Newsletters

 

Thank you to all the parents, teachers, delegates, and the 2,421 voters who made the 2017 Participatory Budgeting process a huge success by voting on how we spend $1 million. And the winners are: P.S. 183’s Science and STEM Lab and the P.S. 198/77 Playground Renovation!

This month, we joined Mayor Bill de Blasio in announcing $100 million to add 8 new blocks of parkland and close the gap on the East River Esplanade from 53rd to 61st Streets. We also worked with Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to include a request for $169 million in the City Council's preliminary budget response to continue necessary repairs to the Esplanade.

I continue to lead the fight for Pre-Kindergarten seats on the Upper East Side, where 300 four-year-olds are being asked to commute out of district as far as the Financial District for Pre-K. In response, parents, children, and elected officials rallied for Pre-K for All to include seats on the Upper East Side. As we continue to fight for school seats, I have been advocating for Universal Childcare for all city children from birth to four, and the city has taken a big step with a plan to provide Pre-K to three-year-olds too.

Governor Cuomo announced the first in the nation Excelsior Scholarship for students whose families make $125,000 per year or less, who will now qualify for free college tuition at all City (CUNY) and State (SUNY) two- and four-year colleges in New York State as long as they live in state. When I ran for office in 2013, one of the "fresh ideas" for which the New York Times endorsed me was providing a debt-free higher education for CUNY students. I am proud to support Governor Cuomo's program.

Legislation I authored to “Get Big Money Out of New York City Politics” by matching every small dollar got a hearing, a rally, and support from a broad coalition of organizations representing communities of color, immigrants, tenants, preservation, good government, candidates, and regular New Yorkers.

In celebration of Earth Day, I joined in the “March for Science” and introduced legislation to make New York City greener by decreasing light pollution, increasing commercial recycling and mandating zero waste by 2030 to make the MTS obsolete.

Do you want to learn more about your rights as a tenant? Join me on Thursday, May 18, you for a Housing Forum with presentations on your rights as a tenant, how to organize your building, how you can get involved in our campaign to lower rent for rent stabilized tenants, with housing experts on hand to answer your questions. The event will begin at 6pm at the Julia Richman Education Complex located at 317 East 67th Street. RSVP

Please join me for First Friday on Cinco de Mayo. I would also like to wish my mother and all the District 5 mothers a Happy Mother’s Day.

Sincerely, 


Ben Kallos
Council Member

SPECIAL EVENTS:

May 18, 6pm
Housing Forum

May 20, 10am-2pm
Shred-A-Thon

DISTRICT OFFICE EVENTS

May 5, 8am - 10am
First Friday

May 9, 6pm
Brainstorming With Ben

May 25, 6pm
6:00pm - 7:30pm
Citi Bike Skills Class

May 29
Office Closed 
Memorial Day

 

Thank you to the over 2,000 East Siders and Roosevelt Islanders who voted this March in Participatory Budgeting, contributing to the highest turnout we've had in four years. Results will be announced next month.

In March, the City Council begins the budget process with hearings on how the city plans to spend its money in the coming year. I've questioned how we are saving to prepare for potential cuts by Trump, the need for more school seats on the Upper East Side, the rising cost of waste transfer caused by marine transfer stations, and the need for additional funds to repair the East River Esplanade, many of which were included in the City Council's official budget response to the Mayor.

New York City faces a homelessness crisis with 22,973 children, 17,548 parents, and 13,913 single adults in shelters, and many more living on the street. Last year, I founded the East Side Taskforce on Homeless Outreach and Services (ETHOS) to help the homeless in our community. This month I was proud to welcome new supportive housing for women and children with elected officials, community leaders, teachers, parents and even children from the schools across the street. One homeless individual who we believe suffers from mental illness drew renewed attention this month when a community member launched a petition. I have previously worked with the City's outreach teams to offer her mental health services, which she declined. After many complaints, a resident was willing to come forward, making an official complaint, and I personally went with this resident to the 19th Precinct leading to her arrest and her finally accepting both shelter and treatment. If you see someone in need, don't give them money, please call or use the 311 app and contact my office so we can help.

