Blogs

September 23, 2011

 

Fighting for Democracy and Other Challenges Facing Our Neighbors on Roosevelt Island

CB8 Speaks - Roosevelt IslandPlease join me next Thursday, on Community Board 8 Speaks interviewing Matthew Katz the President and CEO of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) where we will be discussing how to get involved in the local community, fighting for democracy and to keep the local post office open as well as news on a changes to the existing retail corridor and a possible new science campus.

The program will air at 9:30PM on Manhattan Neighborhood Network, Thursday, September 29, 2011 on Time Warner Cable channel 34, RCN channel 82 and Versizon FiOS channel 33. You can also click here to watch online

CB8 Speaks - Street Life Committee

How to Deal with Bad Neighbor Bars and Restaurants


Street Life Committee Co-Chairs Cos Spagnoletti and Nick Viest stopped by CB8 Speaks in June to share how your Community Board can help you deal with bad neighbor bars and restaurants as well as what you can do to support businesses struggling near the Second Avenue Subway Construction. Even if you missed it on MNN you can watch my first show as a host online by clicking here

How to Get Involved in Your Community Board

You can also learn about the how to join Community Board 8 Manhattan as a regular member or public member as well as about the new CB8M.com website and open source in my first appearance on Community Board 8 Speaks in May of last year by watching online by clicking here.

Special thanks to Community Board 8 Manhattan Communications Committee Co-Chairs Will Sanchez and David Rosenstein as well as fellow Public Member Monica McKane Sanchez for their dedication and commitment.

 

September 19, 2011

 

Congratulations to Assembly Member Dan Quart who was elected last week in a Special Election on September 13, 2011. Under New York State Law a candidate for Assembly must live in an Assembly or Senate District one year prior to the election date. As a resident of the adjacent Assembly District on the Upper East Side, I was proud to do my part to support Dan Quart’s candidacy to succeed Assembly Member Jonathan L. Bing, for whom I served as Chief of Staff from 2007 through 2009.

 

 

September 16, 2011

 

In 2008 the Senate Republicans signed Mayor Ed Koch’s NY Uprising Redistricting Pledge, called themselves “Heroes of Reform,” then went back on their word by killing Cuomo's redistricting bill in the Rules Committee, and not even letting it out for a public hearing.  

As Executive Director of New Roosevelt Initiative, I joined Bill Samuels in leading two rallies for redistricting reform with a dozen local and statewide activist groups, including ACT NOW, the New York Democratic Lawyers and Law Students Councils, as well as local chapters of New York State Young Democrats. The rallies took place in the districts of two newly elected Republican State Senators, Jack Martins (Nassau) and Greg Ball (Westchester), who ran on a platform of reform but joined the status quo as soon as they got to Albany.

 

You can watch both rallies on YouTube. Coverage of the Westchester Rally can also be found in the New York Observer, the Patch and the Westchester Examiner. The Nassau Rally was covered on Capital TonightThe Albany Project and the Long Island Herald with pictures are available on Facebook.

If Independent Redistricting is something you care about too, please consider testifying before the NYS Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR) on September 20 in Brooklyn, September 21 in Manhattan, September 22 in Staten Island, or October 5 in Long Island. For more information visit www.latfor.state.ny.us or send me an electronic mail for the details.

 

September 2, 2011

 

City Hall News: Rising Stars 40 Under 40

This year I was included in City Hall News “Rising Stars: 40 Under 40.” Thank you to those who have helped set me on this path, worked with me and supported me in the endeavors for which I received this recognition. From the article:

The latest census figures show New York has 4,617,307 residents under 40 years old. Only 40 of them can fit on our annual list of Rising Stars. So what does it take to make the cut? It helps to have made a difference already.

 

 

 

January 30, 2011

Please join me in celebrating the milestone of my 30th Birthday, this Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City (5th Avenue & Central Park South a.k.a 59th Street).  The event is free, begins at 9:30PM, and features the Michael Fredo Orchestra.



 

 

April 13, 2010

Over the years I’ve done my best to care for my mother, who has recently fallen ill requiring three hospitalizations in the past few months.  This is why you may have noticed my absence from many events I would regularly attend.  I have been working closely with her doctors, social service agencies, and healthcare providers to make sure she gets the care she needs.  This way she can get back on the road to recovery and hopefully regain her independence.
 

 

March 4, 2010

 
National Democratic Law Students CouncilKallos Consulting and Kallos Law, founded in 1996 and 2007 respectively continue to succeed.  Kallos Consulting has been focusing on technology and web development with last year’s website launches for the Democratic National Committee’s Law School DemocratsNew York State Democratic Party, and New York City Government’s Community Board 8 Manhattan.  On the legal front business has focused on insurance litigation, corporate and non-profit law, and I have recently joined a venture capitalist as in-house counsel.

 

January 26, 2010

 
Over the years New York Democratic Lawyers Council (NYDLC), an organization that has been an integral part of my life since 2006, has focused on voting rights and voter protection.  Last year, New York State finally complied with Help America Vote Act adopting new electronic machines. The Paper Based Optical Scan (PBOS) machines that were used were of our choosing (and much better than the highly controversial direct-recording electronic machines that leave no paper trail).  However, with any new system, it is always important to educate people on how to use it.  So we went to work organizing forums all over the City and State.  We also continued our tradition of training lawyers and law students on election law and voter advocacy and I was proud to serve as Statewide Voter Protection Coordination Chair.

 

January 17, 2010

 
New Roosevelt InitiativeContinuing on 2009’s trajectory, I signed on withBill Samuels’ campaign for Lieutenant Governor and New York State Senate President, as his Special Counsel and Director of Policy.  The campaign focused on bringing Five Pillars of Reform (Campaign FinanceEthicsFiscal IntegrityLegislative Rules, and Redistricting) to Albany resulting in the founding of the New Roosevelt Initiative, New York State’s first government reform political committee.  Soon after, Bill ultimately decided to invest the resources of his Lieutenant Governor campaign into an independent expenditure by the new committee to oust disgraced Senator Pedro Espada electing insurgent idealist Gustavo Rivera in his place by a two to one margin.  Following our victory the committee continues to focus on the Five Pillars including testifying on redistricting reform.

 

December 5, 2009

 

BideaweeAs we conclude 2009, it would be inappropriate not to acknowledge two important additions to my personal life: Pandora and Jackie Topol. 
 
Ben & Jackie at the GuggenheimPandora was my Valentine, adopted on Valentine’s Day weekend from
Bideawee where we fell in love at first sight.  Though it took a lot of love and patience, Pandora has grown from a very frightful cat hiding in a closet to a cat that helped my write this update by sitting on my desk, pressing keys on the keyboard and generally supervising everything (as cats tend to do).
  
Jackie Topol and I met at one of the last First Fridays at the Guggenheim, an event that I initiated a social media campaign for eventually building the group to 1,800+ yielding above capacity crowds to monthly events exposing young professionals to visual and musical arts.  Jackie is finishing her Masters in Nutrition at NYU, teaches kid's cooking and healthy 30 minute meals classes at the JCC and will be starting her residency at NY Presbyterian later this month to become a registered dietitian.  Ever since we met she has been a loving part of my life as we support one another in our careers and build an amazing life together.