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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.”


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.


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.



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.