Stop Super-Scrapers

Join our fight against buildings of unlimited heights in residential neighborhoods

Legislation

Read, vote and comment on my legislation

Opposing the Marine Transfer Station

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

Livable Streets

Safer streets for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers ...

Join Our Open Policy Platform

Vote, comment, improve upon, or suggest your own solutions for a better city.

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 mother, who still lives in the neighborhood, and his grandparents, who fled anti-Semitism in Europe. A Bronx Science graduate, Ben knows that our public schools are more than just budget line.  He attended SUNY Albany and SUNY Buffalo Law School, where he paid his own way through.

In the City Council, Ben chairs the Committee on Governmental Operations, where he promotes transparency to ensure every dollar gets spent to improve your quality of life--from affordable housing to senior services to better schools.

Updates

Event
Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 10:00am

You are cordially invited to provide expert testimony at a hearing of the Committee on Contracts at City Hall on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 10:00AM on the Free and Open Source Software Act and Civic Commons.

Read more

Press Release
Monday, February 8, 2016

The Eastside Taskforce for Homeless Outreach and Services (“ETHOS”) launched today by Council Member Ben Kallos, Council Member Dan Garodnick, State Senator Liz Krueger and Manhattan Borough Preisdent Gale Brewer with churches, synagogues, and non-profits devoted to addressing challenges facing the significant number of homeless people on the Upper East Side. The Taskforce, in formation over the past 4 months, will provide support for breakfast, lunch and dinner meals, food pantries, street outreach, legal services, substance abuse, medical, supportive housing and shelter services.

Read more

Press Coverage
New York Daily News
Monday, February 8, 2016

Apartments should be offered for people making less than the average 60% of area median income — $46,620 for a family of three — currently targeted in the plan, says the 18-member group, which represents about a third of the Council.“We believe in having deeper levels of affordability,” said Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), the vice chair for policy.

 

Read more

Press Coverage
StreetsBlog
Thursday, February 4, 2016

Two Manhattan bike projects went before community boards last night. The CB 8 transportation committee heard from DOT about the agency’s plan forcrosstown bike lanes on the Upper East Side, and CB 4 endorsed the protected lane on Sixth Avenue, which DOT plans to install in the fall.

The crosstown painted lanes would span the width of the Upper East Side, providing safer east-west access for a neighborhood that currently has only one bike lane pair — 90th and 91st streets. The new bike lane pairs are East 67th and 68th streets between Fifth and York, 77th and 78th Streets between Fifth and John Jay Park, and 84th and 85th Streets between Fifth and East End. After the eastern termini at Cherokee Place and East End Avenue, shared lanes will guide cyclists to parks and the East River Esplanade greenway.

Read more

Press Coverage
Gotham Gazette
Friday, February 5, 2016

The mayor got a thumbs up from business leaders. "Mayor de Blasio focused on investing in the city 's future, ranging from building new centers of innovation and economic activity to developing a novel transit connector between Brooklyn and Queens and creating a network of health centers serving the South Bronx," said Partnership for NYC President and CEO Kathy Wylde in a statement. "These are priorities that the business community shares – practical and achievable. They will contribute to the city's vitality and stimulate private investment."

Meanwhile, progressive lawmakers and advocates are excited about the retirement savngs program, which the mayor will work on with City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Public Advocate Letitia James, Comptroller Scott Stringer, and others. City Council Member Ben Kallos, who helped develop the model for the program while working with liberal activist Bill Samuels at EffectiveNY, will introduce legislation so that "any New Yorker working at a business with ten or more employees to automatically enroll in a retirement plan."

Read more

Press Release
Thursday, February 4, 2016

"Retirement isn't something aging New Yorkers should have to worry about. We need pensions for all so New Yorkers can retire in security," said Council Member Ben Kallos, who helped develop the Retirement Security for All proposal while at Bill Samuels' EffectiveNY and will be introducing legislation to make it a reality. "Thank you to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Letitia James, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Council Member I. Daneek Miller for their leadership and partnership in bringing retirement security to the private sector and all New Yorkers."

 

Read more

Press Coverage
City Limits
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The proposal would protect neighborhood aesthetics with height caps on new developments and provide additional benefits to affected communities.  On January 21, 2016, the Department of City Planning received a zoning proposal from the East River Fifties Alliance, a neighborhood coalition led by City Council members Ben Kallos and Daniel Garodnick, which is the most comprehensive residential re-zoning proposal to ever be submitted by a community group. The proposal seeks to safeguard the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan from the construction of skyscrapers.  Council members Kallos and Garodnick, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and New York State Senator Liz Krueger are also co-applicants on the proposal, which can be found here.

Read more

Event
Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm

Hear from experts in the environmental field, learn how to save money on your utilities bills, and easy ways to save energy and the environment.

Please note the location is tentative. Participants who RSVP will receive an update if it changes.

Read more

Press Release
Thursday, January 28, 2016

New York City Council Members would become full time with stipends referred to as “lulus” banned for all members other than the Speaker and Minority leader by legislation introduced today by Council Member Ben Kallos, Chair of the Governmental Operations Committee.

“City Council Members will be working full time for their residents without the influence of stipends and outside income,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “New York City continues to lead with reforms the people want to see at all levels of government.”

Read more