New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

New York Daily News

New York Daily News Not enough NYC municipal workers work from home, says union head by Michael Gartland

Not enough NYC municipal workers work from home, says union head

The highest hurdle to telecommuting is securing sensitive city data, said Garrido, who complained the problem has been foreseeable for years and evidenced in the city’s failure to adopt telecommuting rules he’s been pushing for more than a decade.

City Councilman Ben Kallos, who has worked as a software developer, said telecommuting and data security are “very easy to set up.”

“Every corporation in America does this. Doctors do this. It is very easy and normal to do,” he said. “I’m concerned about city workers who could be working from home and are being forced to come in.”

New York Daily News NYC lawmakers push to expand specialized high school exam to combat low black, Latino enrollment by By MICHAEL ELSEN-ROONEY

NYC lawmakers push to expand specialized high school exam to combat low black, Latino enrollment

A group of lawmakers wants all city eighth-graders to be automatically registered for the entrance exam for specialized high schools and get free after-school test prep in order to boost the enrollment of black and Latino students at the prestigious schools, the Daily News has learned.

A bill co-authored by City Council Members Ben Kallos (D—Manhattan) and Justin Brannan (D—Brooklyn), and supported by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, urges the Education Department to make the test opt-out rather than opt-in, and extend after-school test preparation to every eighth-grader planning to take the exam.

The proposal comes as city officials announced that only 11% of students admitted to specialized schools this year were black or Latino, compared to 70% of all city students — a figure virtually unchanged from years past.

New York Daily News New York leaders grapple with economic impact of coronavirus by Denis Slattery, SHANT SHAHRIGIAN

New York leaders grapple with economic impact of coronavirus

With coronavirus wreaking havoc on the economy as the city and state are working on their budgets, leaders are starting to prepare for a major downturn.

Gov. Cuomo said Tuesday he’s asked the state comptroller to evaluate the outbreak’s impact on the state budget.

“You know what’s going on in the stock market. You also have what’s going on the economy overall, right? Conventions are being stopped, tourism is down, hotel bookings are down, restaurants are down,” Cuomo said in Albany. “So we just did the budget projection estimates. The world then changed since then, so I asked him for any advice that he might have."

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s spokesman acknowledged the request from Cuomo, saying, “the outlook has changed dramatically since the release of the consensus revenue forecast by the governor and the legislature.”

Earlier this year, Cuomo unveiled a proposed $178 billion budget. A projected deficit of $6 billion, blamed on runaway Medicaid spending, already posed a huge problem for lawmakers. But they had no way of predicting the coronavirus, too.

The deadly disease on Monday caused the Dow Jones Industrial Average to incur its worst drop since the financial crash of 2008, among other economic woes, raising fears of a recession.

New York Daily News NYC Council bill seeks to make free summer camp available to all city students by Michael Elsen-Rooney

NYC Council bill seeks to make free summer camp available to all city students

“This Universal Summer Youth Programs legislation will finally put an end to the budget dance and put our city on a path to guarantee every child a place to enjoy their summer,” said Kallos.

The push to expand summer programs comes on the heels of a City Council hearing that explored the possibility of universal after school programs

New York Daily News NYC to seek replacement for current operator of more than two dozen homeless shelters: council member by Michael Gartland

NYC to seek replacement for current operator of more than two dozen homeless shelters: council member

The Department of Investigation on Monday executed search warrants at the Queens-based headquarters of Children’s Community Services, which has a contract with the city to operate 28 homeless shelters, said Upper East Side Councilman Ben Kallos.

Kallos said he was briefed on the probe by the Department of Social Services. The city will go to court to ask that another provider take over the locations, he said.

"No homeless services provider is too big to fail. If our homeless aren’t getting shelter beds that are safe and secure, the city can and will get a court order to bring in a provider that will do better,” Kallos told The News.

New York Daily News NYC Council to hold hearing on universal after-school by Michael Elsen-Rooney

NYC Council to hold hearing on universal after-school

“I want to wake up in a city where all public students have universal after-school,” said City Councilman Ben Kallos (D–Manhattan), the sponsor of a 2018 bill that would require the city to offer free after-school to any public school student ages 3-21 who requests it.

“Universal access to after-school will increase and equalize educational opportunities, keep kids out of the criminal justice system, and make life easier for parents whose jobs keep them at work until at least 5 p.m., if not longer,” Kallos said.

New York Daily News Manhattan NYCHA tenants in court to push for overdue repairs by Michael Gartland

Manhattan NYCHA tenants in court to push for overdue repairs

“Every week, my office responds to calls from NYCHA tenants seeking assistance with repairs for broken elevators, vermin infestations, lack of heat and hot water and broken intercoms,” Maloney (D-Manhattan) said. “It is unacceptable that anyone is made to live in these conditions, and that residents often file multiple work order requests for the same issue without ever receiving a response from NYCHA.”

City Councilman Ben Kallos, a fellow Manhattan Democrat, said he fields similar calls, especially this time of year.

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“This is to make sure the repairs actually get done,” he said of the legal filings.

New York Daily News Construction of East Midtown Greenway begins on Manhattan waterfront by Anna Sanders

Construction of East Midtown Greenway begins on Manhattan waterfront

“Today marks another major step forward in returning the waterfront of New York City to New Yorkers,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement. “I look forward to the day when families and friends can relax and enjoy the East Midtown Greenway—an oasis in the heart of our city.”

The city also plans to renovate and add an extension to Andrew Haswell Green Park, which will border the greenway on the north, and add a new accessible pedestrian bridge for those with disabilities.

New York Daily News City lawmakers demand answers from Education Dept. on delayed school bus GPS tech by By MICHAEL ELSEN-ROONEY

City lawmakers demand answers from Education Dept. on delayed school bus GPS tech

The letter, authored by Council Members Robert Holden (D–Queens) and Ben Kallos (D–Manhattan), and signed by 20 other council members, questioned why the Education Department didn’t comply with a January law requiring the agency to make real-time GPS tracking available to parents starting this past September. “We...demand that the DOE explain its error and abide by the law immediately for the sake of our students and parents,” the lawmakers said in the note sent Friday. Lawmakers passed a bill in February to shore up city school bus service after frequent delays and missing school buses last year. The law required that the city make real-time GPS data available to “authorized parents or guardians” starting at the beginning of this school year.

New York Daily News Cuomo to probe NYC’s biggest homeless services provider after Daily News exposé by Michael Gartland

Cuomo to probe NYC’s biggest homeless services provider after Daily News exposé

The Acacia Network — the scandal-plagued non-profit that raked in $183 million in city contracts in 2019 alone — is facing another investigation.

Gov. Cuomo announced the latest probe Tuesday after the Daily News exposed Acacia for demanding a mother of three stop calling the city’s 311 complaint line if she wanted to renew her lease in a squalid Bronx apartment.