New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

New York County Politics

New York County Politics MANH Lawmakers on the Move, June 18, 2020 by New York County Politics

MANH Lawmakers on the Move, June 18, 2020

Johnson, Kallos to Host COVID-19 Town Hall

Council Member Corey Johnson (Credit: Jeff Reed)

Council Member Corey Johnson

Today, Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) and Councilmember Ben Kallos (D-Yorkville, Lenox Hill) will be hosting a virtual discussion on the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The electeds will take questions on several related topics, including the city budget, resources for seniors, and unemployment relief.

The event will take place tonight at 6 p.m. on Zoom. To RSVP and submit your questions, click here.

New York County Politics MANH Lawmakers on the Move, June 2, 2020 by New York County Politics

MANH Lawmakers on the Move, June 2, 2020

Kallos Calls for Resiliency Investment at Outset of Hurricane Season

Council Member Ben Kallos (Photo credit: council.nyc.gov)

Council Member Ben Kallos

Yesterday, Councilmember Ben Kallos (D-Yorkville, Lenox Hill) was one of several electeds calling for action to strengthen New York’s infrastructure ahead of hurricane season.

Kallos, who represents a coastal district, said that the City can’t afford to cut corners on disaster preparation.

“Right now is not the time for the federal government to cut back on funding that may protect New York City from the next hurricane headed our way,” said Kallos. “Every New Yorker remembers superstorm Sandy; the lives we lost, the destruction to our City, and the financial costs. The threat that climate change poses has only increased with time, and with a busier than usual hurricane season expected we need to take every precaution possible.”

New York County Politics MANH Lawmakers on the Move, June 4, 2020 by New York County Politics

MANH Lawmakers on the Move, June 4, 2020

Kallos Denounces Trump’s Response to George Floyd Protests

Council Member Ben Kallos (Photo credit: council.nyc.gov)

Council Member Ben Kallos

Yesterday, Councilmember Ben Kallos (D) published an op-ed on Medium, entitled “George Floyd: Trump Must Say ‘Black Lives Matter'”.

The article has him share several of his viewpoints related to the protests, including a call to defund the NYPD and invest in violence prevention and diversion instead. The title, however, relates to a passage near the end of the piece, where he expresses his sorrow and disgust with the way President Donald Trump (R) has responded to the crisis.

“I never thought I would see the day when a President would take up arms against his own people,” Kallos wrote. “This week President Trump used our own military to push back peaceful American protestors in front of Lafayette Square in Washington D.C. Soldiers, mounted state police and Secret Service agents used rubber bullets, riot shields and tear gas to push through a peaceful crowd so that Donald Trump could take a photo in front of St. Johns Church holding a bible. He did not say a prayer, he didn’t even open the bible. There was no mention of Jesus, Christianity, or any Judeo-Christian concepts of morality. As a person of faith, I am deeply offended. We do not need a self-proclaimed “law and order president;” we need a president for all Americans who will join us in saying black lives matter.”

Read the full article here.

New York County Politics Brewer Appoints Five New Manhattan CB Members by New York County Politics

Brewer Appoints Five New Manhattan CB Members

Five new neighborhood leaders have joined Manhattan’s Community Boards, after being nominated by Council Member Ben Kallos (D-Yorkville, Lenox Hill) and appointed by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D).

Manhattan’s Community Boards serve the role of being the independent voices of the communities they represent. As Community Board members, the five appointees will play a pivotal role in shaping their communities and preserving the character of their unique neighborhoods.

...

“I am proud to nominate residents that have different areas of focus and expertise and that come from different walks of life to serve on our Community Boards,” said Kallos, a former member of Community Board 8. “There are a myriad of complex issues before the board that we will need help with. Thank you to Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer for an open process that has encouraged hundreds to apply with an impressive group interview process as well as all the applicants and appointees for their service to the community.”

New York County Politics Manhattan COVID-19 News Roundup, May 27, 2020 by Michael Rock

Manhattan COVID-19 News Roundup, May 27, 2020

Kallos, Adams Want Healthier City Meals

Council Member Ben Kallos

Council Member Ben Kallos

Councilmember Ben Kallos (D-Upper East Side, Roosevelt Island, East Harlem) and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams (D) announced legislation Wednesday mandating nutritional standards for free city-funded delivery and  “grab and go meals,” the Gotham Gazette reported.

The bill came after reports emerged showing that many of these important meals lacked substance.

“Candy and potato chips and Bugles and things like that. That is a sometimes treat,” said Kallos. “That is not something that is part of a core diet and we need to make sure that for those who don’t have a choice in the matter or literally relying on the city for their food, that we are providing them with healthy options so that if they eat that diet, they will not only be healthy but lose weight.”

New York County Politics MANH Lawmakers on the Move, May 21, 2020 by New York County Politics

MANH Lawmakers on the Move, May 21, 2020

Quart Announces a Slew of Endorsements

Assembly Member Dan Quart

Assembly Member Dan Quart

Yesterday, Assemblymember Dan Quart (D-Lenox Hill, Murray Hill) announced a myriad of endorsements from various public figures across New York.

The list includes Councilmembers Ben Kallos (D-Yorkville, Lenox Hill) and Keith Powers (D-Upper East Side, Carnegie Hill); Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D); U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens); and City Comptroller Scott Stringer (D), among several others.

I am proud of the endorsements I’ve received from my colleagues and from groups I’ve worked with for years on issues of reproductive justice, LGBTQ equality, workers’ rights, and criminal justice reform,” said Quart. “It has been an honor and a privilege to represent my constituents in the New York State Assembly. I’m working hard to once again earn their support and continue fighting for working families and a better quality of life for my community.”

New York County Politics MANH Lawmakers on the Move, May 19, 2020 by New York County Politics

MANH Lawmakers on the Move, May 19, 2020

Kallos, Powers, Brewer Urge de Blasio to Open Streets, Sidewalks to Restaurants

Council Member Ben Kallos

Council Member Ben Kallos

Yesterday, Councilmembers Ben Kallos (D-Yorkville, Lenox Hill) and Keith Powers (D-Upper East Side, Carnegie Hill) and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D) wrote a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), urging him to open streets and sidewalks to restaurants to facilitate social distancing.

The letter followed reports that Upper East Side bars have been serving patrons who were gathering outside the establishments without regard for social distancing guidelines. The lawmakers suggested that to fix the problem, the City’s streets should adapt to make following those guidelines easier.

“We are all in this together,” they wrote. “It is not working to confine New Yorkers to narrow sidewalks and rely on enforcement to prevent crowding. The best way to keep New Yorkers safe is to reorder our streets for social distancing.”

Read the full letter here.

New York County Politics Manhattan COVID-19 News Roundup, May 13, 2020 by Michael Rock

Manhattan COVID-19 News Roundup, May 13, 2020

Assemblymember Dan Quart (Upper East Side, Midtown East) arranged a free mask giveaway Wednesday morning from nine to ten at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza with City Councilmember Keith Powers (D-Midtown East, Upper East Side, Murray Hill), Patch reported Tuesday.

He will host another Friday at the same time in Carl Schurz Park. Councilmember Ben Kallos (D-Upper East Side, Roosevelt Island, East Harlem) and Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright (D-Upper East Side, Roosevelt Island) will accompany him.

New York County Politics Manhattan COVID-19 News Roundup, May 7, 2020 by Michael Rock

Manhattan COVID-19 News Roundup, May 7, 2020

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer

After Mayor Bill De Blasio (D) announced a plan to lay off numerous doctors, police officers, and teachers to balance the city budget Wednesday, numerous city officials rebuked him, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) and Councilmember Ben Kallos (D-Upper East Side, Roosevelt Island, East Harlem) represented Manhattan in calling for the mayor to preserve these important jobs and instead cut ThriveNYC, a controversial $1 billion mental health program headed by De Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray.

“At a time when city workers are on the frontline of the pandemic, the mayor should not threaten their livelihoods in this way,” said Stringer. “From ballooning contracts to runaway spending without results, I have said repeatedly that agencies can find greater savings without harming our workers.”

New York County Politics Manhattan COVID-19 News Roundup, Apr. 27, 2020 by Michael Rock

Manhattan COVID-19 News Roundup, Apr. 27, 2020

Kallos Blasts DOE’s iPad Investment

Council Member Ben Kallos

Council Member Ben Kallos

The city Department of Education’s investment into remote schooling included over $269 million in iPads for students, the New York Post reported Saturday.  Each of the 300,000 iPads and key services for them cost $897.

Councilmember Ben Kallos (D-Upper East Side, Roosevelt Island, East Harlem) criticized the investment, saying they could have spent less on laptops that had more utility for learning, and called it “a waste of money.”

“For what they spent on an iPad, they could have bought a full functioning laptop for every kid in the system,” Kallos said. “Instead, we got a bunch of iPads which don’t really create equity when families have laptops and broadband.”