New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Lindsay Armstrong

DNAinfo.com Struggling Second Ave. Businesses Need Financial Aid, Councilman Says by Lindsay Armstrong

Struggling Second Ave. Businesses Need Financial Aid, Councilman Says

City Councilman Ben Kallos is hoping to secure funds to help business owners like Pecora by creating grants for small businesses that have been negatively affected by municipal construction projects like the Second Avenue subway project.

Since construction started, Second Avenue businesses have struggled with decreased foot traffic, high noise levels and excess dust and debris.

“Anyone who lives in the district knows that stores have closed,” Kallos said. “Some have seen losses of 25 percent or more. Even businesses like the Beach Café, which has been here for almost 50 years, are struggling.”

According to Kallos's proposal, small businesses located within 150 feet of municipal construction sites would be eligible to apply for grants if they could show a 10 percent reduction in taxable income compared to the year before construction began. Businesses could seek funds for both physical improvements, like soundproof windows and improved ventilation systems, and for marketing and advertising efforts to reach more customers. In some cases, businesses would also be able to seek funds for payroll and rental assistance.

DNAinfo.com Rockefeller University Plan to Build Lab Over FDR Approved by City Council by Lindsay Armstrong

Rockefeller University Plan to Build Lab Over FDR Approved by City Council

The development includes a multimillion-dollar investment in the esplanade and a number of other community benefits secured by local community leaders and elected officials, according to local Councilman Ben Kallos.

DNAinfo.com Upper East Siders to Vote on How to Spend $1M in City Funds by Lindsay Armstrong

Upper East Siders to Vote on How to Spend $1M in City Funds

UPPER EAST SIDE — New playground equipment at theStanley Isaacs Houses, handrails that will help seniors navigate the steps at Carl Schurz Park, and an updated cooling system at the67th Street Library where many people take refuge during the hot summer months.

All of these proposals could go from wish list to reality through Councilman Ben Kallos’s participatory budgeting program.

DNAinfo.com Let 16-Year-Olds Serve on Community Boards, Politicians Say by Lindsay Armstrong

Let 16-Year-Olds Serve on Community Boards, Politicians Say

UPPER EAST SIDE — The City Council is considering a resolution that would bring civics lessons out of the classroom and into real life for New York City teens.

Councilman Ben Kallos introduced a resolution last week in support of a state bill that would lower the age requirement for serving on neighborhood community boards. Currently, a person must be 18 to become a community board member. The bill, which is backed by Assemblywoman Nily Rozic and state Sen. Andrew Lanza, would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to serve.