New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

New York County Politics

New York County Politics Verdant Displays Latest Turbines on Roosevelt Island by Michael Rock

Verdant Displays Latest Turbines on Roosevelt Island

Meanwhile, Councilmember Ben Kallos (D-Upper East Side, East Harlem, Roosevelt Island), celebrated the latest development in Verdant’s RITE Project, expressing hope that it will inspire greater production and use of green energy in the city. “Expanding the ways our City gets renewable energy is a must,” he said. 

“I am proud to represent an area harnessing the power of the East River for energy,” said Kallos. “It is a brilliant idea that perhaps the rest of New York City can consider when deciding how to power our neighborhoods. If we are going to reach all of our environmental goals this is one way we can get there faster.” 

New York County Politics MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Oct. 6, 2020 by New York County Politics

MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Oct. 6, 2020

Kallos Cuts Ribbon Celebrating New French Dual Language Programs on UES

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

Council Member Ben Kallos

Last Friday, Councilmember Ben Kallos (D-Yorkville, Lenox Hill) attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of two new French dual language classes at the District 2 Pre-K Center.

Kallos first proposed the idea for the classes last December; he hosted a petition urging the New York City Department of Education (DOE) to establish a French dual language program for School District 2. His petition accumulated 200 signatures, and the programs were greenlit three months later.

“I am incredibly proud of the people who did the work in order to make this program a reality,” said Kallos. “Knowledge is power so any opportunity we get to expand and improve education in my district I will be supportive of. We all know the benefits of dual language education and I am proud that we were able to bring them to this district. Thank you to Deputy Chancellor Josh Wallack for his ongoing partnership in expanding early education opportunities, the French Consulate for supporting the Francophone community, and especially to Stephane Lautner and Catherine Remy who worked closely with my office to put meetings together and organize hundreds of other parents.”

New York County Politics MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Aug. 28, 2020 by New York County Politics

MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Aug. 28, 2020

Kallos, Van Bramer: It’s Time to Open the Queensboro Bridge to Pedestrians

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

Council Member Ben Kallos

Yesterday, Councilmembers Ben Kallos (D-Yorkville, Lenox Hill) and Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Queens) wrote an op-ed for amNY calling on the City to open more pedestrian paths on the Queensboro Bridge.

As of now, the Queensboro Bridge has nine lanes open to car traffic, but only one narrow path open to cyclists and pedestrians. This is particularly problematic in the era of COVID-19, since it impedes social distancing. The Department of Transportation currently has plans to open the South Outer Roadway to pedestrians in 2022; however, Kallos and Van Bramer insist that New Yorkers can’t wait that long.

“The conditions on the bridge are dangerous, plain and simple,” they wrote. “As cyclists and pedestrians jockey for space on a path as narrow as nine feet, there have been frequent crashes, including some serious injuries. We have both heard from seniors and parents of young children in our districts who avoid the bridge entirely. And we know that New Yorkers who don’t feel safe crossing the East River by subway, bike, or foot will turn to cars. Many already have. This is leading to gridlocked streets, polluted air, and crashes. 

“We know the South Outer Roadway could be opened to foot traffic because it already was, during the 1980s and 1990s, before it was returned to cars. We know its reopening will require some immediate safety improvements, and we’re here to advocate for them. In fact, we’ve pledged to use some of our discretionary capital funding to help install fencing along a new South Outer Sidewalk. All we need is for the City to respond to our determination with their own.”

Read the full article here.

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.

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“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.