, raising conflict of interest concerns by Erin Durkin

Lawyer tapped as Board of Elections commissioner refuses to give up lobbying, raising conflict of interest concerns

“What happens when someone you represent as a lobbyist has business in our districts and wants something from us, and we need your vote in 2017 to get on the ballot?” said Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan).

New York Daily News Board of Elections will be required to notify voters when poll sites change, remind them of upcoming elections in new City Council bill by Erin Durkin

Board of Elections will be required to notify voters when poll sites change, remind them of upcoming elections in new City Council bill

The City Council voted Thursday to require the Board of Elections to send voters texts and e-mails telling them when their poll sites change and reminding them of upcoming elections.

Under another bill passed by the Council, BOE will have to set up a website and mobile app to let voters check their registration and party affiliation, and change information like their address.

During April’s presidential primary, many voters had no idea they had been dropped from the rolls or from their party until they arrived to vote. There’s currently no way to check online.

“Tens of thousands of voters showed up to vote thinking they were registered or registered with a political party, only to be told by election workers they were not in the poll books,” said Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Mahattan). “Voters should be able to easily access information about elections at any time.”

Daily News NYC business could lose their licenses for not paying fines under new legislation passed by City Council by Erin Durkin

NYC business could lose their licenses for not paying fines under new legislation passed by City Council

Until now, a 311 complaint might result in a violation but those violations were rarely collected,” said Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), the sponsor. “Bad neighbors will have to improve their behavior.”

New York Daily News EXCLUSIVE: Mayor de Blasio relying on big money donors for re-election bid by Erin Durkin

EXCLUSIVE: Mayor de Blasio relying on big money donors for re-election bid

Legislation was introduced in the City Council by Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) this week to increase that to $250 in an effort to stem reliance on big money donors able to give the max.

Many of the donors who have given the max to de Blasio come from the real estate industry, which has an interest in city housing and land use policies.

New York Daily News Carmen Fariña worried children will get bullied if schools hold a mock election by Erin Durkin

Carmen Fariña worried children will get bullied if schools hold a mock election

Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) asked the schools boss to conduct a mock election and let kids cast ballots for their presidential favorites as a way to boost civic engagement.

“It turns out that voting is hereditary trait, and social science has shown if parents take their kids to vote, they’re more likely to vote himself,” he said.

But Fariña was reluctant to endorse the idea, though she said she shares the same goal.

New York Daily News City Council bill would make it easier for candidates to get on ballot, scraps requirements for petition signatures by Erin Durkin

City Council bill would make it easier for candidates to get on ballot, scraps requirements for petition signatures

A new bill being introduced in the City Council aims to make it easier for candidates to get on the ballot without the backing of party machines — scrapping requirements to gather hundreds of thousands of petition signatures.

Under the legislation by Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), a candidate could instead qualify by raising enough donations to earn public matching funds — from $5,000 for City Council to $250,000 for mayor.

Under the current rules, candidates have to get between 450 and 3,750 signatures — but upstart office-seekers often face petition challenges seeking to knock them off the ballot.

New York Daily News De Blasio administration program to serve free breakfast in classroom has 'rocky start' by Erin Durkin

De Blasio administration program to serve free breakfast in classroom has 'rocky start'

But the city is resisting, saying a pilot program in middle schools only increased lunch participation by 6%.

“We have an opportunity to make sure that 1.1 million children don’t have to worry about hunger, which would be huge,” said Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan).

But Farina said it would have to show better results before getting expanded. “Our numbers are not reflecting this has made a major difference,” she said.

New York Daily News EXCLUSIVE: NYC Council’s progressive group seeks changes to de Blasio’s housing plan by Erin Durkin

EXCLUSIVE: NYC Council’s progressive group seeks changes to de Blasio’s housing plan

Apartments should be offered for people making less than the average 60% of area median income — $46,620 for a family of three — currently targeted in the plan, says the 18-member group, which represents about a third of the Council.“We believe in having deeper levels of affordability,” said Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), the vice chair for policy.

 

New York Daily News East Side skyscrapers could be capped under new City Council zoning plan for Manhattan apartment buildings by Erin Durkin

East Side skyscrapers could be capped under new City Council zoning plan for Manhattan apartment buildings

East Side pols filed a zoning plan Thursday to block super-tall towers from rising in the neighborhood around Sutton Place. The application would cap buildings from 52nd St. to 59th St. east of First Ave. at no more than 260 feet. "We are drawing a line on the march of superscrapers at billionaire's row to protect our city's residential neighborhoods," said Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), who submitted the plan along with Councilman Dan Garodnick (D-Manhattan), Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and Sen. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan).