Kallos Named "Rising Star" in 40 Under 40

... each night, he asks himself whether he made the world a better place than it was when...

Opposing the Marine Transfer Station

Marine Transfer Stations must not be placed in residential neighborhoods or existing...

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About Ben Kallos

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 promotes transparency to ensure every dollar gets spent to improve your quality of life - from affordable housing to senior services to better schools.

Updates

Press Release

Today, Council Member Ben Kallos introduced a resolution supporting a statewide and national ban on non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in livestock production—a process that puts Americans’ health at risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than two million Americans fall ill each year with antibiotic resistant infections, with 23,000 people dying from these infections.

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Press Release

Traffic changes made by the Department of Transportation would require a month’s notice to Community Boards, under legislation introduced today by Council Member Ben Kallos and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.  Under the “traffic notice” bill, community boards—the most on-the-ground community representation—would receive a minimum of one month’s notice for street direction changes, parking, turn regulations and more.

The bill will allow communities an opportunity to raise red flags or to prepare for and disseminate information about new traffic rules.

“Communities need to be informed about changes in traffic patterns – in order to ensure effectiveness and fair enforcement, as well as provide an opportunity for input when relevant. My office has been working with Community Boards and City agencies to improve traffic safety and help inform the Vision Zero initiative, and a key part of these efforts is doing more to improve transparency,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

“No community should be taken by surprise by traffic changes,” said Council Member Kallos. “Our streets are places we rely on to travel and commute. Community members must have a say and a stake in the changes that affect their neighborhoods. Community boards are the first line of defense for communities, and increasing the information available to them will improve transparency and the decisions made.”

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Press Coverage
Capital New York
Thursday, July 24, 2014

A bill before the New York City Council this afternoon would require the timely posting of film and television production locations and times, in a searchable format, to the city's website.

The Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment currently requires productions to distribute letters notifying local residents and merchants at least 48 hours in advance of a shoot, an agency spokesperson said in an email. Productions are also obliged to post "No Parking" signs with a contact number 48 hours before a shoot begins, and residents are encouraged to contact the Mayor's Office with their concerns immediately via 311.

But bill sponsors Manhattan borough president Gale Brewer and Council member Ben Kallos think these measures aren't giving residents enough warning. The proposed legislation is one part of Kallos and Brewer's larger effort to make more public data freely available online and the city government more transparent.

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Press Coverage
New York Observer
Thursday, July 24, 2014

Don’t toss that tape.

Just in time for Throwback Thursday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Councilman Ben Kallos will introduce legislation today to protect the city’s video archives — including footage on VHS and Betamax tapes.

“Those records would be preserved by the city in whatever format they would choose — my preference would be for digital, my preference would be for open-format,” Mr. Kallos told the Observer Wednesday.

The bill was originally penned by Ms. Brewer when she was in the Council, and it will be introduced on her behalf and by Mr. Kallos.

 

 

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Press Coverage
Capital New York
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras, who chairs the finance committee and requested the data during a budget hearing earlier this year, said she will introduce legislation in October with Councilman Ben Kallos that would require E.C.B. to report quarterly to the Council on fines that are issued by city agencies and adjudicated by the E.C.B. The information would also have to be made available to the public.

"As we have learned through nearly 100 hours spent in budget hearings, transparency is of the utmost importance when it comes to the oversight of our city's dollars," Ferreras said in a statement. "Clearly, these fines date far past our current administration. It should not take hearings and several weeks of inter-agency communication to retrieve this information; it should be readily available."

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Press Coverage
New York Observer
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

22 council members will now take part in participatory budgeting, up from 10 currently. Each council member will have at least $1 million to dole out to projects that their district votes for in next year’s budget. In total, more than $25 million will be spent on future projects, Ms. Mark-Viverito said.

Began in 2011 with just four council members (Ms. Mark-Viverito, not yet the speaker, was one of them), the program is now enticing many council members from the body’s liberal wing and even a handful of moderates. Many freshmen lawmakers are also getting involved, including Council members Andrew Cohen, Paul Vallone, Mark Levine, Carlos Menchaca, Daneek Miller, Ritchie Torres, Mark Treyger, Corey Johnson, Mark Treyger, Ben Kallos and Helen Rosenthal.

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Press Coverage
Gotham Gazette
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Newly elected Council Member Ben Kallos, who had also made such a pledge, joined the nine other districts with his own truncated PB process after taking office in January of 2014, making for ten total participating districts in FY2014.

The ten districts were those represented by repeaters Lander, Mark-Viverito, Williams, Ulrich, Weprin, Levin, Greenfield; and first-timers Kallos, Gonzalez (replaced by Menchaca), and Donovan Richards.

Now, as the FY2015 process is underway, Gotham Gazette has confirmed that the ten council districts in which council members dedicated funds to PB last year will again run the program, while at least ten other council members have committed to initiate the process. These new confirmations include Council Members Corey Johnson, Dan Garodnick, Helen Rosenthal, Mark Levine, Andrew Cohen, Ritchie Torres, Jimmy Van Bramer, Daneek Miller, Antonio Reynoso, and Mark Treyger.

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Press Coverage
The Epoch Times
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A City Council committee voted unanimously on Tuesday to pass bills that would require the city to publish its laws and its official newspaper online.

Currently, the city contracts the New York City Legal Publishing Corporation to publish the City Charter, the Administrative Code, and Rules online. But the contractor is not required to update the laws regularly. The new bill would require the city’s law department to publish the laws online, internally or through a contractor, and update them at least once every four weeks.

“In this age of complex legal requirements in so many areas of our life it is more important than ever for the law to be accessible to everybody. In the age of Hammurabi that meant putting it in cuneiform. Today it means putting it online,” Ben Kallos, the chair of the Council committee on government operations, said.

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Event
Monday, August 4, 2014 - 3:00pm - 6:00pm

Have questions about housing? Join us on Monday, July 21st from 3 - 6pm for our first Housing Legal Clinic with Paul Kushner from Eviction Intervention Services (EIS) Housing Resource Center. He will see constituents on a first come, first serve basis so come by at 3pm to sign up for an appointment and you will recieve a call as soon as your spot is available. 

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Press Coverage
New York Daily News
Saturday, July 19, 2014

The good news is that 10 members flat-out refused the money: Brad Lander, Alan Maisel, Carlos Menchaca and Mark Treyger of Brooklyn; Andy Cohen of the Bronx; Dan Garodnick, Ben Kallos, Mark Levine and Helen Rosenthal of Manhattan; and Steve Matteo of Staten Island.

Not only did they say no, but Mark-Viverito gave all 10 the option to beg off for the three-and-a-half years left in their terms. All 10 did.

Garodnick and Lander are turning down $15,000 yearly, Matteo is declining $5,000 and the rest, $8,000. They believe that all Council members should be paid the same and put principle before personal interest. Salute their integrity.

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