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 Coverage
EcoWatch: Transforming Green
Friday, July 25, 2014

Despite U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scientific findings that the misuse of antibiotics in farm animals threatens human health from “superbugs,” business will continue as usual.

The practice of feeding low doses of antibiotics to healthy livestock on factory farms is contributing to an increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or superbugs, which is a growing public health concern.

While the appeals court decision is disappointing to those working to keep antibiotics effective, their efforts continue. New York City Council Member Ben Kallos yesterday introduced Resolution 353 calling for a New York State and national ban on non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in livestock.

- Read more

Press Coverage
TechPresident
Thursday, July 24, 2014

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015.

But what what matters more to New York City open data advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality and values: creating a transparent process of releasing the data, making the data machine-readable and prioritizing release of data sets in high demand. As preparations are underway for City Council hearings on the law, New York City's open data progress and challenges are both a model and reflective of open data efforts across the country.

"I think New York City is doing an amazing job with Open Data. I think that the city is not taking nearly enough credit for a lot of the datasets involved with the Mayor's Management report," said City Council member Ben Kallos, chair of the Government Operations Committee, referring to datasets related to a mandated annual public report card of city services. "It may appear like it's only one dataset here and there but the underlying data is so rich and contains so many hundreds of other datasets that the administration is releasing so much more information than anyone expected by this point."

- Read more

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.

- Read more

Press Coverage
New York Daily News
Friday, July 25, 2014

Heads up!

The city would be required to give community members one month’s notice before making traffic changes under a bill introduced Thursday by Councilman Ben Kallos and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

"Community members have a right to know about changes that are happening in their neighborhoods, and community boards are one of the best ways to spread the word," said Councilman Ben Kallos

 

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Press Release

The New York City Council today passed legislation to put all New York City laws online through the City's website and expand the City Record Online.
 
Int. 149, “The Law Online,” Prime Sponsored by Council Member Brad Lander and also sponsored by Council Members Ben Kallos and James Vacca, will ensure all New York City law—charter and administrative code—gets put online in a searchable and user-friendly format.

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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.”

Read more

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.

- Read more

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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