New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Press Releases

Set the Law Free, Say Council Members Lander, Vacca, Kallos Legislation to Put Law Online for Free instead of Behind Paid Subscriptions

Monday, June 9, 2014



 New York, New York – Council Members Lander, Vacca and Kallos advocated for a bill that would put all New York City law online in a searchable and user-friendly format at a City Council Joint Hearing of the Committees on Governmental Operations and Technology today, instead of being inaccessible in for-fee websites.  Council Member Brad Lander, prime sponsor of Int. 149, Council Members Ben Kallos and James Vacca, also sponsors, heard support from good government advocates and civic technologists at the hearing.


Brewer, Vacca, Kallos Congratulate City Hall on FOIL Tracker Announced at City Council Hearing and Urge Next Steps

Monday, June 9, 2014

New York, NY – Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council Members Ben Kallos and James Vacca congratulated City Hall on a brand new FOIL Tracker (link) announced at a joint hearing of the City Council Committees on Technology and Governmental Operations. The Borough President and Council Members urged next steps in line with Counsel Maya Wiley's stated commitment to a Citywide FOIL Tracker, including passage of Intro 328,  which would create a centralized, searchable website to track and process FOIL requests. The legislation seeks to address delays and inconsistencies in New York City’s FOIL compliance. Advocates, including good government groups Sunlight Foundation, Reinvent Albany, League of Women Voters and Participatory Politics Foundation, offered testimony in support of the legislation. 


“Teens on Community Boards” Resolution Unanimously Passes Through NYC Council Committee on Governmental Operations

Monday, June 9, 2014


New York, NY – City Council Resolution 115 to support allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to serve on their local community boards passed through the City Council Committee on Governmental Operations today in a unanimous vote of the Committee's five members. The successful vote for resolution, co-sponsored by Council Members Ben Kallos, Ritchie Torres, Mark Levine and James Vacca, and introduced at the request of Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, signals New York City’s support of Senate bill S04142, sponsored by Senator Andrew Lanza and Assembly bill A02448sponsored by Assembly Member Nily Rozic, which would amend the Public Officers Law and City Charter to allow youth to serve. 

Manhattan Borough President Brewer and Council Member Kallos To Host Open Government Workshop at Personal Democracy Forum

Thursday, June 5, 2014

WHO: Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council Member Ben Kallos


WHAT: Open Government Workshop at Personal Democracy Forum


WHEN: 1:00PM, Friday, June 6th



Personal Democracy Forum


MAIN ENTRANCE: NYU Skirball Center at 566 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY 10012; Corner of LaGuardia Place and Washington Square South



Tech Legislation to Establish Free and Open Source Software Preference and Code-Sharing Introduced by New York City Council Member/Software Developer Ben Kallos

Thursday, May 29, 2014


New York, NY – Free and Open Source Software developer turned New York City Council Member Ben Kallos today introduced legislation mandating a preference for Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and creating a Civic Commons website to facilitate collaborative purchasing of software between agencies, cities, states and the federal government to save taxpayer dollars.


“Public = Online”: Transparency Legislation Introduced in the City Council for Government 2.0

Thursday, May 29, 2014


Today, New York City Council Member Ben Kallos is introducing three bills designed to bring New York City’s public data into the 21st Century through increased transparency and accessibility online: “eNotices,” “Public Online Information Act" (POIA) and "City Record On-Line" (CROL). 

Skyrocketing Marine Transfer Station Costs Spur Elected Officials to Call on Administration to Pause the Project

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, State Senator Liz Krueger, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Assembly Member Dan Quart, Council Member Dan Garodnick and Council Member Ben Kallos today urgently requested a 60-day pause to review the exploding costs of the 91st St. Marine Transfer Station similar to the recent pause and review of the costly and delayed Emergency Communications Transformation Program.

