New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Steve Burns

WCBS Radio Council member: Every NYC student should have the right to a laptop as 77K lack devices by Steve Burns

Council member: Every NYC student should have the right to a laptop as 77K lack devices

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- As the city still faces challenges making sure every student is connected for remote learning, there's a proposal for a more permanent fix.

At this point, all 1.1 million school kids in New York City are learning remotely either part-time or full-time.

Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza recently acknowledged that 77,000 students don't have internet-capable devices for remote learning.

The Department of Education said it’s working on it, but Council Member Ben Kallos said more needs to be done. He and other elected leaders are proposing making the right to have a laptop a guarantee for all public-school students.

“Now is the time to make it a law that every single public-school student should have a right to a laptop and an internet connection during their education,” Kallos said.

 

WCBS Radio Council member: 'Corrupt Albany Legislature' to blame for long lines at NYC early voting sites by Steve Burns

Council member: 'Corrupt Albany Legislature' to blame for long lines at NYC early voting sites

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Fingers are being pointed in all directions after early voting lines snaked around buildings and stretched across city blocks this weekend.

Some saw the long lines outside voting sites in New York City on Saturday as a sign of voter enthusiasm, but Council Member Ben Kallos also sees it as bureaucratic incompetence.

“The Upper East Side and East Harlem had one site to share, and that’s just not enough,” Kallos said.

Asked about the issue on Sunday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it falls to the city Council to change how the city Board of Elections works.

“If they want to make a change, they should just pass it. And whatever they pass, I will support in the Legislature,” the governor said.

But Kallos said state law mandates a certain number of early voting sites in any county and that the number is not at all tied to population density in that county, which led to the multi-hour waits this weekend.

 

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."