New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH

AM New York Pols urge city to make universal after-school programming a reality by ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH

Pols urge city to make universal after-school programming a reality

“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.,” said Councilmember Ben Kallos, at an oversight hearing on after-school legislation on Tuesday. The Upper East side pol sponsored a bill in 2018 requiring that the city provide free after-school programs to every public school student between the ages of three through 21.

Kallos was joined by other members of the Youth Services committee including Councilmember Treyger who touched on his own after-school legislation proposed in 2018. Treyger’s bill would require annual reports by the Department of Education and DYCD on the demographics of the students at each after-school program including whether the student has special needs or is an English language learner. The report would also require that the agencies note the eligibility criteria for each program and the amount and source for program funding. 

The Villager No more waiting! Upper East Side lawmaker presses city to turn Queensboro Bridge outer roadway into a walkway by ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH

No more waiting! Upper East Side lawmaker presses city to turn Queensboro Bridge outer roadway into a walkway

BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH | Lawmakers from both sides of the East River want the city to make part of the Ed Koch-Queensboro Bridge a walkway solely for pedestrians.

Manhattan Councilman Ben Kallos along with Queens City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and state Senator Michael Gianaris called on the Department of Transportation to not stall any longer and turn the Queensboro Bridge’s South (Queens-bound) Outer Roadway into a walkway.

“I don’t think we need to wait, I think we need to get it done before congestion pricing,” said Kallos at a press conference held the South Outer Roadway’s entrance at 59th Street. He was joined by Van Bramer and Gianaris, along with a crowd of activists from Transportation Alternatives and Bike NY.

Currently, people crossing the bridge by foot in both directions have to share a narrow pathway on the North Outer Roadway with cyclists crossing the bridge also traveling in both directions.

The Villager Pols urge city: Declare climate emergency by ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH

Pols urge city: Declare climate emergency

On June 24, Councilmembers Ben Kallos and Costa Constantinides called on the city to declare a climate emergency as a crowd of activists waved signs and cheered on the steps of City Hall under the blistering sun.

The Villager Rev. Billy ratchets up pressure to ban RoundUp by ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH

Rev. Billy ratchets up pressure to ban RoundUp

Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping want the City Council to “cast out” Monsanto’s demonic spawn by passing Councilmember Ben Kallos’s bill banning chemical pesticides and herbicides in the city.

The Villager Immigrant artists depict their experience by ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH

Immigrant artists depict their experience

Young immigrant artists are getting some much needed space in an Upper East Side apartment building.

Some commercial space at the St. Tropez building on 340 E. 64th St. has officially been transformed into a new gallery by Chashama, a nonprofit organization that finds unused real estate for artist gallery and studio use. City Councilmember Ben Kallos, who funded all four of the exhibitions scheduled to occupy the gallery, has allocated a total of $80,000 to the nonprofit over the last three years.