March was women’s history month, and I was proud to introduce a resolution in support of building a Women’s History Museum on the national mall in Washington, D.C. In April we will host an Earth Day event with free reusable bags where you can learn what you can do for a greener city. For children in grades five through eight, I am asking "What would you do as Council Member for A Day?"

Chag Pesach Sameach, Happy Easter, and enjoy the beginning of spring 

 

SPECIAL EVENTS

April 20, 6pm-8:30pm

Earth Day Event

April 27, 6pm
Bike Safety Class

April 29, 2pm-6pm
Spirit of Service Festival

DISTRICT OFFICE EVENTS

April 7, 8am-10am
First Friday

Sincerely, 

P.S There will be no Brainstorming with Ben in April so that I may instead answer four questions at our annual Passover Seder.

Today, over one million low-income youth and seniors now have access to affordable high-speed internet.

As of 2015, more than 730,000 households in New York City do not have broadband, nearly 1 in 4 in Brooklyn and 1 in 3 in the Bronx, leaving them on the wrong side of the digital divide.

In 2013, I promised to secure affordable broadband for low-income New Yorkers from our internet franchisers. In 2015, when Charter Communications sought to merge with Time Warner Cable, I joined Public Advocate James testifying at hearings and advocating for the Public Service Commission to require any company acquiring Time Warner Cable help bridge the digital divide by providing low-income residents with low-cost high-speed broadband Internet which was secured by Governor Andrew Cuomo and an order of the Public Service Commission. Today, over one million low-income youth and seniors will have access low-cost high-speed broadband Internet. Learn more from the release, the announcement, or coverage in the New York Daily News, DNAinfo, and NBC

Spectrum Internet Assist
$14.99 per month for 30 Mbps downloads and 4 Mbps uploads, email and more
No contract, no cost for modem and no activation fees

Spectrum Internet Assist Eligibility
Families with children in public schools who receive free or reduced cost lunch
Seniors (over 65) who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Prospective enrollees must clear outstanding debt to Charter/Time Warner Cable/Bright House Networks from previous 12 months and may not have had broadband subscription within 30 days of signing up.

Visit SpectrumInternetAssist.com or Call 844-525-1574

We are one step closer to "Universal Broadband" and I will continue to fight until every New Yorker has access to affordable high-speed Internet and no one is left on the wrong side of the digital divide.

Dear Friend,

March marks the beginning of Participatory Budgeting. During this period you have an opportunity to vote on how to spend $1 million in our community. Voting will be available at dozens of Participatory Budgeting voting sites throughout the district and by absentee ballot. Make sure your voice is heard by requesting your absentee ballot today or committing to vote.

In February the New York Times covered an Education Committee hearing where legislation I introduced was discussed. My bill would require the Department of Education to report on the number of applications each school receives, how many offers it extends and where students live as well as show where students end up when they leave their neighborhoods to attend school. Many East Side residents are familiar with the Pre-Kindergarten shortage. This legislation would offer deeper insight and transparency into the problem so we can ensure no child is turned away from his or her neighborhood school.

Do you love Art? In March my office is taking part in our annual Sotheby's Student Art Show where hundreds of local students of all ages will showcase their artwork at the world famous Sotheby's. The show's opening reception will take place March 23 at 5pm sharp. You can RSVP by emailing artshowatbenkallos [dot] com

We finished off February with a focus on city management, including a Committee on Governmental Operations hearing on how to help residents and businesses avoid getting quality of life violations. As the City Council reviews the Mayor's Preliminary Budget, I will continue to push for performance budgeting to ensure every taxpayer dollar is getting results.

