New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

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Lic Post Council Members Push DOT to Open Pedestrian Pathway on Queensboro Bridge ASAP by Allie Griffin

Council Members Push DOT to Open Pedestrian Pathway on Queensboro Bridge ASAP

Two council members are pushing the Department of Transportation (DOT) to add a dedicated pedestrian pathway to the Queensboro Bridge as soon as possible.

Council Members Ben Kallos and Jimmy Van Bramer want the DOT to open a pedestrian pathway on the bridge’s south outer roadway. Currently, pedestrians and cyclists share one narrow path along the northern edge of the bridge that many say is congested and hazardous.

Under the plan, the northern pathway would be dedicated for bicyclists and the south outer roadway–currently used by motorists– would be repurposed for pedestrians.

Lic Post City Council Introduces Law to Protect Whistleblowers During COVID-19 by Michael Dorgan

City Council Introduces Law to Protect Whistleblowers During COVID-19

City lawmakers have introduced legislation that would better protect whistleblowers from speaking out about safety practices at the workplace during COVID-19.

The bill – which was introduced by Councilmembers Ben Kallos, Brad Lander and Speaker Corey Johnson at Wednesday’s City Council meeting – looks to protect essential workers from speaking out against unsafe working conditions that may contribute to the spread of COVID-19.

Kallos said that the legislation would protect workers from retaliation or being fired from their job without a “just cause.”

Employers would face fines of up to $2,500 for each violation, according to the legislation.

The bill stems from reports that medical workers were being threatened by their employers when they spoke out against equipment shortages and dire workplace conditions. The workers claimed that the conditions were putting their lives and patients at risk.

Lic Post City Council passes several bills that aim to rein in BSA, claim it’s been granting variances with little regard to public by Christian Murray

City Council passes several bills that aim to rein in BSA, claim it’s been granting variances with little regard to public

One of the bills that passed now requires the BSA to list the number of applications it has approved or denied as well as the average length of time until a decision was rendered. Another bill requires the BSA to list all the variances and special applications action upon since 1998 to be available on an interactive map of the city.

Ben Kallos (Manhattan), who sponsored several of the bills, said in a statement: “We are taking away the rubber stamp from a government agency that used it far too often over the objections of residents.”