For New York City Council
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
Published: August 30, 2013
MANHATTAN’S DISTRICT 5 (Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island): A few months ago, this race looked as if it would be an easy win for Assemblyman Micah Kellner. Then came the accusations against him of sexual harassment — charges now being investigated by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics in Albany. Fortunately, there is a better candidate in this race: Ben Kallos, a lawyer and activist. Mr. Kallos has government experience as a legislative aide in Albany, where he worked to begin putting voting records online. He has impressive proposals to help students who attend the City University of New York by forgiving college loans to those who work and stay in the city, and to require developers to build more affordable apartments to get tax abatements. He wants to expand broadband service and revisit congestion pricing. Ben Kallos brings fresh ideas and merits this seat.
Confronted with corruption in Albany, Ben put voting records online so New Yorkers could finally hold politicians accountable.
Since then he's run a government reform organization that successfully removed corruption from government and served as Policy Director for former Public Advocate Mark Green.
Ben grew up on the Upper East Side with his grandparents, who fled anti-Semitism in Europe and his mother who still lives here, and who Ben currently supports in her battle against Parkinson's disease.
Graduating from Bronx Science, Ben knows that our public schools are more than just budget line. he also attended SUNY Albany and SUNY Buffalo Law School, where he paid his own way.
In the Council, Ben will promote transparency to ensure every dollar gets spent to improve your qulaity of life - from affordable housing to senior services to better schools.
Protecting Your Quality of Life
- Fought corruption by making voting records easily accessible online
- Forced developers to invest in the community
- Supported seniors by advocating for home and community care to keep them healthy and independent
- Protected residents and businesses along the 2nd Avenue subway construction by advocating for safety and helping to draft small business grants legislation
- Improved education by supporting new schools
- Committed to fighting the Marine Transfer Station on 91st Street
As a member of the City Council, he will represent you in the Fifth District, be open and accountable to you, and put the focus back on issues of utmost importance to the community, succeeding Councilmember Jessica Lappin as she runs for Manhattan Borough President.
In response to the budget deal, Council members focused on gains made, praising the 'breakfast after the bell' provision in the budget for reducing negativity around hunger for elementary school children. "Hungry kids will face less stigma at school because of $17.9 million for 'breakfast after the bell' for 339,000 children at 530 elementary schools, which I rallied for and introduced legislation supporting," said Council Member Ben Kallos in a post-budget statement. Kallos, a strong supporter of expanding free school meals, added that "New York City is now an important step away from being near last among big cities in public school breakfast participation."
New York, NY— Today, Council Member Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) issued the following statement on the Rent Guidelines Board's decision to freeze rents for tenants in rent stabilized units:
But City Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), who has waged a campaign to clean up a board that built a bad rep as a nest of patronage and blundering, had plenty to say.
“The Board of Elections waited until just after the (city) budget agreement was announced to sneak in a raise for top managers, who are already overpaid,” fumed Kallos, who helps oversee the agency as head of the Council’s Governmental Operations Committee.
Kallos said the raise money would have been better spent preparing and running elections to cut down on long lines and head off problems for voters.
“Between refusing to (advertise) for open positions or major meetings, failure to correct for nepotism, and constant overspending, they should be cutting salaries — not raising them,” Kallos said.
New York, NY -- Senior and disabled New Yorkers would see improvements to hazardous sidewalk conditions if new legislation from Council Member Ben Kallos passes. The bill mandates that if property owners fail to perform needed sidewalk repairs, the city will issue penalties and then step in to provide the fixes and bill the party responsible. There are 889,219 New Yorkers with disabilities and nearly one million residents 65 or older, all of whom must safely get around.
Bidders on a Law Department request for proposal to publish the City Charter, rules and laws in a format more accessible to the public will not be able to derive revenue from that official online publication following revisions to the R.F.P. advocated by Councilman Ben Kallos.
New York, NY— The following statement can be attributed to New York City Council Member Ben Kallos, Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations:
Nancy Ploeger, president of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, along with Councilmembers Ben Kallos and David Garodnick, announced the launch of the Second Ave. app last month.
The app is designed to help businesses that have been hurt by the ongoing construction of the Second Ave. subway. The app gives users easy access to the 457 businesses along the avenue.
“We have a lot of young people around Second Avenue and of course everyone using apps today,” said Ploeger.
Kallos and Garodnick helped find money for the project, allocating $10,000 to bring the idea to life. According to Kallos, public-private partnership was an essential model for supporting the small businesses that suffer because of necessary infrastructure improvements.
Public Advocate Letitia James and Manhattan Councilmen Ben Kallos and Corey Johnson were among the elected officials who crowded around the enormous H-shaped stage and shook hands with the Democratic front-runner. Ms. James—who earlier this year demurred before endorsing the former first lady’s candidacy—told the Observer that she saw Ms. Clinton as a “she-ro,” and applauded the emphasis Ms. Clinton put on paid sick and family leave in her speech.
“She’s a woman. I want to be on the right side of history,” the public advocate said, noting that Ms. Clinton would be the first female commander-in-chief. “She touched on 90 percent of the things I care about”
Mr. Kallos seemed overjoyed that the ex-senator’s campaign launched in his Manhattan district.
“Pleasure to welcome the next POTUS Hillary Clinton to my district,” Mr. Kallos tweeted, cheering Ms. Clinton’s previous calls for automatic, universal voter registration.
As Clinton talked about some of the structural challenges facing America—changes in technology, the rise of global trade—Ben Kallos, the councilman representing Roosevelt Island, posed for a selfie.
“It’s all about the almighty dollar too often, and that is in exchange for living conditions of human beings and right now we say no to that,” said City Council member Jumaane D. Williams, who along with City Council members Dan Garodnick, and Ben Kallos, came out in support against predatory equity landlords. “Human capital is the most important thing that we have in this city of New York and we want to make sure that everybody has the ability to live in an affordable unit and have protections against arbitrary evictions and to live in a unit fit for a human to occupy.”