Sincerely,

 

Ben Kallos

Council Member

SPECIAL EVENTS:
 
March 11, 10am-2pm
Shred-a-Thon
 
March 23, 5pm-7pm
Sotheby's Student Art Reception

March 25 - April 2
Vote on How to Spend $1 Million

March 29, 6pm-8pm
Cornell Tech Town Hall

April 1, 2pm-6pm
Free Bike Helmet Giveaway
 
 
DISTRICT OFFICE EVENTS

March 3, 8am-10am
First Friday

March 14, 6pm-7pm
Brainstorming With Ben

 

Download Newsletter in PDF

Democracy works best when residents are empowered to have an impact on the decisions of government. Over my three years in office, I hope you have had an opportunity to make your voice heard at First Friday, Brainstorming with Ben, Ben-In-Your-Building, a neighborhood meeting, in a petition or by calling or emailing me. Here is just some of what we’ve accomplished together:

  • 14 laws passed to make government more transparent and honest, to improve democracy, and to improve quality of life
  • 523 pre-kindergarten seats added to the district
  • 57,000+ square feet of park space opened to the public
  • 35,000 children protected by moving the Marine Transfer Station ramp from Asphalt Green
  • $47 million secured for parks in the neighborhood from City Council district funds, the City Budget and private partnerships
  • $6.8 million invested in STEM education in our local public schools and free lunch for all middle schools
  • Rent frozen for more than 1 million rent stabilized tenants in the city 2 years in a row through advocacy at RGB
  • Over 19,480 violations issued to unsafe drivers and bikers for safer streets in 2016

Thank you for your partnership. Countless community leaders and residents have helped, and together we have accomplished so much. Make your voice heard with monthly updates at BenKallos.com/subscribe

Sincerely,

Ben Kallos
Council Member District 5

Dear Friend,

Over the last two weeks New Yorkers have made me even prouder to represent this City as they have come out by the tens of thousands, taking action to support everything from a woman’s right to choose to keeping our nation and City open to immigrants and refugees. To stay informed about ways to defend New York City values against the threats of the Trump Administration, sign up to get more frequent messages from me with notifications of upcoming actions (you can unsubscribe at any time).

As we make our voices heard nationally, we must reinvest in leading on the local level. In the spirit of community collaboration, it was a pleasure seeing almost two hundred residents at my State of the District event, where I highlighted much of what we have accomplished together over the past three years, and what we can achieve on the East Side and in New York in 2017.

We continue our push to bring true Universal Pre-K to the East Side and Roosevelt Island, to fight against overdevelopment, and to bring scaffolding down throughout the city. We are also taking action to support women's healthfire safety, and construction safety.

How will you get involved this month?

Sincerely,

 

Ben Kallos

SPECIAL EVENTS:
 
February 10, 11:30am
ERFA Town Hall
 
February 16, 2pm-4pm
Fire Safety Prevention Event 

February 16, 5:30pm-7:30pm
Pre-K Registration Event 
 
February 17, 10am-4:30pm
NO-COST Mammogram Van 
 
 
 
DISTRICT OFFICE EVENTS

February 3, 8am-10am
First Friday

February 14, 6pm-7pm
Brainstorming With Ben


TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. SanctuaryNYC
  2. Holocaust Remembrance Day
  3. Muslim Ban
  4. Take Action and Resist
  5. New York Times Editorial Supports Scaffolding Reform
  6. 50 Year Agreement Reached on the Roosevelt Island Tram
  7. City Council Funding for Local Non-Profits Due February

EDUCATION

  1. Universal Pre-Kindergarten Presentation on Registration
  2. Free State and City College
  3. Meeting with Parent Teacher Associations

HOUSING & ZONING

  1. East River 50s Alliance Town Hall
  2. Protecting the Rent Freeze
  3. Safe Construction Jobs Act Hearing
  4. Historic Districts Council is Hiring

PARKS & THE ENVIRONMENT

  1. Opening the Queensboro Oval
  2. Climate Change on SciQ
  3. Solar Energy in New York City

TRANSPORTATION

  1. Update: Fighting for a Select Bus Service Stop at East 72nd Street
  2. Successful Commercial Bike Safety Event
  3. Honoring the Second Avenue Subway Task Force
  4. Job Posting: Program Manager at Citi Bike

