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Matthew Chayes

But with the projections still going up, City Councilman Ben Kallos questioned how the city estimates its legal liabilities. He said other spending needs are going unmet because of the funds reserved for litigation.

"With regard to investing in defending these frivolous lawsuits, the key issue here is: We should be seeing a return on our investment, and that should be reflected in the judgment-and-claims budget," Kallos (D-Manhattan) said.
Shaye Weaver

New York Presbyterian Hospital/Cornell-Weill Medical Center and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have also agreed to coordinate with the city as it upgrades the waterfront, according to City Councilman Ben Kallos.

New York-Presbyterian is currently constructing an ambulatory care center and Sloan Kettering's new outpatient cancer care facility and science and health building are also under construction.

"Revitalizing and improving the East River Esplanade has been one of my top priorities and one of the best ways to do this is to engage in active public-private partnerships, like this one with HSS," said City Councilman Ben Kallos. "Everyone benefits when the Esplanade is improved and maintained, especially in a part of the city that has one of the lowest amounts of open space.”


New York Times
Winnie Hu

Councilman Ben Kallos, a Democrat from the Upper East Side, has also introduced legislation that would require city agencies to send pre-filled applications for food stamps and other government benefits for those who are eligible, using information from previous enrollments or applications. These agencies would also be required to inform people who apply for food stamps if they are eligible for additional benefits.


“We must work to eliminate the bureaucracy, paperwork and waste that prevent our poorest from accessing and keeping the benefits they need to be lifted from poverty,” Mr. Kallos said.


Mr. Kallos, who is chairman of the council’s governmental operations committee, added that he would also work for federal and state changes that could eventually allow city residents to receive food stamps automatically based on tax filings, and to continue receiving those benefits as long as they remained eligible with no renewal process.


New York Times
Winnie Hu



Lauren Clark

The way Ben Kallos, who represents District 5 in N.Y.C.'s City Council, sees it, towers looming more than 500 feet in a residential area — or, approximately 50 stories tall — have been putting residents in the dark for too long. To help solve this problem, the councilman will be holding a community forum tomorrow to discuss implementing a cap on super-tall buildings within residential areas.
Shaye Weaver

City Councilman Ben Kallos is fed up with super tall skyscrapers he says are leaving Upper East Side residents in the dark — literally.


Capital New York
Gloria Pazmino

Like Reynoso, Councilman Ben Kallos, a Democrat from the Upper East Side and a member of the Progressive Caucus, opposes the cap but supports the study. “The scientific method dictates we look at existing reality as a control before we test our hypothesis,” Kallos told Capital. “The moratorium on Uber is drastic, for every single reason that is being spoused that we need this moratorium we have regulations that have been introduced by Council members that have been sitting there since last year, so this doesn’t seem like an emergency.”


Brian Lehrer

The City Council takes up proposed legislation this week that would put a one-year cap on the growth of ride-sharing services like Uber, pending a traffic study. New York City Council member Ben Kallos argues against the bill. Download the Episode (10mb)


Capital New York
Kelly Weill

Councilmember Ben Kallos announced his opposition to the cap bill last week. Councilmembers Annabel Palma, Antonio Reynoso, and Robert Cornegy have previously spoken more supportively of Uber, prompting the company to send thank you mailers to residents in the councilmembers’ districts.


Mary Frost

New York City Councilmember Ben Kallos (Upper East Side, Roosevelt Island) told the crowd, “We’re taking back our waterfront.” He said that the expanded ferry service expected to roll out in 2017-2018 would “connect all five boroughs.”

The Councilmember has literally immersed himself in his subject.

“It’s always a please to swim across the East River, and around the Statue of Liberty with New York Swim,” he said. “Tomorrow morning I’ll be in the Hudson, swimming from 99th to 79th.”


New York Times
Michael Kimmelman

Last week, the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled its first express bus line: the 86th Street crosstown, running back and forth between York Avenue on the east side and Broadway on the west. There was a news conference to celebrate, at Columbus Avenue. Polly Trottenberg, the mayor’s transportation commissioner, hailed “modest investments” yielding dividends in terms of saved time for long-beleaguered riders, to which Ben Kallos, a city councilman, added that time saved translates into revenue for businesses whose taxes help pay for further transit improvements: a virtuous circle.


Capital New York
Miranda Neubauer

Councilman Ben Kallos of Manhattan announced on Friday that he opposes proposed legislation that would place a cap on new for-hire licenses issued to ride-sharing services such as Uber.


Capital New York
Sally Goldenberg

City Councilman Ben Kallos, who chairs the government operations committee, has repeatedly raised the issue of the vacancies at public hearings.

"I have identified years-long vacancies for half of the commissioners at the Tax Commission at multiple preliminary budget hearings and I have sought and extended a call for applicants at these public hearings," Kallos told Capital in an email.



What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?

Use every networking opportunity to receive feedback and really spend time evaluating the feedback. Learning under The GovLab’s Civic Tech for Legislators and Legislatures coaching program with Councilman Ben Kallos really helped us appreciate this point.


Emma Whitford

“Waiting in block-long lines for crosstown buses in Yorkville and spending countless minutes boarding will hopefully become just another bad memory," said Councilmember Ben Kallos in a statement.


Mozes Zarate

Some residents were worried about losing parking to stations that are built in the roads, as opposed to on sidewalks. In response, the city asked the transportation department to consider sidewalk stations instead for those locations, said City Councilman Ben Kallos, whose district includes Upper East Side and Midtown.


