New York, NY -- This morning, Council Member Ben Kallos, staff and volunteers from progressive advocacy groups and labor groups advocated for Universal Pre-K in New York City on the Upper East Side. Council Member Kallos' team engaged members of the public in conversation, distributing information and signed up interested residents. The canvassers backed city's Pre-K plan to expand coverage to the 70% of the estimated 73,250 families who require full-day Pre-K for their 4-year-olds.
"Every child deserves to start out on the right path," said Council Member Kallos. "Nearly 75,000 families require pre-k for their 4-year-olds, but fewer than 30% of children are accessing it. This is a failure on the part of all of us to provide opportunity for our children. Luckily our city is positioned to rapidly tackle the problem.
"In the long run, pre-k has been shown to boost character skills, health and earning potential over a lifetime. One study showed a rate of return for funding childrens’ Pre-K was 6-10% on the dollar -- a smart investment by any measure."
UPKNYC is a grassroots campaign to enact the city's plan to raise taxes on the wealthiest New Yorkers to fund universal pre-k for every four year old and after school for every middle school student in New York City. The campaign is partnering with more than 25 advocacy organizations to achieve its goal.
Kallos has been a longtime supporter of Universal Pre-K programs and demonstrated in favor of Pre-K for all children during his City Council Campaign.
Ben Kallos has represented Manhattan's District Five (Upper East Side, Midtown East, El Barrio and Roosevelt Island) in the City Council since January 2014. He is a graduate of Bronx Science, SUNY Albany and SUNY Buffalo Law School.