GOVERNMENT TECHNOLOGY AND TRANSPARENCY

  1. The NYC Civic Innovation Fellows Program
  2. The Commons: Co-Working Space Opens on the Upper East Side

COMMUNITY

  1. Third Annual State of the District
  2. Judicial Inductions
  3. Due This Friday: Join Your Community Board
  4. Free Tax Preparation by AARP Tax Aide at Lenox Hill
  5. Supporting the Homeless, ETHOS Update
  6. 3 Kings Day at El Museo Del Barrio
  7. Judicial Inductions
  8. Rally Opposing Anti Labor Secretary Nominee
  9. Our Lady of Peace Parishioners Appeal Church Closing
  10. NYC Ballet Family Saturdays: $5 Ticket Offer
  11. NYC Urban Debate League Is Looking for Volunteer Judges
  12. In the Community

OFFICE UPDATES

  1. Legislative Corner
  2. Free Legal Clinics
  3. Here to Help
  4. Mobile District Hours
  5. Ben in Your Building

EVENTS AND RESOURCES

  1. City Council Events
  2. Government Meetings
  3. Community Boards
  4. New York Police Department
  5. Neighborhood and Tenant Associations
  6. Community Events for Kids
  7. Community Events for Adults
  8. Resources Funded in Part by My Office
  9.  

Happy New Year! Your gift for the holiday season and surviving nearly a decade of construction is a brand new Second Avenue Subway.

On Sunday January 22, I will be hosting my annual State of the District event with FREE reusable bags at Memorial Sloan Kettering and everyone is invited. At the State of the District, I will be discussing the busy year my office has had and highlighting some of the victories we have accomplished with our many community partners. RSVP to reserve your bag.

In December we continued to fight for responsible development. I introduced a bill aimed at fighting the proliferation of scaffolding by limiting how long it can be up without work being done or completed. The battle to rezone the Sutton area continued in December as the community and elected officials submitted the rezoning application to the City. As the property was sold at auction to the original lender, the race to rezone continues. At 180 East 88th Street we submitted a zoning challenge to force the developer to follow the zoning laws. We are even reclaiming public park land from a private use and need your opinion on what the park should look like.

As I continue to fight special interests I am proud to have passed laws to open up the deed restriction process and improve our campaign finance system by stopping public dollars from amplifying the voices of special interests doing business with the city so that public dollars only amplify the voices of voters like you.

Thank you all who attended the Holiday Party in early December, it was great seeing everyone at my district office. I hope to see many of you at my State of the District event on January 22. RSVP

Sincerely,

Ben Kallos
Council Member

 

SPECIAL EVENTS

January 22, 2017
1pm-3pm
State of the District Address

January 23, 2017
6:30-9:30pm
Trading the Sky Panel

January 26, 2017
2:30-5pm
Commercial Bike Safety Event

DISTRICT OFFICE EVENTS

January 6
8am-10am
First Friday

January 10
6pm-7pm
Brainstorming With Ben

January 12
5pm-6pm
Landmarking and Land Use Clinic

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. INVITATION: State of the District with Free Bags
  2. Opening the Second Avenue Subway
  3. Campaign Finance Laws Passed
  4. Scaffolding Reform
  5. Traffic Cones
  6. Delivery Bike Safety
  7. 180 East 88th Street Construction Permit Challenged
  8. Sutton: Citation for Charles Fernandez
  9. Join Your Community Board

HOUSING AND ZONING

  1. Reforms to Stop BSA Variances from Neighborhood Plans
  2. Preventing the Next Rivington: Deed Restriction Reforms Signed into Law
  3. Unveiling Henderson Place District Marker
  4. Join Me for "Trading the Sky" Panel Discussion
  5. Land Use Clinic
  6. Mapping the Shadows of New York City
  7. Freinds of the Upper East Side Historic Districts 2017 Awards: A Call For Entries

ENVIRONMENT

  1. Opening the Queensboro Oval Under the 59th Street Bridge
  2. Cleaner Air From City Power Plants
  3. Con Edison Steam and Power Plant at East 74th Street

COMMUNITY

  1. Apply for Pre-K
  2. Help the Homeless by Counting Those in Need
  3. LifeSciNYC
  4. NYCEDC Works Toward Starting Life Sciences Incubators
  5. Proclamation for Sally Minard
  6. Tours for Schools
  7. Firefighter Raises Money for Upper East Side Fire Victims
  8. Night at the Opera
  9. Park NYC Roll Out
  10. E-Waste Event at the 92nd Street Y
  11. The Glass Room with Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito

