New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Press Releases

Online Constituent Services Rolled Out by City Council Member Kallos for Social Media Week

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

 New York City Council Member Ben Kallos rolled out social media from Facebook to Twitter to Skype as well as new applications like AskThem.io and SeeClickFix.com today at a press conference over Google Hangout.  On the “Get Help” page of BenKallos.com constituents are presented with more than a dozen ways to get help from their Council Member, mixing old services and new, including: callingvisiting the officeemailwebtextfaxmobile hoursTwitterFacebookInstagramSkypeAskThem, and SeeClickFix.

 

Statement from Council Member Ben Kallos on Being Named Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations

Monday, February 17, 2014

New York, NY – Today, on the naming of City Council committee assignments, the following statement can be attributed to Council Member Ben Kallos (District Five, Manhattan): 

 

"I am honored to be named Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations, where I will work with my committee to create a government that is more open, transparent, and accountable to the working families that make our city great.  Our task will be to make our city more efficient at seamlessly serving all of our city’s residents, so that government just works for the people."

 

He will serve on the committee with a bipartisan and geographically diverse committee, including Council Members David Greenfield, Mark Levine, Ritchie Torres and Steven Matteo. 

 

Kallos’ priorities on the Committee on Governmental Operations include:

 

• Reforming the community board system in partnership with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer to improve openness, accountability and transparency;  

• Working with the Campaign Finance Board and the Voter Assistance Commission to expand and further empower public financing of campaigns to promote the best candidates; 

• Working with the New York City Board of Elections to ensure smooth elections and greater enfranchisement of New Yorkers; and

• Working with the Commission on Public Information and Communication (COPIC) as well as the Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS) to promote transparency through the facilitation of open data for the public.

 

The Committee on Governmental Operations reviews municipal structures and organization, with jurisdictions on the following agencies, boards, and commissions:

 

·         The New York Law Department

·         The Board of Elections

·         The Board of Standards and Appeals

·         The New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS)

·         The New York City Community Boards

·         The New York City Tax Commission

·         The Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS)

·         The Financial Information Services Agency

·         The Commission on Public Information and Communication

·         The New York City Campaign Finance Board

·         The Voter’s Assistance Commission

 

Kallos was also named to the Women’s Issues committee, Land Use Committee, the Land Use Subcommittee on Landmarks, and the Committee on State and Federal Legislation. 

"With Council Member Kallos on the Federal and State Affairs committee, I look forward to working closely with him to keep Albany accountable, including fighting for voting districts that are fair and equal. With our state and city governmentso connected, we need Council Members working to keep up the reforms we've begun,” said Bill Samuels, Founder of good government reform group the New Roosevelt Initiative. 

At the beginning of his career in public service, Kallos put Albany voting records online so New Yorkers could hold politicians accountable. As Executive Director of New Roosevelt, he worked to help defeat corrupt politician Pedro Espada.

 “Ben Kallos will be a strong advocate for women in the City Council. Joining the women’s issues committee will allow him a platform to be a leader on the issues that matter to women and their families, whether that’s creating opportunities for women-owned businesses or advocating for health coordinators in schools to better serve our kids,” said Sonia Ossorio, President of the National Organization for Women – New York City (NOW-NYC).

 

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Council Member Ben Kallos Kicks off "First Friday" Meet and Greet with 50 Attendees

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

New York, NY --  Today, Council Member Ben Kallos launched his First Friday open house events with 50 community members in attendance. The events will take place every first Friday of the month from 8AM to 10AM and will be open to all District Five residents with interest in meeting their Council Member. Topics covered included:

  • The importance of jobs for young people with full benefits;
  • Opposition to the Marine Transfer Station being built near NYCHA housing in the district;
  • Ways to improve local transportation, including balancing the Select Bus Service with local buses to serve the neighborhoods where the Select Bus Service doesn't stop; 
  • Concern over rents going up, making it difficult for residents to stay in their homes, and the downsizing of seniors in Knickerbocker Plaza.

"Meeting community members and learning about their ideas for a better New York is the best part of my job," said Council Member Kallos. "I am happy to open the doors of my office to everyone who would like to participate in local government, and look forward to meeting many more residents in the months and years ahead." 

Kallos and staff, including Director of Constituent Services Debbie Lightbody, facilitated the event and assured attendees of accessibility and transparency beyond the monthly First Fridays, including on social media, in person, by phone, by email and more. 

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. 
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New Yorkers Unite In Response To Republican Leader Dean Skelos

Monday, February 10, 2014

"The city has a clear, detailed and comprehensive plan to bring pre-k and afterschool to all of New York City'schildren. It has the strong support of New Yorkers. Albany has a mandate tohear the voice of New York City residents and allow it to come to a vote." Council Governmental Operations Committee Chair Council Member Ben Kallos

Council Member Ben Kallos' Team Advocates for Universal Pre-K on the Upper East Side

Friday, January 31, 2014

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. 

Kallos Inauguration Celebrated with Senator Schumer, Attorney General Schneiderman, Comptroller DiNapoli, Comptroller Stringer, Public Advocate James, Speaker Mark-Viverito, Elected Officials, Community Leaders and More than Seven Hundred Guests

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Today at noon, more than seven hundred community leaders and guests joined United States Senator Charles “Chuck” Schumer, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia "Tish" James, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Liz Krueger, Council Member Dan Garodonick, Former Public Advocate Mark Green, Former Council Member Jessica Lappin, Former Assembly Member Jonathan Bing, and Bill Samuels to celebrate the inauguration of Council Member Benjamin J. Kallos. Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, who is on an international trip, provided remarks by video message.

Statement from Council Member Ben Kallos on Being Named Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New York, NY – Today, on the naming of City Council committee assignments, the following statement can be attributed to Council Member Ben Kallos (District Five, Manhattan): 

 

"I am honored to be named Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations, where I will work with my committee to create a government that is more open, transparent, and accountable to the working families that make our city great.  Our task will be to make our city more efficient at seamlessly serving all of our city’s residents, so that government just works for the people."