New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Jillian Jorgensen

NY1 Some Have Outside-the-Box — and Outside-the-Classroom — Ideas for Returning to School by Jillian Jorgensen

Some Have Outside-the-Box — and Outside-the-Classroom — Ideas for Returning to School

Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he's considering child care options for working parents this fall, but has provided no details. Councilman Ben Kallos has an idea.

"Any New Yorker can tell you, if they walk outside their door there’s an empty storefront. Can we turn some of those empty storefronts into distance learning centers and have a place where folks can drop off their kids from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.?” Kallos asked.

The education department says it has been discussing plans in focus groups with principals, teachers, parents and health experts, and will announce child care options in the coming days.

NY1 With 20 Catholic Schools Closing, Elected Officials Push for City to Scoop Up the Spaces for Public School Students by Jillian Jorgensen

With 20 Catholic Schools Closing, Elected Officials Push for City to Scoop Up the Spaces for Public School Students

Twenty Catholic schools across the five boroughs are closing. Now, some elected officials want the city to scoop up their space for public school students.

“When I became aware that a number of Catholic schools in New York City were closing due to financial issues, I immediately contacted senior DOE officials," said City Councilman Mark Treyger, chair of the education committee. "I am told that conversations are underway between the DOE and the Archdiocese about utilizing that space.”

The city’s public schools face a space crunch; coronavirus precautions mean maximum class sizes will be cut by more than half. Most students will have to learn in school and at home on alternate days. 

Students in the most overcrowded schools may see the inside of a classroom just once a week.

Treyger and Councilman Ben Kallos have called on the city to explore leasing the soon-to-be vacant Catholic school space to help.

“This is the time for government to be stepping in and reopening these sites, whether as public schools in their own right or a distance learning center, or even for childcare," Kallos said.

New York Daily News EXCLUSIVE: Council bill would apply new contribution limits to special election for public advocate by Jillian Jorgensen

EXCLUSIVE: Council bill would apply new contribution limits to special election for public advocate

The new campaign finance rules approved by voters at the polls last month don’t take effect until 2021 -- but City Councilman Ben Kallos has introduced legislation that would allow candidates in the upcoming special election for public advocate to opt into the new system.

“Almost every single candidate running for public advocate is already an elected official, and only one can win. And I just don’t want that many existing elected officials taking that much money,” Kallos told the News.

An architect of the new system passed as Question 1 on the ballot last November -- which set up a new campaign finance system that slashes contribution limits while increasing the amount of public matching funds a candidate can receive -- Kallos is looking to create similar changes for candidates running in special elections and other races that will crop up between now an

New York Observer Rivington Hearing Ends With Council and Mayor’s Office Accusing Each Other of Lying by Jillian Jorgensen

Rivington Hearing Ends With Council and Mayor’s Office Accusing Each Other of Lying

The miscommunication today played out in “real-time,” as City Councilman Ben Kallos, the chairman of the committee on governmental operations put it, when, during the hearing, he asked Shorris why he had to leave—”for the record.”