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.
Other members presented specific concerns: Jumaane Williams was troubled by funding levels for the NYPD, Jimmy van Bramer complained of insufficient money allocated for libraries—which Fuleihan indicated would be altered in the revised capital budget—and Ben Kallos questioned the growth and overall cost of the city's debt.
As preliminary budget hearings at the City Council approach the end of their third week, the Committee on Governmental Operations will meet Thursday to evaluate the expense plan for a host of city agencies.
Members of the committee, chaired by Manhattan Council Member Ben Kallos, will meet representatives of eight city agencies to question them about performances and budgetary needs. The hearing will also look at the city's 59 community boards.
"The Council Member's aim will be to ensure all tax dollars get spent wisely," and that "the operations of the agencies that Governmental Operations has oversight over are open, transparent and work seamlessly for the people," an aide to Kallos said by email.
That was the chant I heard go up from the crowd of parents and teachers gathered at one of the dozens of protests held at public schools all over New York City on Thursday. What is Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan? He offers increased funding, but only if his reforms on teacher evaluation and so-called merit pay are also adopted. An open letter from teachers to parents at the highly regarded Public School 321 in Brooklyn discussed the changes to the way teachers would be evaluated:
The proposal is particularly frustrating for housing advocates in neighborhoods that have spent decades fighting for "contextual" zoning, making major concessions to developers in exchange for height and massing limits. The proposed new zoning plan would sweep those hard-won limits away in one stroke, opponents of the plan say.
"We fought so hard and sacrificed so much for height caps. In exchange for giving up these height caps, we're not getting anything in return," said City Councilmember Ben Kallos yesterday, at a rally on City Hall steps against the plan.
Citywide Ferry Service, To Launch in 2017, Will Provide Transit Options and Greater Opportunities to New Yorkers
New York, NY— Council Member Ben Kallos introduced a bill today dedicating urban planners to assist New York City’s 59 community boards with the intent of giving communities a tool to fight against some of the most major over-development. Urban planners would join the Borough President’s office but assist individual community boards.
New York, NY— Parents returning to the workforce will have the City’s support, if legislation sponsored by Council Members Ben Kallos, Laurie Cumbo and Robert Cornegy passes. The legislation would expand New York City’s Workforce1 job centers and online information hub to include resources and training for parents returning to work after taking time off. They called for technology training, public-private partnerships, specialized resume assistance, proactive outreach and expanded online information to help parents return to work.
At the New York City Council Sanitation Committee FY16 preliminary budget hearing today, Council Member Ben Kallos slammed the unsustainable and rising costs of the city’s Solid Waste Management Plan—specifically the planned marine transfer stations at 91st Street and Southwest Brooklyn.