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CBS New York

New York City Council member Ben Kallos introduced a bill that would help Cohen and other parents get free training to re-enter the work force.

It’s called the ‘Back To Work Bill’ and it’s co-sponsored by Kallos, Laurie Cumbo, and Robert Cornegy.

The legislation would expand the city’s existing Workforce1 job training centers to include resources specifically designed for parents.

“What we’re asking Workforce1 to do is get them skills training they need for free and help them find a position at a company that will welcome someone who is a parent,” Kallos said.


Jake Dobkin

Today I went to a press conference at City Hall, for a new bill sponsored by Council Members Ben Kallos, Laurie Cumbo, and Robert Cornegy. It would expand New York's Workforce 1 job centersand website to add some new resources for parents returning to work after taking time off to raise their kids.

The bill would provide tech training, public-private partnerships with firms willing to hire returning parents, some specialized assistance polishing outdated resumes, a better website for the program, and advertising to let people know that the service exists. (The cost of these improvements will be minor, and determined during budget negotiations- the cost of Workforce 1's eighteen centers, serving 40,000+ people a year, is around $42 million, which is about 0.05% of a nearly $80 billion city budget.)


Mark Maurer

City Council member Ben Kallos plans to introduce a bill today requiring that a city planner attend every meeting held by the city’s 59 community boards.

Kallos said the bill intends to give communities a more active role in the land use review process, the Gotham Gazette reported. The bill would form a planning department in the five borough president offices. There would be at least one professional urban planner on staff for each community board.


Gotham Gazette
Samar Khurshid

City Council Members Ben Kallos, Laurie Cumbo, and Robert Cornegy today introduced a bill and five-point plan to help working parents re-enter the workforce after temporary disruptions in employment.

The proposed legislation, of which Kallos is the lead sponsor and he introduced at the Council's Stated Meeting, would expand the city's "Workforce1" job training program and provide additional online resources for parents returning to work.

The five-point plan calls for training in technology, partnerships between public agencies and private companies, resume assistance, a proactive outreach campaign to spread the word about job training, and more online information for parents.


Our Town

Like Brewer, Upper East Side council member Ben Kallos is also concerned that developers are getting far more from these programs than what they’re giving back to the community, especially when the inclusionary housing program is combined with the controversial 421a tax break for developers that build affordable housing.

Kallos said while there’s been outrage over so-called poor doors, where affordable housing tenants have a separate entrance than their market rate counterparts, there should be more outrage over the “poor building.”

“There is very little difference between the poor door and the poor building,” he said.

Kallos believes that the inclusionary housing program and other initiatives designed to spur construction of affordable housing have not delivered on the promises that made possible their existence.


Rob Cassetti

We kicked off the event with comments from New York City Council Member Ben Kallos on the critical role of technology in government. Ben has been a tireless champion of the benefits of open government, and at the beginning of his career he was responsible for putting Albany voting records online so that citizens could hold politicians accountable. Since then, he’s been actively engaged in discussing ways to move citizen services online and make City agencies more transparent. Council Member Kallos concluded his talk with the following inspirational challenge: “Hack your government. It belongs to you.”


Gotham Gazette
Samar Khurshid

New York City Council Member Ben Kallos, a Manhattan Democrat, will introduce a bill Tuesday to provide a professional urban planner to each of the 59 community boards in the city.

The bill, Kallos said, is a move to empower communities in the city's land use process. Speaking exclusively to Gotham Gazette, Kallos said, "The City has two main powers. The first is over budget and the community boards have a say in that. They make their budget priorities known. The other is land use. In order to give community boards power and a voice in that land use process, they need skilled technical help."


Nicole Wrona

The bill is being introduced by Councilman Ben Kallos (D- Manhattan). He said the purpose of the legislation is to reduce carbon emissions stemming from the production of concrete. 

Asphalt recycling is gaining momentum as a budget-savvy alternative to landfilling the waste. The process of re-using the material is called full-depth reclamation, and is often used at construction sites. The debris is crushed and used as a base for streets and parking lots. The conglomerate is estimated to last two years longer than projects that don’t incorporate the reclamation process. 


New York Daily News
Erin Durkin

A new City Council bill would mandate the use of recycled concrete in all new street construction projects.

Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) is introducing the legislation that would require at least 30% of concrete to come from demolished roads and buildings.

It’s a move to cut carbon emissions that come from concrete production, he said.

“We need to make sure that any new construction is limiting our greenhouse gas emissions,” Kallos said. “The city deals with tens of thousands of tons of demolition waste every day.”


Nick Pinto

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.


Brian Heaton

If you’ve ever spent a lot of time in a big city, chances are you or someone you know has had a car towed and couldn’t easily find it. It’s a problem in the Big Apple, and New York City Council Member Ben Kallos is trying to do something about it.

Kallos, who represents Gotham’s Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island, has introduced legislation that enables owners of cars towed due to emergencies or temporary parking restrictions to be able to find where their vehicle is through an online application or by 311. Tracking is currently only available for cars taken to impound lots because of standard parking violations.


