New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

WCBS Radio

WCBS Radio New York City Launches Absentee Ballot Tracker For November Election by Steve Burns

New York City Launches Absentee Ballot Tracker For November Election

Voters want certainty around their ballot and the absentee ballot tracker will provide that," said City Council Member Ben Kallos, who passed a bill in 2016 that mandated the city Board of Elections create this tracker, but the board told him they don't answer to the City Council. "I am grateful that the Board of Elections finally saw it fit to do their jobs."

WCBS Radio City Council Likely To Approve Ban On Toxic Pesticides In NYC Parks by Rich Lamb

City Council Likely To Approve Ban On Toxic Pesticides In NYC Parks

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A bill to ban the use of toxic pesticides in New York City parks is up for a vote in the City Council on Wednesday.

The bill, which was proposed in 2019, has generated a slew of support from across the five boroughs.

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, supporters stood on the steps of City Hall chanting, “No Roundup. No glyphosates. Stop spraying in our parks.”

Councilman Ben Kallos, who proposed the legislation, says the pesticides are harmful to the environment and humans.

“We’ve been working for five years since 2015. When we were ready to introduce the legislation in 2016, the World Health Organization had just announced that glyphosate, a neuro-disruptor and the active ingredient in Monsanto Roundup was a likely carcinogen,” he said.

The weed killer has been linked to leukemia and lymphoma and the manufacturer has settled multiple lawsuits from those who had used the herbicide.  

“Our goal is to ban this from our parks straight and simple,” he said

The measure has 34 co-sponsors, a veto-proof supermajority and the de Blasio administration now says it supports it.

WCBS Radio Retirement Plan Under New Bill by Al Jones

Retirement Plan Under New Bill

Nearly 2 million New Yorkers would be automatically enrolled in a retirement savings plan under a new proposal before the City Council.

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports, about 1.5 million private sector employees do not have access to a retirement savings program through their workplace.

The Universal Retirement Security bill, which has the support of Mayor Bill de Blasio would change that.

“Over a million New Yorkers work their whole lives and have nothing to show for it,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement. “Rather than work until the day they die, Universal Retirement Security will allow more New Yorkers to breathe a sigh of relief later in life and truly enjoy the years they’ve earned.”

Co-sponsor of the legislation, Councilman Ben Kallos, explained that companies would not contribute to the Universal Retirement Savings Program and stressed that it would cost employers nothing.

WCBS Radio City Councilman Pushes For Healthier Drink Options In Kids’ Meals by WCBS News Staff

City Councilman Pushes For Healthier Drink Options In Kids’ Meals

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — There’s a new initiative at City Hall to make kids’ meals in New York City healthier.

As WCBS 880’s Mike Sugerman reports, many children push their parents for kids’ meals because of the sugary sodas that automatically come with the deal.

WCBS Radio Parent's Nightmare: Special Needs Student Stuck On Bus For 10 Hours by WCBS Radio

Parent's Nightmare: Special Needs Student Stuck On Bus For 10 Hours

“We left pre-kindergarten students in special education on a bus for ten hours, without a bathroom, without food, without their parents," Kallos said.

He explained he was horrified and immediately called Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office.

“They reached out to the police. We got the kid rescued. We got the kid in the hands of his mother by midnight," Kallos said.

The weather was one thing, but Kallos said the bus route was also so convoluted that it would have taken three hours to get this student home on a good day.