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.
"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."
New York politicians say Comcast shouldn't be allowed to buy Time Warner Cable unless it provides free Internet service to all residents of public housing.
In a letter to the state Public Service Commission Wednesday, New York City Public AdvocateLetitia James and 21 other officials asked for the free Internet promise and numerous other provisions, including a commitment to offer at least gigabit speeds to paying customers. The commission recently delayed its vote on the merger until November 13 after state officials found "deficiencies" in Comcast's customer service and the merger application
It's no secret that New Yorkers don't think too much about pay phones any more. A quick stroll around the city will reveal that many pay phones don't work and many are just empty booths, lacking actual phones. But the pay phones are a vital piece of city infrastructure, especially in disaster situations. With the need to preserve that infrastructure and the opportunity to reimagine the public terminal, NYC's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) was tasked with finding a way to preserve pay phones while making them more useful to people in the 21st century.
To accomplish that, DoITT solicited proposals from companies around the world. After a lengthy process, the city has selected a proposal by a consortium of companies collectively called CityBridge. Over the next four to five years, CityBridge will build out what it is calling the LinkNYC network. Each individual terminal will be called a Link and will offer blazing-fast Wi-Fi, touch-screen interfaces, the ability to quickly make 911 and 311 calls, and free charging stations for mobile devices.
"The first payphone was installed in Chicago in 1898 and hasn't changed much since," says New York City Council Member Ben Kallos. "This will revolutionize the structure's design and bring us one step closer to universal broadband in public areas."
The digital divide grows wider every moment and, with it, income inequality -- but we have a chance to significantly decrease it by requiring free and affordable universal broadband and consumer protections from the merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable. New York State's Public Service Commission is voting on whether such a merger is in the "public interest." The approval of New York State, home of the nation's top media market, New York City, is essential to the current merger.
* The Public Service Commission should only approve the Time Warner Cable/Comcast merger if it benefits all New Yorkers by taking meaningful steps to achieve universal broadband in order to bridge our city's digital divide, New York City Councilman Benjamin Kallos writes in the Huffington Post: http://goo.gl/e7J2OQ
The fastest Wi-Fi in town is coming to street corners around the city — and it won’t cost a cent to use.
City officials have reached a 12-year deal to install 10,000 kiosks in all five boroughs, they said, which according to one of the private operators involved will constitute the “largest and fastest” free Internet program in the world.
City Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), who has pushed to expand wireless access, said the network would encourage other cities to follow New York’s lead.
“We are nearer than ever to universal broadband in public spaces and a meaningful step toward closing the digital divide,” he said.
Voters would be able to register to vote and apply for an absentee ballot at the same time under a bill to be introduced in the City Council this week.
Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) will sponsor the measure, meant to streamline what is now a slow process.
“Voters don’t actually plan their lives around election day,” Kallos said. “This is a transient city where people are moving to where affordable housing is. And this would help a huge group of voters to be able to register and get an absentee ballot.”
A new bill set to be introduced in the New York City Council this week would allow voters to register to vote and apply for an absentee ballot simultaneously.
Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) – who serves as Deputy Chair of the Council’s Jewish Caucus – will sponsor the measure, which is intended to streamline what is currently a slow process.
“Voters don’t actually plan their lives around Election Day,” Kallos said to the Daily News. “This is a transient city where people are moving to where affordable housing is. And this would help a huge group of voters to be able to register and get an absentee ballot.”
New York, NY -- Council Member Ben Kallos released the following statement applauding the MTA today for releasing more data sets for developers to use: "Historical Bus Time datasets released today demonstrates a government empowering New Yorkers to use data to improve our lives. Thanks to the MTA for prioritizing open information, which I have been working with them and the Civic Tech community on using to improve service," said Council Member Ben Kallos, a civic free and open source software developer.
The city's independent budget office says the waste transfer station being built on the Upper East Side will now cost nearly $79 million more than it's initial $554 million price tag. Ida Siegal reports.