New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Press Coverage

"I would love to see New York City and New York State catch up to other jurisdictions to keep children and parents safe, but I would also like us to become a leader," Kallos told the Post.

School buses are currently equipped with stop arm devices that display a stop sign when the bus is stopped for pickups and dropoffs. Drivers are supposed to yield so that kids can get to the curb safely, but nearly 50,000 drivers ignore the signals each year in New York State, the Post reported.


STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- After two separate incidents in which vehicles in Brooklyn drove on a sidewalk near a school within the last week -- almost mowing down school children and pedestrians -- a New York City councilman is calling for a new law that would add cameras to the stop sign of a school bus.


A New York City Council member is calling for cameras on the sides of school buses that can record drivers so impatient they drive dangerously, following two such incidents recently in Brooklyn.


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — One New York City lawmaker wants to make it easier to fine drivers who don’t hit the brakes around stopped school buses.


NEW YORK - A Manhattan councilman is pushing a bill that would add cameras to all school buses in the city.


BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Police are looking for at least two drivers in Brooklyn who were caught on camera driving on a sidewalk to get around school traffic... coming dangerously close to kids.

City Councilman Ben Kallos is proposing drastic measures to deal with impatient drivers, according to reports published in the NY Post.


The de Blasio administration is sour on legislation that would require chain restaurants to list products with added sugar because it could be difficult to enforce, a city official said Monday.


A pair of bills introduced today in the City Council of New York would help consumers—including kids—eat and drink more healthfully at restaurants.


Cameras are just about everywhere and now a Manhattan legislator wants to add them on school buses

Motorists are supposed to hit the brakes when confronted by a stopped school bus.

But an estimated 50,000 a year statewide ignore the safety regulation.


MANHATTAN, NY — New York City is dedicating an addition $75 million to complete and repair sections of the East River Esplanade in Harlem, the Upper East Side and Midtown, parks officials announced Thursday.


The City’s zoning laws are now instantly accessible to New Yorkers. On February 6, 2019, Department of City Planning Director Marisa Lago announced the release of the City’s digital Zoning Resolution online platform. The online platform will serve as a green replacement for the 1,570-page physical copy of the Resolution, which will no longer be printed to save money, increase government transparency, and fight climate change. It will also be a more interactive replacement for the static PDFs currently on the City Planning website. The platform will make the City’s Zoning Resolution more accessible for New Yorkers.


UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — An Upper East Side library will close in March for a months-long renovation, New York Public Library officials announced Wednesday.


City Councilman Ben Kallos — who says he's been in talks with the city Department of Education and School Construction Authority to get more physical education spaces in district since he's been elected — helped students facilitate their petition and included it in his monthly newsletter for constituents.

"It's amazing that Eleanor Roosevelt High School has championed athletics given that they don't actually have a gym. Hopefully this can help their sports program grow to the next level," Kallos told Patch.

Kallos noted that while of the Upper East Side's private schools are building or already have field houses for athletics, public schools are left without adequate space.


But the conversation around the prevailing wage and the New York City construction industry is far from over. Last month, New York City Council Member Ben Kallos proposed legislation that would require construction companies to pay their workers the prevailing wage on many projects subsidized by the city, even if those companies do not have a direct contract with the city. If they don't pay the prevailing wage, they would risk the loss of financial assistance for the project and fines of $10,000 a day for noncompliance. The new regulation would apply to projects that receive subsidies of at least $1 million, are 100,000 square feet or more in size or, for residential developments, have more than 50 units per building.


Council Member Ben Kallos introduced both bills, with Council Member Chaim Deutsch co-sponsoring Intro. 1148-2018 B. Kallos said he saw a need for the STOP Program after the recurring transportation problems that arose at the start of every new school year.

“Drivers would get lost and/or not know the routes,” explained Josh Jamieson, communications director for Kallos.

Another reason for the bill was a “freak snowstorm” in November, when special needs students were stuck on buses for over 10 hours, Jamieson added.


City Councilmember Ben Kallos, who represents the Upper East Side, responded by saying that he was "horrified" that DOB's interpretation appeared to be at odds with that of City Planning. In the past he has asked City Planning to consider adding more height restrictions in certain residential neighborhoods.

Citing 180 East 88th Street and 200 Amsterdam, two other projects that opponents say have used loopholes to add building height, Kallos said, "It's DOB that has been willfully refusing to follow zoning regulations."

Similarly, Rachel Levy, the executive director of Friends, expressed disbelief and frustration at the DOB’s position.


Board members also questioned whether NYCHA could have gotten more than $25 million for the land. When asked by the board, Charney said a NYCHA appraisal put the value of the land closer to $60 million. City Councilman Ben Kallos, who pressed Fetner and NYCHA a number of times throughout the meeting, asked if NYCHA could have made more money by just selling air rights at the development to other sites within the neighborhood.

A NYCHA spokesperson did not immediately respond to Patch's request for comment.

In May 2017, the New York City Housing Authority announced that real estate developer Fetner Properties was selected to develop a plot of land currently occupied by a playground between the two Holmes Towers buildings on East 92nd Street between First and York avenues. Fetner bid on the project through a request for proposals launched by NYCHA as part of its NextGen NYCHA initiative to allow private development on public lands to fund capital repairs.


Gale Brewer, the Manhattan Borough President, and City Councilmember Ben Kallos both attended the hearing to oppose the project, and suggested that the issue may ultimately wind up in court. "I don't want to be specific but we're very serious about this project," Brewer added.

After the hearing, Gregory Morris, president and executive director of the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center, a nonprofit at the housing complex whose services includes a community center, after-school programs and daycare, issued the following statement:

"NYCHA residents of Holmes Towers/Isaacs Houses and Members of Manhattan Community Board 8 made clear last night that they were uninformed about the Fetner project, as well as deeply concerned about its legality and potential environmental hazards. As the primary provider of social services in the development for more than 50 years, the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center will continue to amplify the voices of public housing residents who have long been ignored and isolated. We will continue to stand with all stakeholders to ensure that this project is subject to the City's Uniform Land Use Review Process, as the preservation of public housing through private investment should never conflict with the preservation of human dignity."

On Wednesday night, after four hours of public testimony, NYCHA officials, who appeared both worn and frustrated by the outpouring of anger, stopped trying to sell the project and conceded the reality of the situation.


The city is cracking down on that scourge of New York City: unsafe sidewalk sheds.

While sidewalk sheds are meant to protect pedestrians from falling debris at construction sites, a spate of accidents in which sidewalk sheds have done more harm than good, Council member Ben Kallos has introduced a bill to tighten safety regulations. Kallos’ told Gothamist that his office has found seven sidewalk shed incidents in which pedestrians were injured since 2017.