New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Upper East Side Patch

Upper East Side Patch Caravan Thanking School Workers To Drive Through Manhattan by Anna Quinn

Caravan Thanking School Workers To Drive Through Manhattan

UPTOWN, MANHATTAN — A caravan of cars will drive through uptown Manhattan on Friday to thank the thousands of public school maintenance workers who have been keeping school buildings clean and safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

The caravan, set up by union 32BJ SEIU, will start in the Upper East Side and make its way through Morningside Heights and Inwood, stopping off at six Manhattan public schools, meal distribution sites and essential resource centers.

Elected officials, including City Council members Mark Levine and Ben Kallos, will be on hand to speak about their appreciation for the cleaners and maintenance staff at some of the stops.

Upper East Side Patch Outdoor Cafes May Solve Overcrowded UES Sidewalks: Lawmakers by Brendan Krisel

Outdoor Cafes May Solve Overcrowded UES Sidewalks: Lawmakers

New York City should create open space for businesses to establish outdoor cafes where customers can safely take in a meal or drink outdoors while remaining at a safe distance from others, City Councilmembers Ben Kallos and Keith Powers wrote in a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio this week. Both lawmakers said that restaurant owners will continue to risk fines and create dangerous, crowded situations if the city's approach does not change.

"Rather than rely on enforcement or fine individuals and small businesses that may already be hurting financially from the pandemic, we should adapt our city's streets to allow for and encourage safe practices. Without granting businesses a better option, we are afraid restaurants and bars may just take the risk and pay whatever violations may be issued as a cost of doing business rather than shutter their doors permanently," Kallos and Powers wrote.

Upper East Side Patch Advocates, Pols Back Essential Workers' 'Bill Of Rights' by Matt Troutman

Advocates, Pols Back Essential Workers' 'Bill Of Rights'

Lander alongside Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo and Councilman Ben Kallos co-sponsored a four-bill package which aims to provide protections for essential workers. This so-called "Essential Workers' Bill of Rights" will be the subject of Council hearings starting Wednesday.

The bills call for premiums of up to $75 a shift for essential workers for large employers, prohibiting firing without just cause, paid sick leave for gig workers and to reclassify certain types of independent contractors as employees.

Upper East Side Patch Volunteers Deliver Meals To UES Public Housing Senior Center by Brenden Krisel

Volunteers Deliver Meals To UES Public Housing Senior Center

Community Corner

Volunteers Deliver Meals To UES Public Housing Senior Center

Local City Councilman Ben Kallos and workers with Wildcat helped deliver food to seniors at the Stanley Isaacs Center.

By Brendan Krisel, Patch Staff 

May 1, 2020 2:56 pm ET

 Reply (1)

 

Volunteers led by City Councilmember Ben Kallos handed out 200 meals to seniors at the Upper East Side's Isaacs Center.

Volunteers led by City Councilmember Ben Kallos handed out 200 meals to seniors at the Upper East Side's Isaacs Center. (Google Maps)

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — A team of volunteers led by Upper East Side City Councilmember Ben Kallos handed out meals to neighborhood seniors on Thursday.

Kallos and workers with Wildcat Services — which partnered with the councilmember for 2018 on a street cleaning pilot program — distributed 200 meals at the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center. The center, located on the campus of the New York City Housing Authority's Stanley Isaacs Houses on First Avenue and East 93rd Street, had previously expressed a need for healthy volunteers to deliver meals to its seniors forced to stay inside during the coronavirus pandemic.

"In this moment of extraordinary crisis, and in alignment with all appropriate health and safety guidelines, we are proud to maintain critical operations to provide meals to isolated, homebound, and medically fragile older adults," Isaacs Center President and Executive Director Gregory J. Morris said in a statement.

Wildcat Services agreed to divert some of its workers from street cleaning to meal deliver after being approached by Kallos, who noted that a reduction in foot traffic due to social distancing measures reduced the need for street cleaning. Wildcat workers went door-to-door at the Stanley Isaacs Houses to drop meals at seniors' homes. Seniors, who are especially vulnerable to severe cases of the coronavirus, are being urged to avoid meal pickup locations due to the risk of infection.

In March, the Isaacs Center suspended all of its services except for meal delivery and case management to reduce the potential for exposure for the seniors who rely on the center. Before the coronavirus outbreak, the center served as a place for neighborhood seniors and children to socialize.

Subscribe

Wildcat Services employs New Yorkers experiencing homeless, chronically underemployment and other hardships in an effort to provide people with the means to economic well being, according to the organization.

"Our neighborhood facilities that feed our seniors and house NYCHA residents needed help with getting meals to the community," Kallos said in a statement. "I knew I could not do it all myself so I called in reinforcements. My friends over at Wildcat pounced at the chance to help, today is a win for everybody involved."