OFFICE UPDATES

  1. Happy Holidays
  2. Remembering the Fallen at Pearl Harbor
  3. City Council Funding for Local Non-Profits
  4. Legislative Corner
  5. Free Legal Clinics
  6. Here to Help
  7. Mobile District Hours
  8. Ben in Your Building

EVENTS AND RESOURCES

  1. City Council Events
  2. Government Meetings
  3. Community Boards
  4. New York Police Department
  5. Neighborhood and Tenant Associations
  6. Community Events for Kids
  7. Community Events for Adults
  8. Resources Funded by My Office

Friend,

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and are looking forward to the December Holidays. Please join me and my staff at our District Office for our annual Holiday Party this coming Tuesday, December 6, from 5pm to 7pm.

Many have reached out to me following this year’s Presidential Election results. As with all situations, we will move forward as we have on countless issues over the last three years, together. While some want to build walls, we must build connections by organizing communities in our buildings, block, neighborhood, borough, city, and state. Whether you want to focus on public education, access to reproductive health, affordable housing, public transportation, the environment, protecting our immigrants, or another issue, we are here, as always, to support and empower you.

As covered by The Wall Street Journal, the East River 50s Alliance and I helped obtain a stop work order on the demolition job connected to the proposed 950-foot Sutton Superscraper. We also formally submitted our rezoning proposal, the next big step towards capping the height of buildings in the Sutton Area at 260 feet. As Co-Chair of the East River Esplanade Taskforce with Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, I worked with the City and Friends of the East River Esplanade to open the East 90th Street Pier Park.

As we celebrate the holidays, I reflect on how thankful I am to be your Council Member and for our partnership in making our community a better place. Whatever you need, whether it is a free menorah or help with housing, we are here to help.

Sincerely,

Ben Kallos
Council Member

P.S. First Friday is December 2nd and Policy Night is December 13th. Also be sure to RSVP for my State of the District event on Janaury 22, 2017 at Memorial Sloan Kettering. 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Holiday Party
  2. Stop Work Order Issued at Sutton Tower
  3. 90th Street Pier Opens as Park to Public
  4. Improvements to the Mayor’s Management Report
  5. Proclamation for Heroic Firefighters
  6. New This Month: Land Use and Landmarking Clinic with Historic Districts Council

ELECTION 2016

  1. The Presidential Election
  2. Long Lines on Election Day
  3. Homeless Outreach to Encourage Voting
  4. Registering as an Organ Donor Gets Easier and Disenfranchised Incarcerated Voters Get Absentee Ballots

TRANSPORTATION

  1. Bike Safety Program Reels in Results
  2. Protecting Tenants from 2nd Avenue Subway Displacement

HEALTH & SAFETY

  1. Universal Free School Lunch
  2. Obamacare Signup
  3. Preparing for Emergencies
  4. Free Smoke Detectors, Preventing Home Fires
  5. Medicare Enrollment Event

HOUSING

  1. Eastside Task Force for Homeless Outreach Meets to Make a Difference
  2. Supreme Court Denies Appeal to Remove Landmark
  3. Advocacy Protects NYC’s Integrated Communities from Proposed HUD Policy
  4. Tenants & Neighbors Protecting Our Affordable Housing
  5. Landmarks50 Alliance Luncheon
  6. Protecting affordable Housing on Roosevelt Island

EQUALITY

  1. Supporting Pay Equity for Female City Employees
  2. National Women’s History Museum
  3. Language Access

COMMUNITY

  1. Apply for Kindergarten
  2. Public Service Award from NCJFE and Blue Card Dinner
  3. Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway
  4. Constituent Spotlight: “Madam Secretary” Goes Green
  5. Pre-Turkey Day Shred-A-Thon
  6. Junior Tennis League and Meeting with Parents
  7. Welcoming Windward
  8. Goodwill Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
  9. In the Community

OFFICE UPDATES

  1. Legislative Corner
  2. Progressive Caucus: 15 Priority Bills Passed
  3. Free Legal Clinics
  4. Here to Help
  5. Mobile District Hours
  6. Ben in Your Building

EVENTS AND RESOURCES

  1. City Council Events
  2. Government Meetings
  3. Community Boards
  4. New York Police Department
  5. Neighborhood and Tenant Association
  6. Community Events for Kids
  7. Community Events for Adults
  8. Resources Funded in Part by My Office
Vote Today: Election Day

Today is Election Day and you can vote at the polls from 6AM to 9PM. 
Verify You Are Registered to Vote: https://voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us/ 
Find Your Poll Site: https://nyc.pollsitelocator.com/search 
Remember your Assembly District and Election District to skip the line at the front door and go straight to get your ballot and vote.