Council Members Lander, Kallos Intro Bill to Give Food Advocates a Seat at the Table

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Council Members Lander, Kallos Intro Bill to Give Food Advocates a Seat at the Table 
 New York, New York (May 14, 2014) – Council Members Brad Lander and Ben Kallos today introduced Int 0329-2014, a bill to create a 17-member New York City Food Policy Council to tackle the most pressing food policy issues. The NYC Food Policy Council will apply grassroots organizing know-how and expertise to issues such as rising obesity rates, reforming the school lunch system, and bringing locally-grown, sustainable food to New York City. 1.4 million New Yorkers struggle with hunger, according to the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. More than half of adult New Yorkers are overweight or obese. According to the Food Empowerment Project, an estimated 750,000 New York City residents live in food deserts.

Rockefeller University and Council Member Ben Kallos Announce a Series of Community Improvements

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

 After key community improvements negotiated between Council Member Ben Kallos and The Rockefeller University, the City Council voted today to approve the university’s proposal for a new laboratory building over the FDR Drive. Rockefeller University and Council Member Ben Kallos, in whose Upper East Side district the project will be built, announced the improvements at the vote:

$50 million in taxpayer savings and increased voter turnout called for by City Council resolution to consolidate NY primaries

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Council Member Ben Kallos is introducing a resolution today to create a single, consolidated primary for New York State, saving taxpayers $50 million. Currently, New York has dual primaries – a federal primary in June and a state and local primary in September. A consolidated primary, long advocated for by good government groups, is currently the subject of a timing debate in the State Senate. The Council resolution calls on the governor to sign into law A.8198, the overwhelmingly passed Assembly bill sponsored by Speaker Silver to consolidate primaries, and for the Senate to pass and the governor to sign S.6204, the accompanying bill sponsored by Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins in the State Senate. Consolidating primaries would save taxpayers $50 million, according to the New York Times, and many good government groups believe it will improve turnout and reduce confusion. The Senate G.O.P. has advocated for an August consolidated primary, when many New Yorkers are on vacation. If unresolved, New York defaults to a dual primary.

$35 Million East River Esplanade Investment in Mayor Bill de Blasio's Executive Budget Applauded by Congresswoman Maloney, Speaker Mark-Viverito, Manhattan Borough President Brewer and Council Member Kallos

Friday, May 9, 2014

New York, New York – Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Council Member Ben Kallos (District Five) and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer today praised Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal to invest $35 million in the East River Esplanade, a stretch of public, open space along the East River from 60th to 125th St. in dire need of restoration. The funding in the Mayor's Executive Budget Proposal represents a crucial start to the total of $115 million over ten years needed to repair the seawall to prevent spending $430 million on the repair later, according to the Parks Department. Maloney and Kallos co-chair the East River Esplanade Task Force, a group of community members and elected officials advocating for improvements to the park.  

Rockefeller University Commitment Letter to Council Member Ben Kallos

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Rockefeller University and I personally thank you for your leadership and the attention you have given to planning with us for a River Building addition to our University. We are pleased to present to you, to the City Council and to our community of neighbors this Letter of Commitment setting forth the University's promised under takings. 

Download the Letter in PDF

City Council Introduces Construction Safety Act

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Council Member Ben Kallos introduced The Construction Safety Act at yesterday's stated meeting, two bills designed to ensure New York City maintains the most stringent construction safety regulations in the nation. The Construction Safety Act, Intro 298, co-sponsored by Council Members Costa Constantinides, Elizabeth Crowley, Vincent Gentile, Antonio Reynoso and Ruben Wills, and Intro 299, co-sponsored by Council Members Peter Koo, Rory I. Lancman, Stephen Levin, Mark Levine, Alan Maisel, I. Daneek Miller, Ydanis Rodriguez and Donovan Richards, will seek to maintain the high safety standards that improved significantly after two 2008 collapses. During the final months of the Bloomberg administration the Department of Buildings introduced new regulations to weaken these standards.



Monday, April 28, 2014

NEW YORK – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) today joined City Council Members Mark Levine and Benjamin Kallos to highlight their efforts to secure reparations from SNCF, the French rail company that transported 76,000 Jews and thousands of others to concentration camps during World War II, and to hold accountable any company that profited from the Holocaust.