Capital New York
Miranda Neubauer

Kallos positively cited the elimination of voter cards, listing voters' ages in poll books, the board's adoption of City Time, its subscription to the Social Security Death Master File Index, implementation of electronic detection of write-ins and the purchase of high-speed printers to print various types of ballots as needed.



Gotham Gazette
Marco Poggio

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.


Our Town
Our Town

More than 100 Upper East Siders turned out to celebrate this year’s OTTY Award winners in a ceremony at Mt. Sinai Hospital on March 16.

For more than a decade, Our Town has honored people in the community who have made the East Side a better place to work and live.

This year, 14 people were honored, at an awards ceremony emceed by NY1’s Roma Torre. In addition to the honorees and their families, the event was attended by local elected officials, including Comptroller Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and Councilmembers Ben Kallos and Dan Garodnick.



Dan Rivoli

Elected officials on the East and West Side, who are sending a letter to the MTA brass about the changes, want a boost in service, not a reduction, at a time when buses bunch up and plod through streets.

"As people are complaining about bus service and are not using it as much because of how poor the service is, that's the least time you want to make it less and less desirable to get on," said Councilman Ben Kallos, who signed the letter with six other Manhattan lawmakers including U.S. Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney.


Ian Reifowitz

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:


New York Observer
Will Bredderman

Councilmen Corey Johnson and Benjamin Kallos, fellow Manhattan Democrats, demonstrated with tenant groups ahead of the first 2015 meeting of the Rent Guidelines Board—and the announcement of three new de Blasio appointees to the nine-member panel charged with setting the annual increase for the city’s roughly one million rent stabilized apartments.

The Democrats chanted “fight, fight, fight, housing is a right” and “What do we want? Rollback!” with members of the Metropolitan Council on Housing and the Flatbush Tenants Council. Mr. Johnson and Mr. Kallos insisted that increasing property values, atrophying tenant wages and declining fuel costs justified a first-ever decrease in rents at regulated units.


Gotham Gazette
Marco Poggio

Voter participation has been steadily declining for decades, and continues to find shocking new lows. Last November, New York was the fifth worse state in the country for voter participation, with a staggering 29.5 percent turnout. In New York City, the turnout was just above 21 percent.

"In this age of devastatingly low voter confidence in our elections," said George, "making voting easy and convenient for citizens is of critical importance."

Now, two bills introduced by members of the New York City Council aim to do just that.

Tuesday morning, the Committee on Governmental Operations, chaired by Council Member Ben Kallos, a Democrat from Manhattan, discussed two new pieces of legislation that could help re-engage thousands of voters in the election process.

"We want every eligible voter to register and cast a ballot," Kallos told Gotham Gazette. "Absentee ballots are essential to maximizing turnout."


Capital New York
Sally Goldenberg

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.


NY1 News

When cars are moved because of things like parades or movie shoots, drivers often have no clue where their vehicles are, and now one city lawmaker is looking to change that.

Manhattan Councilman Ben Kallos is pushing a bill that would require the city Transportation Department to notify 311 and put information about relocated cars on its website.

Drivers would then be able to visit the website or call the city's helpline to find their cars.

That's the way it currently works when a car is towed to an impound lot for a normal parking restriction.

Kallos tells the Daily News he decided to introduce the bill after his disabled mother's car was towed several blocks from her home, and was covered in tickets once she found it.


NBC News 4 New York
NBC 4 New York

Legislation proposed by a city council member Friday would help New Yorkers find their vehicles when they're towed because of temporary parking restrictions.

Councilman Ben Kallos, a Democrat who represents the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island, said cars that are towed for temporary parking violations -- like when a movie is being filmed -- are often moved blocks away without the owner's knowledge.

Kallos introduced the legislation so owners would no longer be left wondering what happened to their cars.

“Imagine arriving at your parking spot to find its gone, not knowing if it is stolen or towed, without being able to find out where it is, unless you’ve got the time to walk every block of your neighborhood,” Kallos said.



Efforts are underway to end the game of hide and seek that occurs when cars are towed to make way for parades, and other events.

As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer explained, a happy ending may be in sight for New York City motorists whose cars are towed to the land of ‘who knows where’ to make room for parades, construction, and most often TV and movie shoots.

One city councilman is suggesting a common sense, and common courtesy solution.

“Anytime a car got towed, you’d be able to just call 311, go online, find your car. Not worry if it got stolen, where it got towed, just find it, move on with your life,” Councilman Ben Kallos D-Upper East Side, said.


Capital New York
Miranda Neubauer

Councilman Ben Kallos is expected to introduce legislation today that would allow residents to get information on the locations of vehicles towed due to temporary parking restrictions by accessing the Department of Transportation's website or calling 311. 
Currently, according to Kallos, that is only possible for vehicles taken to impound lots for regular parking violations. When vehicles are moved to a surrounding block due to construction without the owners' knowledge, the police may have no record of it, Kallos said, and owners are told to search surrounding blocks or contact construction crews who may have left.


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.