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New York Times

New York Times

For New York City Council

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
Published: August 30, 2013

MANHATTAN’S DISTRICT 5 (Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island): A few months ago, this race looked as if it would be an easy win for Assemblyman Micah Kellner. Then came the accusations against him of sexual harassment — charges now being investigated by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics in Albany. Fortunately, there is a better candidate in this race: Ben Kallos, a lawyer and activist. Mr. Kallos has government experience as a legislative aide in Albany, where he worked to begin putting voting records online. He has impressive proposals to help students who attend the City University of New York by forgiving college loans to those who work and stay in the city, and to require developers to build more affordable apartments to get tax abatements. He wants to expand broadband service and revisit congestion pricing. Ben Kallos brings fresh ideas and merits this seat.

About Ben Kallos

Confronted with corruption in Albany, Ben put voting records online so New Yorkers could finally hold politicians accountable.

Since then he's run a government reform organization that successfully removed corruption from government and served as Policy Director for former Public Advocate Mark Green.

Ben grew up on the Upper East Side with his grandparents, who fled anti-Semitism in Europe and his mother who still lives here, and who Ben currently supports in her battle against Parkinson's disease.

Graduating from Bronx Science, Ben knows that our public schools are more than just budget line.  he also attended SUNY Albany and SUNY Buffalo Law School, where he paid his own way.

In the Council, Ben will promote transparency to ensure every dollar gets spent to improve your qulaity of life - from affordable housing to senior services to better schools.

Experience

Public Advocate Mark Green 

Mark Green
Former Public Advocate
Director of Policy

 Assembly Member Jonathan Bing 

Jonathan Bing
Assembly Member
Chief of Staff

 Bill Samuels 

Bill Samuels
New Roosevelt

Executive Director

Protecting Your Quality of Life

  • Fought corruption by making voting records easily accessible online
  • Forced developers to invest in the community
  • Supported seniors by advocating for home and community care to keep them healthy and independent
  • Protected residents and businesses along the 2nd Avenue subway construction by advocating for safety and helping to draft small business grants legislation
  • Improved education by supporting new schools
  • Committed to fighting the Marine Transfer Station on 91st Street

As a member of the City Council, he will represent you in the Fifth District, be open and accountable to you, and put the focus back on issues of utmost importance to the community, succeeding Councilmember Jessica Lappin as she runs for Manhattan Borough President.

Updates

Press Coverage
Gotham Gazette

At a hearing Monday, the New York City Council's Committee on Governmental Operations approved the latest drafts of two bills that enhance the responsibility of city agencies to conduct voter registration and a resolution calling for the State Legislature to pass similar legislation.

These measures are an attempt by the Council to improve the compliance of City agencies with Local Law 29, also known as the Pro-Voter Law, which was passed in 2000. The law requires 19 city agencies to handle voter registration applications for customers.

Council Member Ben Kallos, chair of what he called the "good government committee," introduced Intro 493 A which expands scope of the Pro-Voter law and sets a deadline of December 1, 2015 for agencies to integrate their forms with voter registration.

- Read more

Press Coverage
Tuesday, November 25, 2014

New Yorkers may soon be able to identify themselves as more than one race under legislation set to be introduced by the City Council on Tuesday. The measure would change dozens of official documents, including applications for public housing, registration with the Department of Small Business Services and complaint forms with the city's Commission on Human Rights. Documents required of more than 300,000 city employees would also need to be changed. Currently, city forms that ask for ethnicity or race have five options: "black, not of Hispanic origin," "white, not of Hispanic origin," "Hispanic," "Asian or Pacific Islander," and "American Indian or Alaskan native." Advocates of the bill believe the measure would provide a clearer picture of demographics and allow New Yorkers to better recognize their heritage. "I am 50 percent Irish, 25 percent Korean, and 25 percent unknown," said Corey Johnson, a City Councilman from Manhattan, who drew upon his own heritage to champion the bill during a rally on the City Council steps. Johnson, a Democrat, was one of the co-sponsors of the bill, along with Councilman Ben Kallos of Manhattan, another Democrat.

- Read more

Press Coverage
Tuesday, November 25, 2014

New York City residents would be able to identify themselves as belonging to more than one race on city documents under legislation that was to be introduced in the City Council on Tuesday.

“We just wanted to bring New York City into the 21st century,” explained Councilwoman Margaret Chin, a Manhattan Democrat who is the measure’s lead sponsor. “This will allow New Yorkers to identify their heritage and be proud of it. They shouldn’t have to only check one box.”

The city has the highest population of multiracial residents in the United States, with 325,901 individuals identifying as more than one race on the 2010 U.S. Census.

