Social Media

Custom Quicktabs for Social Media

New York Daily News
Jennifer Fermino

The city's ambitious goal to stop sending waste to landfills by 2030 makes two controversial garbage stations unnecessary, a group of pols charged Wednesday.


The Press Office of the Mayor

“With fireworks on the East River, Roosevelt Islanders and East Siders should have a great vantage point with which to view them,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “I am thrilled that the fireworks have been moved back to where many New Yorkers, from Brooklyn to Queens to Manhattan can enjoy them.”


Capital New York
Miranda Neubauer

On a later panel, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Councilman Ben Kallos discussed how technology could help bridge the gap between the government and the public. With the establishment of laws she spearheaded, including open data and webcasting legislation, "now the challenge is making it work," Brewer said, to ensure that agencies fulfill the mandate, data is available in real-time and is up-to-date, as agencies also still face logistical and bandwidth hurdles when seeking to webcast meetings.

Kallos said Council legislation will be available through an open application programming interface beginning in July. Council legislationmeeting and member datawas already recently added to the open data portal. While those datasets had a deadline of Jan. 1, Council land use items are currently only scheduled to come on the portal in December 2018. Kallos emphasized the need for a partnership between government and the private sector and technology developers to ensure that the right of kind of data is made available in the right format.
Sybile Penhirin

After receiving a flood of complaints from residents, City Councilman Ben Kallos, who represents the Upper East Side, sent a letter to the DOB's Manhattan commissioner, Martin Rebholz, on May 11 demanding the agency limit the number of after-hour variances the city grants to developers.

"As you are well aware, City Council District 5 is a densely packed residential area which makes any construction work done in the area extremely disturbing to residents," the councilman wrote. "This problem has only worsened with the increase in the approval of new construction projects and the Department of Building's willingness to grant after-hour variances to this project despite the negative impact on the quality of life of the residents in this area."

A Department of Buildings spokesman said the agency is reviewing Kallos' concerns with the site. 


Gotham Gazette
Samar Khurshid

City Council Member Ben Kallos, chair of the governmental operations committee, will introduce a resolution at Thursday’s full-body Stated Meeting calling on members of the United States Congress to commit to a constitutional amendment that would limit independent expenditures in election campaigns. It is a move aimed at reducing the “dark money” spent during political campaigns and to counteract the Supreme Court’s infamous Citizens United ruling.

“It’s important we put people power over corporate power,” Kallos told Gotham Gazette, “and it’s important to implement public finance to empower voters over independent expenditures.”



“Most of these properties were calendared before the technology existed for public outreach and dissemination of information existed,” said Upper East Side Councilmember Ben Kallos in a letter to the LPC. “Now, the LPC can and must make available to the public the extensive research compiled on these landmarks, including initial hearings’ files and statements of significance. Once the information is disseminated, 60 days of public input and testimony must be taken before any decisions on these landmarks are made behind closed doors.” 


Brian Heaton

Since taking office on Jan. 1, 2014, New York City Council Member Ben Kallos has made it a priority to introduce legislation that uses technology to overcome issues in the Big Apple.

From requiring New York City laws to be easily accessible online, to improving the transparency of government operations, Kallos -- who represents NYC's Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island -- has leveraged his background as a software developer to illustrate the value of tech use in the public sector.

Government Technology spoke to Kallos about the strides he’s made during his first year in office, and how technology will continue to play a vital part of his legislative agenda in 2015 and beyond.


Gotham Gazette
Shannon Ho

Council Member Ben Kallos, chair of the City Council Governmental Operations Committee, spoke similarly, but did express concern about the general issue of underfunding BOE operations. Kallos told Gotham Gazette that while the BOE tends to overestimate its financial need, if it is not appropriately funded "it is the elections and democratic process that suffers." While Kallos is looking for stronger numbers in the executive budget, he also said that "if we over-budget then that means that another agency loses."


Gotham Gazette
Samar Khurshid

At a hearing of the City Council's Committee on Governmental Operations Thursday, issues of community board function will be taken up through bills to introduce term limits for board members and to add professional urban planners to board staff.

The term-limit bill, introduced by Council Member Daniel Dromm in December last year, would allow community board appointees to serve up to six consecutive two-year terms. Currently, there is no limit on how many terms a community board member can serve. The bill, co-sponsored by Council Member Ben Kallos, who chairs the government operations committee, would enact the six-term limit starting for members appointed in April 2016.


Mara Gay

Free breakfast has been available to all 1.1 million New York City school students since 2003. All city schools offer the meal before the school day begins, but some also serve breakfast in classrooms after the start of school, or provide bagged breakfasts that children can eat in the classroom.

“We need to provide some transparency around what schools are doing,” said Councilman Ben Kallos, an Upper East Side Democrat and co-sponsor of the legislation. Brooklyn Councilman Stephen Levin is the bill’s other co-sponsor.

Under the bill, the Department of Education would be required to publicly post the number of students who receive free breakfast before and after the school day begins, as well as the number of schools that have a salad bar in their cafeteria, and the number of students served after-school snacks and dinner.


Our Town
Ben Kallos



Gotham Gazette
Samar Khurshid

The letter to de Blasio is signed by Council Members Garodnick, Donovan Richards, Fernando Cabrera, Rafael Espinal, Corey Johnson, Ben Kallos, Andy King, Stephen Levin, Mark Levine, Carlos Menchaca, Rosie Mendez, I. Daneek Miller, Antonio Reynoso, and James Vacca. It states, in part, "Creating a sustainable regional food system that meets [the $1 billion] demand and offers equal access to nutritious food will improve public health, bolster the city's "good food" economy, build resilience in the wake of extreme weather events and reduce the city's "foodprint" as a way to mitigate the impacts of climate change."


New York Daily News
Erin Durkin

Tenants would get a voter registration form with every new lease under a bill that will be introduced in the City Council this week.

Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) will sponsor the legislation, which would require landlords to distribute the forms, encouraging newcomers to the city to sign up to vote and people who are moving within the five boroughs to update their registration.

“People are coming from all over the country,” Kallos said. “This will make sure that as people get here, they will register to vote as they get their lease.”


Matthew Jelalian

The Gotham Gazette reported that New York City Council members Ben Kallos, Laurie Cumbo and Robert Cornegy are trying to pass an ordinance to help parents re-enter the workplace.


Ivan Pereira

The Council will also create pilot a texting initiative that will push alerts and information to New Yorkers. Councilman Ben Kallos, said one of the roadmap's biggest plans was to release more data from the Council and city agencies in databases that can be access by civic groups and the public easily for free.

"It means anyone who can access information when they want it on their own terms," he said.


Dave Nyczepir

The 2016 ballot for the council’s District Five, which covers part of Manhattan’s Upper East Side, includes funding options like $280,000 toward improving exterior lighting on the New York Public Library East 67th Street branch, $500,000 to build a green roof for environmental education at PS/IS 217, $385,000 for a community garden at Lexington Houses, $400,000 to renovate the John Jay Park basketball courts, and $150,000 to put in bus bulbs along East 86th Street—along with 11 alternatives.


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.


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.