Frequent Issues on Election Day:
  • Name not in the book? Vote by affidavit ballot and register to update your voter registration, do not leave without voting.
  • Machines aren't working? Get a paper ballot anyway and cast it in the emergency ballot box, your ballot will be fed into the machine and counted later when it is working.
  • Don't Have ID? No problem. You don't need a driver's license or municipal identification to vote, just your signature. You can wear whatever you want covering any part of your body. If you are a first time voter just bring the letter you received from the BOE confirming your registration and reminding you to vote (or a utility bill, bank statement, paystub, government check or other government document with name and address).
Please contact my office to report complaints that I can use to improve the Board of Elections.


Home Fire Prevention

The New York City Fire Department and the American Red Cross will host a home fire prevention event in my district office with those attending able to schedule a FREE smoke detector and carbon monoxide sensor installation in their home ahead of the holidays and winter season.

Fire Safety
Free Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector Installations 

Thursday, November 10, 6pm - 8pm 
District Office, 244 East 93rd Street
RSVP


Emergency Preparedness & Free Go Bag Kits

Please join me at the next meeting of the East 79th Street Neighborhood Association for a presentation by CERT Upper East Side and the Office of Emergency Management to learn how to put together your own Go Bag Kit and how to join your local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Emergency Preparedness:
Free Go Bag Kits & How to Join CERT
at the East 79th Street Neighborhood Association Monthly Meeting

Thursday, November 17, 6pm - 8pm
Upper East Side Rehabilitation and Nursing Center
211 East 79th Street, New York, NY
*Limited Supply of Free Go Bags Kits, Attendance and RSVP Required
RSVP


Medicare Open Enrollment

Please join me and the Medicare Right Center to learn more about Medicare benefits, the fall open enrollment period and programs that help pay Medicare costs.

Medicare Open Enrollment
Thursday, November 17, from 9:30am to 11am
Stanley Isaac's Neighborhood Center, 415 East 93rd Street
RSVP


Shred-A-Thon

I am proud to sponsor shred-a-thons by The Upper Green Side with Council Member Garodnick so you can shred your documents that contain personal information and protect your privacy and identity. You bring the paper and the giant shredder truck turns it into microbits while you watch!  You can also bring compost, eyeglasses, corks, batteries and cords. 

Shred-A-Thon
Sunday, November 20, 10am - 2pm 
92nd Street Green Market (at First Avenue)
RSVP

Autumn is here, leaves have fallen, and Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur have come and gone giving me some time to reflect and recharge ahead of what will be a busy November.

My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the two fires that occurred on the Upper East Side in October. On November 10, my office will host a fire prevention event with the help of the New York City Fire Department and the American Red CrossRSVP

While we continue to push for improvements to the M15 and M79 buses, I was proud to support the launch of a new app that shows you how bunched your bus is and how fast (or slow) it runs. Visit BusTurnaround.NYC

We also made progress in the fight against hunger by making access to government programs easier through Automatic Benefits. A national collaboration between the United Stated Department of Health and Human Services, Intuit, and my office will give the public a free “Benefit Assist” tool to identify what benefits those in need qualify for.

On November 8, Americans will turn out for the general elections, please make sure you go out and vote. The polls will be open from 6am. to 9pm. Make sure you know your poll site. Policy Night will take place Tuesday the 15th to avoid a conflict with Election Day.

I hope you had a safe Halloween and I wish you a happy Thanksgiving.

Sincerely,

Ben Kallos
Council Member

PS. Reminder First Friday is on the 4th and Policy Night is Tuesday the 15th due conflict with Election Day