The bill, which is co-sponsored by Democratic Councilmen Ben Kallos and Corey Johnson, would require city agencies to ensure they have the capacity to maintain the new demographic information within three years of the bill’s enactment as law.

- Read more

Press Coverage
Monday, November 24, 2014

New Yorkers would be able to identify as more than one race on city documents under legislation set to be introduced in the City Council on Tuesday.

“We just wanted to bring New York City into the 21st century,” said Councilwoman Margaret Chin, a Manhattan Democrat and the lead sponsor of the measure. “This will allow New Yorkers to identify their heritage and be proud of it. They shouldn’t have to only check one box.”

The bill, which is co-sponsored by Councilman Ben Kallos and Councilman Corey Johnson, both Democrats, would require city agencies to have the capacity to maintain the new demographic information within three years of the bill becoming law.

- Read more

Press Coverage
Our Town
Monday, November 24, 2014

Walking, driving or biking in the neighborhood, you may have noticed an increase in the number of safety vests worn by delivery bikers. This is in large part a result of my BikeSafe program, designed to empower residents through partnership to play a role in making their own neighborhood safer.

The steps of the BikeSafe program are as follows:

1. Educational Forum: We delivered free Safety Vests, bells and lights for the 80 stores that RSVPed and attended.

2. More Safety Vests: If you see or receive a bike delivery from a person with NO safety vest displaying business name and ID number, report it to the business, 311 and my office.

3. Report Unsafe Biking: If you see wrong way or unsafe biking, remember the business name and identification number from the safety vest then report it to the store, 311 and my office. Tell the store that you can wait longer for deliveries so bikes can be slower and safer for everyone.

4. Enforcement: When you call 311, DOT and NYPD will be notified and will take the appropriate steps to resolve the issue.

- Read more

Press Coverage
New York Daily News
Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Council also passed a bill to require more city agencies to register New Yorkers to vote.

Seven agencies including the Human Resources Administration and Department for the Aging will be newly required to distribute registration forms under the bill, sponsored by Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan.) 

- Read more

Press Coverage
Tuesday, November 25, 2014

New Yorkers may soon be able to identify themselves as more than one race under legislation introduced in the City Council on Tuesday. 

The measure would change dozens of official documents, including applications for public housing, registration with the Department of Small Business Services and complaint forms with the city's Commission on Human Rights. Documents required of more than 300,000 city employees would also need to be changed.

Currently, city forms that ask for ethnicity or race have five options: "black, not of Hispanic origin," ''white, not of Hispanic origin," ''Hispanic," ''Asian or Pacific Islander," and "American Indian or Alaskan native."

Advocates of the bill believe the measure would provide a clearer picture of demographics and allow New Yorkers to better recognize their heritage.

"I am 50% Irish, 25% Korean and 25% unknown," said Corey Johnson, a Democratic city councilman from Manhattan, who drew upon his own heritage to champion the bill during a rally on the City Council steps. Mr. Johnson was one of the co-sponsors of the bill, along with Councilman Ben Kallos, another Manhattan Democrat.

- Read more

Press Coverage
Wednesday, November 26, 2014

As Americans, we have much to be thankful for. We live in a great nation with services that support us and our loved ones. As a City Council Member representing the East Side of Manhattan, I am also deeply thankful to be a New Yorker. Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for the many blessings that we have, and #GivingTuesday is a time to give back.

On November 25, just before Thanksgiving, I was proud to join New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to declare December 2, 2014 to be #GivingTuesday. This is a day for us to give back to the organizations and charities that are important to us. #GivingTuesday is a natural outlet for our generosity and an antidote to the shopping frenzy of the days just prior.

- Read more

Press Release

New York, NY --  An Expanded Agency-Based Voter Registration bill passed the City Council today. The bill adds seven more agencies to those required to provide voter registration forms and strengthens the mandate to assist residents in filling out and mailing the registration forms to the Board of Elections. 

New York State’s Pro-Voter Law, passed in 2000, required 18 agencies to keep the forms and did not mandate agencies to actively assist residents. An additional bill, sponsored by Council Member Jumaane Williams, to improve reporting and compliance with the 2000 law, also passed the Council.

Read more

Press Release

"America is a nation of immigrants, from the pilgrims to today. We have always welcomed 'your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free' from all over the world to our nation of opportunity. We must continue to give our newest residents an equal opportunity to achieve the American dream," said Council Member Ben Kallos. "I am glad that this nation, that once provided safe harbor for refugees from Anti-Semitism, like my wife and grandparents, will become a safe haven once again."

 

Read more