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

New York, NY– Kids’ meals that include toys as incentives would meet specific nutritional standards under a City Council “Healthy Happy Meals” bill to be introduced today. The bill, sponsored by Council Member Ben Kallos and co-sponsored by Council Members Stephen Levin and Corey Johnson and originally introduced by former Council Member Leroy Comrie in 2011, sets standards for the calories, sodium and fat of the incentivized restaurant meals and would require the inclusion of a fruit, vegetable or whole grain serving.

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Press Release

 The following statement can be attributed to Council Member Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) on improvements to Checkbook NYC:

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Press Coverage
National Geographic
Thursday, August 14, 2014

With the past decade of food issues at the forefront of public discourse, new organizations to improve the food network have sprung up that don’t operate under the same assumptions that older food organizations use. As Councilman Ben Kallos (D) of New York City wrote to me last week in support of his proposal to create a government-based FPC, there are “hundreds of food active groups, from the organizations with annual budgets of millions of dollars to the tiny neighborhood advocates…. A Food Policy Council would help level the playing field for the grassroots advocates…”

 

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Press Coverage
New York Public Library Government & Community Affairs Newsletter
Thursday, August 7, 2014

For the first time since 2008, The New York Public Library will receive an increase in city operating funds. Thanks to Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and the New York City Council, the City's libraries will receive a $10 million increase in funding, of which $4.4 million will go to the NYPL. 

Thank you to the following elected officials who allocated capital funding for library projects in the FY15 budget.

  • Mayor Bill de Blasio
  • Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito
  • Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.
  • Borough President Gale Brewer
  • Borough President James Oddo
  • Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo
  • Council Member Margaret Chin
  • Council Member Andrew Cohen
  • Council Member Inez Dickens
  • Council Member Corey Johnson
  • Council Member Ben Kallos
  • Council Member Andy King
  • Council Member Mark Levine
  • Council Member Steven Matteo
  • Council Member James Vacca

On July 22, Council Member Ben Kallos visited the 67th Street Library to say hello to the children participating in the branch's Science Explorers program. Science Explorers is an afternoon of fun science exploration when children read stories and basic non-fiction text to learn about early science concepts. Following the reading, participants conduct experiments or create art relating to the week's topic. 

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Press Coverage
Government Executive
Monday, August 11, 2014

The legislation was co-sponsored by New York City Council members Brad Lander, who chairs the Rules, Privileges and Elections Committee, and Ben Kallos, who chairs the Governmental Affairs Committee.

Kallos, is also a member of the Free Law Founders, a coalition of local government officials and open-government advocates around the country who have recently joined forces to push for open-data reform on the city and state level and are working on common data standards and open-source tools for local governments.

“The agility of code is pushing government to be more responsive,”Kallos told GovExec State & Local earlier this summer.

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Press Coverage
Government Technology
Friday, August 8, 2014

Keeping tabs on municipal business and city laws just got a lot easier in the Big Apple.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed two bills that improve government transparency. The first, Introductory 363-A, requires online posting of the City Record – NYC’s daily list of procurement notices, bid solicitations and awards – within 24 hours of the print edition publishing. The second, Introductory 149-A, mandates that New York City laws and its Charter be published on the Web. Any changes to the rules must be updated online within 30 days.

Int. 149 has a number of benefits for both residents and city staff. While the city’s laws are currently online, they are hard to locate and are only updated twice a year, according to Int. 149 co-sponsor Council Member Ben Kallos.

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Press Coverage
Gotham Gazette
Monday, August 4, 2014

The basic philosophy behind the Solid Waste Management Plan is to establish a more equitable -and less impactful- waste processing system, with infrastructure in every borough. Not surprisingly, communities targeted for new and/or upgraded waste infrastructure facilities are responding with bitter opposition.

Opponents to the 91st St Marine Transfer Station say that, besides taking DSNY trucks off the road, the station will not contribute to a more environmentally sustainable waste management system in New York City. "It [the transfer station] harms residents," said Council Member Ben Kallos, who represents the area.

"Instead of being located in an industrial area, it is being placed...between an Olympic training ground serving 30,000 children from all five boroughs and a public housing development with 1,173 units, and within feet of 6 schools and 22,056 residents."

Opponents like Kallos argue that the City should be focused on reducing the actual waste stream, and not on large capital projects.

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Press Coverage
TechPresident
Thursday, August 7, 2014

But beyond the legislation to make future editions of the City Records, which goes into effect in one year, the city has also reached out to a group of civic technology and advocacy organizations to undertake an effort over the next year to make around 4,000 previous editions of the City Record from 1998 to the present, currently in PDF format, accessible in a comparable way.

Coordinating that effort are Noel Hidalgo and Chris Whong, executive director and co-captain, respectively, of New York City's Code for America brigade BetaNYC, which has pushed for the legislation along with sponsor City Council member Ben Kallos, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Council member James Vacca and City Council member Brad Lander.

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Press Coverage
Gotham Gazette
Friday, August 8, 2014

On Thursday, August 7th, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed new legislation that will start the process of creating a new, data-friendly online portal for the City Record. The bill, introduced by Council Member Ben Kallos, requires the City Record be published in a machine-readable format and be fully searchable. In addition, the administration will, for the first time, formally partner with the civic tech community to ensure the backlog of City Records are in the same format.

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Press Release

“Open government means laws and notices are online, where New Yorkers expect to find them,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “Now, public information printed daily in the City Record, such as meetings, contracts, and City planning, will be online, complete and up to date, so residents can make informed choices and data analysts can help us achieve a smarter city. Putting the law online upholds Hammurabi’s legacy of making the law public on stone tablets millenia ago. In the 21st Century, that means putting all laws online, continuously updated, and Council Member Lander’s Open Law legislation does exactly that. Under Mayor de Blasio, technology and open government to spur business, improve government and close the digital divide, are priorities. I thank him, Speaker Mark-Viverito, and all the activists who worked on this for turning these ideas into law.”

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