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.
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.
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.
Councilmember Ben Kallos has been actively engaged in opposing this project and has posted an online petition (BenKallos.com/petition/suttonplace) that has received over 2000 signatures.
Council Member Ben Kallos showed his continued support for our community by attending Taste of Sutton. He has been a great partner with the Sutton Area Community by carefully listening to us, taking our concerns to heart and working directly on improving our community.
Winter is here, and I am pleased to report that traffic agents are back on duty at 57th St. and First Avenue, one of the busiest and most dangerous intersections on the east side. Many thanks to Senator Liz Krueger and Councilmember Ben Kallos for this action. It is reassuring to our residents when they see the bright yellow vests worn by the traffic agents , and knowing that we have better safety when we cross 57th Street and First Avenue.
Bike messengers continue to pose problems for our residents. They ride on sidewalks, go through the lights, and ride the wrong way. We are working with Councilmember Kallos to improve these problems. Please call 311 to report any bike related incidents. Our office will be sending letters out to merchants who have food deliveries in the neighborhood, reminding them about the bike rules.
I hope everyone has a safe and healthy winter season. We'll have more news in the spring.
—Gail S. Haft, Chair Government Committee
Ben Kallos, City Councilman 5th District. To increase representation, Mr. Kallos began by encouraging people who live in our area of his district to sign up for vacancies on CB6 Committees or in his office. He addressed various issues of concern, including bike infractions, the expansion of Citibikes and new bike paths and the Homeless. He stressed the importance of calling 311 to create a record of a complaint with as much detail as possible. If you are not satisfied that your complaint is being addressed, call him with the details, so his office can follow up with the appropriate City department. He is working on improving Internet service (especially for the lowincome population), visiting schools and obtaining new yellow/ green Taxi Apps to compete with Uber. He chairs the Governmental Operations Committee and works on fair elections, campaign finance reform, the Tax Commission and is trying to trim the number of City employees to rid it of patronage. He is available to meet with any group of 10 or more. His door is open.
Ben answers to a constituency of 168,000 people, 100,000 of which are voters. He defines his commitment to these citizens by stating, “This office belongs to the people.” Indeed, the first Friday morning of every month, from 8 to 10, his doors are open to anyone who wants to stop by and discuss issues. In addition, the second Tuesday of each month is “policy night”, also a venue for open exchange.
Community Voices Heard called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to increase funding for NYCHA out of the city budget and to cease private development on NYCHA land. Councilmember Ben Kallos offered words of support and vowed to stand with Holmes residents.
“We’re here to stop the parade of super-scrapers across 57th Street,” Kallos said. “Draw the line at a residential neighborhood.”
New York City Council Member Ben Kallos, who represents the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island, said, “I commend FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts and BFJ Planning for undertaking this thoughtful, responsive study. Our diverse neighborhoods are threatened by a perfect storm of development interests and outdated zoning laws. By acting now and working cooperatively with the City, together we can preserve local character and build contextually and sustainably to benefit the community.”
The Healthy Happy Meals bill, proposed by NYC council member Benjamin Kallos, would require that fast-food meals marketed with toys or other merchandise meant for kids include a serving of fruit, vegetables or whole grain, with no more than 35% of calories coming from fat. Furthermore, the meals must contain fewer than 10% of calories from saturated fat or added sugar, and they can’t have more than 600 milligrams of sodium.
To determine whether those changes would affect how children eat, a team of researchers from New York University analyzed receipts from 358 purchases made at McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s restaurants in the NYC area. The purchases included 422 meals for children. Not surprisingly, the NYU researchers found that 98% of the meals did not meet the proposed guidelines, according to the paper, published online by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. On average, adults purchased 600 calories per child, and 36% of those calories came from fat.