April 2013 Update

Our campaign is about results now, not about waiting until Election Day. We’ve been working tirelessly to improve everyday life here on the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island. Our efforts are already paying off, garnering grassroots support and receiving strong media coverage.
 

  1. Fighting for Freedom, Safety, and Accessibility for All
  2. Celebrating the Holidays Obama Style
  3. Fair Wages and Elections
  4. Swim and Walk for a Better City

1. Fighting for Freedom, Safety, and Accessibility for All
 
Bring Back our Subway Booths


Ben Kallos on CBS 2In response to local calls for the return of the subway booths and station agents at the 86th and 77th st. stops on the Upper East Side, we have been petitioning up to twice a week to bring back the booths and restore safety, ease and accessibility to the morning commute.  We’ve gathered more than 500 signatures so far, and our efforts were featured on the CBS and NBC evening news. Sign the petition today!
 
Championing Public Safety

We've proposed amendments to legislation to address the concerns of Roosevelt Islanders over allegations of  misconduct by the Island's Public Safety Department. Our proposal improves upon a previous proposal for the creation of a Civilian Community Review Board and a realistic strategy for passage. Prior to our proposal the public safety legislation has languished in the Assembly for years while allegations continued.  We can do better – and working together, we will.
 
Calling on Governor Cuomo to Defend Democracy
We advocated for Governor Cuomo to be a hero for freedom by reinstating democracy on Roosevelt Island by appointing a resident-elected official to the vacant seat that he had filled with an unelected non-resident in June 2011. Read about our efforts in the Albany Times Union. The letter was also published in Roosevelt Island's Main Street WIRE.


Protecting Internet Freedom
Demand Justice for Aaron SwartzWe believe free and open information are essential for our City, and so we have joined the Internet Defense League and Demand Progress in calling on Congress to halt the expansion of the law that was used to threaten Aaron Swartz. Tell Congress to reform the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act so it can't stifle the next Instagram. New York City has rapidly become the second leading tech center in the United States. If we want to be a hub of tech business and culture, let's be leaders in demanding reasonable laws for the Internet age. We are dedicated to defending freedom of speech and the right to protest in our City, whether online or in person. 
 
2. Celebrating the Holidays Obama Style


Passover
Multi-Cultural Seder at the Home of Ben KallosPassover is a time to celebrate freedom in all its forms. Our campaign held a multi-cultural Seder based on the famous Obama campaign Seder that began in 2008. It was a great opportunity to reflect on the values of openness, freedom and progress that inspired my campaign to represent you in the City Council.
 
Easter
Ben Kallos picks up endorsement of Easter BunnyEaster is a special and important day, both for its religious significance and as an opportunity to bring together our community’s families for a day in the sun. We had a great time at the Roosevelt Island Easter Egg Hunt. More than 1,000 people turned out – giving me a great chance to talk to constituents from all across District 5, including the Easter Bunny.
 
3. Fair Wages and Elections
This has been one of our busiest months yet, as we attend organizing meetings, rallies and community events. We are leading the charge on many great causes being championed throughout our City and meeting so many passionate, civic-minded members of our community along the way. Here are just a few of the events we participated in this month:

Ben Kallos Speaks at NYC Action4. A New Model for Affordable Housing, and Swim and Walk for a Better City

April 16: The Vienna Model: Panel on Affordable Housing
The Vienna Model: A Panel on Affordable HousingThis exhibition at the Austrian Cultural Forum New York presents a survey of public housing design in the Austrian capital of Vienna curated by Wolfgang Förster and William Menking. The exhibition will feature 36 case studies in Viennese public housing, accompanied by a responsive series of images of artworks curated by the Austrian collaborative duo Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber. RSVP.

April 27: Parkinson’s Walk
Parkinson's Unity WalkThe New York City Council can't cure disease, but as a candidate, that won't stop me from trying. My grandfather Dr. Andrew Kallos, who worked on Roosevelt Island, my grandmother Irene B. Kallos, who was a feminist and small businesswoman before it was acceptable, and my mother Dr. June Kallos, who is a psychologist that taught at John Jay College and LaGuardia Community College, were all diagnosed and fought the challenges of Parkinson's Disease. Please support my annual walk with my mother, and help us fund the search for a cure. 
Donate or join our team.
 
April 27: The Big Swim
Asphalt Green: Big SwimLater in the day, I’ll be volunteering at the Big Swim event to benefit Asphalt Green, where I am an active member of the Triathlon Club.

I look forward to meeting you soon on the campaign trail.
 
Going forward, the campaign will only get more fast-paced and exciting. Join us – and together, let’s create the best possible Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island.

Do you have a community event or cause you would like to include in our next newsletter? Please send it to infoatkallosforcouncil [dot] com.
 
Thanks for your support,

Ben