New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

New York Daily News

New York Daily News Mayor de Blasio joins 24 city pols in signing letter to support unionization efforts at DNAinfo, Gothamist by Ginger Adams Otis

Mayor de Blasio joins 24 city pols in signing letter to support unionization efforts at DNAinfo, Gothamist

The mayor might not like to take questions from the press — but he does believe they have the right to join a union.

De Blasio was among nearly two dozen city officials who signed a letter Thursday in support of reporters at two popular local websites who are fighting to get management to recognize their recent union vote.

“We support the editorial staff of DNAinfo and Gothamist as they exercise their right to unionize,” the letter said.

“The work of these reporters and editors is crucial for NYC. We call on management to respect their democratic right to organize and immediately recognize their union,” it concluded.

New York Daily News EXCLUSIVE: Developer who won NYCHA bid to build apartment tower is big de Blasio donor, records reveal by Greg Smith

EXCLUSIVE: Developer who won NYCHA bid to build apartment tower is big de Blasio donor, records reveal

Fetner will pay an upfront fee of $25 million to NYCHA, but between the public subsidies and the loss of millions of dollars in potential property taxes, Councilman Benjamin Kallos (D-Manhattan) predicted the city ends up in the red.Fetner will pay an upfront fee of $25 million to NYCHA, but between the public subsidies and the loss of millions of dollars in potential property taxes, Councilman Benjamin Kallos (D-Manhattan) predicted the city ends up in the red.

New York Daily News Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to tell principals to give lunch to all students, even those who can't pay by Erin Durkin

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to tell principals to give lunch to all students, even those who can't pay

The city has instituted universal free lunch for middle schools, but declined to expand it citywide.

Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) asked  Fariña to also issue rules that school staffers could not go after parents to collect unpaid lunch fees later, but she declined to do that without studying it first.

“Students are not deprived of eating lunch because of money,” she said.

New York Daily News NYCHA plans to stick lower-income residents on bottom floors of new building to give wealthier tenants the top market-rate homes by Greg B. Smith

NYCHA plans to stick lower-income residents on bottom floors of new building to give wealthier tenants the top market-rate homes

Half the units will be market rate, half affordable, with most of the lower-income tenants on the lower floors and almost all of the wealthier residents on the upper floors, according to Councilman Benjamin Kallos.

“All the low-income people will be stuck in the shadows with the high-income people living above them,” said Kallos (D-Manhattan), who was briefed by NYCHA on the project. “The majority of the low-income units will be in the bottom 20 stories and they will have windows facing other NYCHA tenants. We will have effectively walled in the low-income tenants.”

New York Daily News City Council passes construction safety bill forcing contractors to track, list deaths, injuries at building sites by Erin Durkin

City Council passes construction safety bill forcing contractors to track, list deaths, injuries at building sites

“We’ll be able to see who’s getting hurt, where and why so that we as a city can make construction safer. We must count every life,” said Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), the bill’s sponsor.

New York Daily News EXCLUSIVE: City Council bill to require recycling, compost bins in NYC businesses by Erin Durkin

EXCLUSIVE: City Council bill to require recycling, compost bins in NYC businesses

The legislation introduced by Councilman Ben Kallos would cover stores, restaurants, office building lobbies and all other public buildings where New Yorkers now often only have the option to trash paper and plastic items that could be recycled.

New York Daily News EXCLUSIVE: City Council Progressive Caucus backs Queens assemblyman's statewide plan to subsidize rent for 'vulnerable residents' by Kenneth Lovett

EXCLUSIVE: City Council Progressive Caucus backs Queens assemblyman's statewide plan to subsidize rent for 'vulnerable residents'

"New York City is in the midst of a homelessness crisis that is severely impacting our most vulnerable residents, with currently 23,365 children are living in our city's shelter system," Kallos said. "We should be doing everything we can to prevent more families from ending up in already crowded shelters."

Hevesi's plan previously has been backed by 111 state Assembly members from both parties, a group of eight breakaway Senate Democrats who help make up a leadership coalition with the Republicans, and a range of other public officials.

Hevesi has said his plan would cost the state and feds $450 million, but it would ultimately save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars by relying less on costly shelters. It would also be a big savings for the city, he has said.

New York Daily News Rivington House sale not reason the Department of Citywide Administrative Services fired top official: commissioner by Erin Durkin

Rivington House sale not reason the Department of Citywide Administrative Services fired top official: commissioner

"It's not a topic that I can get into," Camilo said when asked by Council government operations chair Ben Kallos whether "poor performance" got Morales fired. She also refused to say whether Morales was cooperating with federal authorities investigating the mayor.

Camilo said she made the decision to get rid of Morales and informed first Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris. Morales's lawyer has said the dismissal was improper and called the timing "highly suspicious."

Meanwhile, DCAS revealed that since overhauling their rules on deed restrictions in response to the scandal, they've received requests to change or remove the restrictions on seven properties.

The properties are in Harlem, Longwood in the Bronx, and Bedford Stuyvesant, East Flatbush, Crown Heights, Bushwick, and East New York in Brooklyn. No action has been taken on any of the proposals yet.

Kallos (D-Manhattan) said the Longwood request raises red flags because like Rivington, it is a non-profit nursing home and rehab facility currently restricted to that use.

New York Daily News City Council looking to fine construction sites blocking tyraffic without actual work going on by Erin Durkin

City Council looking to fine construction sites blocking tyraffic without actual work going on

Construction sties that block roads and snarl traffic when no actual work is going on would face fines under a bill being introduced Tuesday in the City Council.

The legislation, sponsored by Councilman Ben Kallos, would require that roadblocks like traffic cones, barrels and Jersey barriers only be set up in the street for one hour before and one hour after work is underway.

Kallos (D-Manhattan, photo) said drivers often encounter traffic backups caused by construction barriers and road closures, only to find the site empty.

“New Yorkers want to get where they are going fast. Everyone hates traffic jams, especially when they are for road work, but no one is actually there doing the work,” he said. “It’s about making sure we are only impeding traffic and causing traffic when we absolutely need to.”

New York Daily News De Blasio deputy accidentally stirs new controversy in City Council bungled-deed testimony by Jennifer Fermino

De Blasio deputy accidentally stirs new controversy in City Council bungled-deed testimony

City Councilman Ben Kallos asked First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris if he would say on the record why he could only testify for a limited time.