Upper East Side Patch NYC Council Holds First Remote Stated Meeting by Kathleen Culliton

NYC Council Holds First Remote Stated Meeting

NEW YORK CITY — Ydanis Rodriguez stands next to San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. A cat licks Ben Kallos' forehead. Chaim Deutsch is upside-down. This is Democracy's new normal in New York City.

New York City Council held Wednesday its first remote stated meeting — as Gov. Andrew Cuomo's stay-in-place order put the five boroughs on pause — with members live-streaming from their homes, offices and cars.

 

Upper East Side Patch UES Council Rep's Cat Steals Show During Zoom Meeting by Brendan Krisel

UES Council Rep's Cat Steals Show During Zoom Meeting

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — The New York City Council held its first-ever remote meeting using the videoconferencing service Zoom on Wednesday and an unlikely star emerged from the municipal proceeding — Upper East Side Councilmember Ben Kallos' cat.

The local lawmaker's furry friend, a gray short-haired feline named Pandora, was perched atop a shelf near Kallos for nearly the entire hours-long council meeting. Pandora received numerous pets, an Eskimo kiss and at one point in the meeting appeared to be holding hands with Kallos.

Reporters and New York residents tuning into the meeting praised Pandora on social media.

"Ben Kallos' cat wins the day!" one Twitter user posted.

Kallos revealed on Twitter that he adopted Pandora — originally named Tigger — more than one decade ago, putting that cat's age at nearly 20 years old. Pandora's adoption profile labeled her as "shy" and "independent" but Wednesday's meeting is proof that the feline has warmed up to the Upper East Side lawmaker over the years.

"Its been over a decade since I adopted Pandora (born "Tigger")," Kallos said in a Twitter post. "She had to make an appearance today for [Earth Day] and we finally get to vote together in the City Council."

Upper East Side Patch Planters Installed At Upper East Side Intersections: Council Rep by Brendan Krisel

Planters Installed At Upper East Side Intersections: Council Rep

Kallos' office partnered with the Horticultural Society of New York to install planters on "bike islands" at the intersections of Second Avenue and East 91st, 92nd, 93rd and 95th streets, the local lawmaker announced this week. The $50,000 public-private partnership was approved by the city Department of Transportation.

"We're greening bike islands that were previously empty with planters to beautify our streets," said Council Member Ben Kallos. "Thank you to the Horticulture Society of New York for their partnership and help beautifying our streets.

Upper East Side Patch UES Lawmaker To Hold Virtual Constituent Talks During Quarantine by Brendan Krisel

UES Lawmaker To Hold Virtual Constituent Talks During Quarantine

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Upper East Side City Councilmember Ben Kallos isn't planning to let social distancing measure get in the way of constituent outreach.

Kallos will be holding his customary "First Friday" meetings — where residents of his district can drop in to his office to discuss neighborhood issues — via video conference as New Yorkers are encourage to stay home to help curb the spread of coronavirus.

The Upper East Side lawmaker is planning to host at least 100 constituents on Friday, April 3, via the video conferencing service Zoom, according to a spokesman. Upper East Siders interested in attending should RSPV on Kallos' website.

Kallos' conference will go live around 8:15 a.m. on Friday.

Upper East Side Patch NYC Student Chess Tournament Moves Online Due To Coronavirus by Brendan Krisel

NYC Student Chess Tournament Moves Online Due To Coronavirus

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — More than 200 students played in an online chess tournament funded by an Upper East Side lawmaker over the weekend, marking the first time the annual event was played virtually.

A total of 235 student participated in this year's Council Member Ben Kallos Chess Challenge, a spokesman for the lawmaker told Patch. The tournament, originally set to take place at the Upper East Side's Eleanor Roosevelt High School, was played online because New York City school are shut down as the city deals with the outbreak of coronavirus.

Upper East Side Patch UES Councilman Asks For Volunteers At Senior Center by Brendan Krisel

UES Councilman Asks For Volunteers At Senior Center

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — An Upper East Side lawmaker is asking neighborhood residents to lend a helping hand to a local senior center that has its hands full aiding those who are most vulnerable to the serious effects of coronavirus.

Councilmember Ben Kallos asked healthy Upper East Siders to reach out to staff at the Isaacs Center — located on the campus of the New York City Housing Authority's Stanley Isaacs Houses on First Avenue and East 93rd Street — to volunteer at the center in a tweet sent Monday. The center is helping seniors deal with the coronavirus outbreak by delivering meals to seniors who ar being advised to stay in their homes to reduce contact with people who may be able to transmit the virus.

The Isaacs Center has suspended all of its services except for meal delivery and case management to reduce the potential for exposure for the seniors who rely on the center, according to a statement released by the center's executive director Gregory Morris.