New York Daily News
Greg B. Smith

Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) said he first heard of the huge tower on April Fool’s Day and was “incredibly concerned” and will push for a land-use review.


Capital New York
Azi Paybarah

Councilman Ben Kallos of Manhattan said Monday that he may hold a hearing into allegations that members of New York Police Department destroyed documents that would show the agency has a quota system for summonses—something top cops have denied for years.

”Destruction of evidence is a serious charge and one that the courts will have to decide on as they move forward," said Kallos, chairman of the Council's government operations committee. "The allegations in this case are troubling for anyone who has ever received a ticket they felt was unfair.”
Shaye Weaver

City Councilman Ben Kallos allocated $38,500 from his budget to put toward the esplanade project, which is also receiving another $3 million from Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. Kallos serves on the East River Esplanade Task Force, which advocates for improvements to the park.  

The Council’s allocation for the project “should be over and above any previous funding commitments,” said Kallos spokeswoman Sarah Anders. “It is great that the Council has made this such a high priority, because open space on the East Side is so rare and very much needed.”


New York Daily News
Jennifer Fermino
John Spina
Stephen Rex Brown

Councilman Ben Kallos's statement came after the Daily News exclusively reported that the city had been unable to produce a single email from the files of former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly or former Chief of Department Joseph Esposito in which they used the words "summons" or related terms.


Ivan Pereira

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, City Council members Ben Kallos and Dan Garodnick and representatives for other elected officials gave an update on the project at a news conference Wednesday and said they would push the agency to work on areas of concern regarding the line.


Erica Davies

A quartet of politicians—Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Councilmen Daniel Garodnick and Ben Kallos, and Assemblyman Dan Quart—held a press conference Wednesday to warn of five issues that could postpone completion of the first phase of the new subway line. In ascending order of worry, they listed the 69th Street entrance to the 72nd Street station, track installation, electrical work, the project's budget, and—their top concern—the 86th Street entrance.


James Grant

Shaye Weaver

Nonetheless, City Councilman Ben Kallos is urging constituents to voice their concerns during the comment period.

"With a public comment period for the permits up for review, our community has an opportunity to make our voices heard," he said in a statement. "I urge the DEC to fulfill its mandate to protect our neighborhoods and our environment by stopping the permits for the irresponsible and ill-conceived Marine Transfer Station."



Upper East Side Councilmember Ben Kallos reinforced the idea that the community has a certain measure of control over where docks are installed in their neighborhood.

“East Siders can expect a say in where CitiBike stations are located,” Kallos said. “I sponsored a program to give the community feedback on CitiBike maps and will keep working with residents so that the stations can be located in the best possible locations. I will keep working to ensure CitiBike is a benefit to the community.”


October 2013: Ready for the General Election

I was honored and thrilled to win the Democratic nomination to represent the neighborhood where I grew up in the City Council. As we prepare for the general election on November 5, I am excited to get the chance to discuss with more of you my progressive vision for our neighborhood – and hear from you on the issues you care about, like fighting the Marine Transfer Station, improving our schools and protecting our senior services. 

As the race moves into July, my team and I are meeting community members across the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island – and it’s the best part of this race. Always feel free to email me at Benatkallosforcouncil [dot] com (Benatkallosforcouncil [dot] com) or call (212) 960-3440. I look forward to hearing from you.

As the days get hotter, so does the campaign! We celebrated the start of June with two key endorsements from the Transport Workers Union Local 100 and the League of Independent Theater, as well as the launch of petitioning to get on the ballot -- not to mention a move to our new office! We're rapidly gaining momentum as we move into summer, and we need supporters like you more than ever:

  • Donate today to help us build a better City.
  • Volunteer to join Team Ben.
  • towsenatkallosforcouncil [dot] com (subject: Host%20a%20House%20Party) (Host a House Party)
  • Attend our Campaign Office Grand Opening on Wednesday, June 26 from 6-9 pm. 

Read on for updates on the latest developments in our campaign:

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

This February our campaign for a better City moved forward by building great momentum with endorsements from national and statewide leaders as well as labor unions, while we fought to make our City safer, technologically accessible, sustainable, and took a break from the campaign to celebrate Black History Month.

Building Momentum:

Community Voice:

Support Our Campaign For A Better City:

Please join former Public Advocate Mark Green at the home of Bill Samuels at 7PM on Monday, March 11, at what we hope will be our final fundraiser. We've already raised $55K and only need another $30K to reach our spending limit in time for the March 11 filing deadline.

Thank you for your financial support that kept us in the lead for 2013.  We've once again outraised all of our opponents combined and could never have done it without your help.  We've made it well past the halfway point for a fully funded City Council campaign by raising almost $50,000, with only $30,000 left to raise.

Happy New Year!  2012 was an amazing year, full of challenges to overcome, super storms and threats of apocolypse, unbridled success like the re-election of Barack Obama, landing the mars rover, discovering the Higgs Boson, and even sky diving faster than the speed of sound from space.  We enter 2013 in a world where more is possible than the year before.  What preconceived norms can we shatter in 2013?  I would love to know your New Year's resolution for how you will make the world a better place in 2013.


Following Sandy it was hard for many to return to normalcy, and some still haven't or never will.  The outpouring of support from the community was both humbling and amazing.  In my own volunteering I was struck by portions of the population displaced by Sandy as well as before by the economy or other factors.  As we celebrate  the Thanksgiving holiday please take a moment to pause and reflect on how lucky we are, give thanks, and lets figure out how to make things better for all of us.