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Opposing the Marine Transfer Station

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A Vision for the Esplanade

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About Ben Kallos

New York City Council Member Ben Kallos was praised by the New York Times for his “fresh ideas” and elected in 2013 to represent the Upper East Side, Midtown East, Roosevelt Island and East Harlem along with all 8.4 million New Yorkers in the New York City Council.  He 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. As Vice-Chair of the Jewish Caucus he has been an ardent advocate for Israel and supporter of Jewish causes.

As Chair of the Governmental Operations Committee where he has sought to root out patronage, de-privatize government, eliminate billions in waste, expand elections, and to use technology to improve access to government.  He has become a leading advocate for education, affordable housing, public health, sustainable development and transportation improvements and safety.  His office is open and transparent, with constituents invited to decide on how to spend one million dollars on local projects in the district as well as to join him in a conversation on the First Friday of each month, or he will go to them if they can gather ten neighbors for “Ben In Your Building.”

Most Recent Newsletter

December News: Holiday Party, New Park, Mayor's Management

Friend,

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and are looking forward to the December Holidays. Please join me and my staff at our District Office for our annual Holiday Party this coming Tuesday, December 6, from 5pm to 7pm.

Many have reached out to me following this year’s Presidential Election results. As with all situations, we will move forward as we have on countless issues over the last three years, together. While some want to build walls, we must build connections by organizing communities in our buildings, block, neighborhood, borough, city, and state. Whether you want to focus on public education, access to reproductive health, affordable housing, public transportation, the environment, protecting our immigrants, or another issue, we are here, as always, to support and empower you.

As covered by The Wall Street Journal, the East River 50s Alliance and I helped obtain a stop work order on the demolition job connected to the proposed 950-foot Sutton Superscraper. We also formally submitted our rezoning proposal, the next big step towards capping the height of buildings in the Sutton Area at 260 feet. As Co-Chair of the East River Esplanade Taskforce with Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, I worked with the City and Friends of the East River Esplanade to open the East 90th Street Pier Park.

As we celebrate the holidays, I reflect on how thankful I am to be your Council Member and for our partnership in making our community a better place. Whatever you need, whether it is a free menorah or help with housing, we are here to help.

Sincerely,

Ben Kallos
Council Member

P.S. First Friday is December 2nd and Policy Night is December 13th. Also be sure to RSVP for my State of the District event on Janaury 22, 2017 at Memorial Sloan Kettering. 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Holiday Party
  2. Stop Work Order Issued at Sutton Tower
  3. 90th Street Pier Opens as Park to Public
  4. Improvements to the Mayor’s Management Report
  5. Proclamation for Heroic Firefighters
  6. New This Month: Land Use and Landmarking Clinic with Historic Districts Council

ELECTION 2016

  1. The Presidential Election
  2. Long Lines on Election Day
  3. Homeless Outreach to Encourage Voting
  4. Registering as an Organ Donor Gets Easier and Disenfranchised Incarcerated Voters Get Absentee Ballots

TRANSPORTATION

  1. Bike Safety Program Reels in Results
  2. Protecting Tenants from 2nd Avenue Subway Displacement

HEALTH & SAFETY

  1. Universal Free School Lunch
  2. Obamacare Signup
  3. Preparing for Emergencies
  4. Free Smoke Detectors, Preventing Home Fires
  5. Medicare Enrollment Event

HOUSING

  1. Eastside Task Force for Homeless Outreach Meets to Make a Difference
  2. Supreme Court Denies Appeal to Remove Landmark
  3. Advocacy Protects NYC’s Integrated Communities from Proposed HUD Policy
  4. Tenants & Neighbors Protecting Our Affordable Housing
  5. Landmarks50 Alliance Luncheon
  6. Protecting affordable Housing on Roosevelt Island

EQUALITY

  1. Supporting Pay Equity for Female City Employees
  2. National Women’s History Museum
  3. Language Access

COMMUNITY

  1. Apply for Kindergarten
  2. Public Service Award from NCJFE and Blue Card Dinner
  3. Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway
  4. Constituent Spotlight: “Madam Secretary” Goes Green
  5. Pre-Turkey Day Shred-A-Thon
  6. Junior Tennis League and Meeting with Parents
  7. Welcoming Windward
  8. Goodwill Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
  9. In the Community

OFFICE UPDATES

  1. Legislative Corner
  2. Progressive Caucus: 15 Priority Bills Passed
  3. Free Legal Clinics
  4. Here to Help
  5. Mobile District Hours
  6. Ben in Your Building

EVENTS AND RESOURCES

  1. City Council Events
  2. Government Meetings
  3. Community Boards
  4. New York Police Department
  5. Neighborhood and Tenant Association
  6. Community Events for Kids
  7. Community Events for Adults
  8. Resources Funded in Part by My Office

Updates

Press Coverage
BOSS MAGAZINE
Friday, December 9, 2016

New York City Councilman Ben Kallos explained,  “New Yorkers want to get where they are going fast. Everyone hates traffic jams, especially when they are for road work, but no one is actually there doing the work. It’s about making sure we are only impeding traffic and causing traffic when we absolutely need to.”

Read more

Press Coverage
Gotham Gazette
Thursday, December 8, 2016

New York City Council Member Ben Kallos, chair of the governmental operations committee, is an avid social media user who often solicits questions through Twitter during committee hearings. He’s well aware of the intersection of technology and governance and the issues that can arise with an elected representative’s use of social media. “Its pretty confusing to the public because they don’t know who to tweet sometimes,” he said of his own experience with separate accounts for official and campaign purposes. “So I have to spend double duty making sure I’m managing both, paying attention to both and ensuring that whether a constituent tweets my campaign or government [account], they get the services they need.”

He said officials should generally ensure that the distinctions between accounts are clear and they “respond from the right places and retweet from the right places.”

“It can be a little bit of a minefield,” Kallos said, “but you just have to be extra cautious.”

Read more

Press Coverage
Upper East Side Patch,NYC
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

City Councilman Ben Kallos, who represents the Upper East Side and parts of Midtown, proposed a new bill to wage war on the city's nearly 9,000 units of scaffolding — also known as sidewalk sheds — by placing strict regulations on how long scaffolding is allowed to stay up and by punishing people who opt to leave scaffolding up rather than finish inspections and construction projects.

If passed, the bill would require building owners take a scaffolding unit down within 90 days of its construction, according to a press release from Kallos' office. If needed, building owners could receive a 90 day extension to fix a dangerous condition.

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Press Coverage
Crain's New York
Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Sidewalk sheds, the unattractive steel-and-wood structures that pop up anytime a building is being built, repaired or has been deemed unsafe, have spread across the city like kudzu during the past decade. As Crain's described in a cover story earlier this year, approximately 190 miles of them are devouring sidewalk space, cutting off sunlight and hurting businesses trapped underneath.

But at long last, there may be relief for exasperated New Yorkers.

On Tuesday, City Councilman Ben Kallos introduced a bill that would require sheds to be taken down if no work is done on the building above for seven days, with exceptions for weather and other issues. The legislation would close a loophole that allows landlords to keep dormant sheds up forever, so long as the city's Department of Buildings grants a permit, which it routinely does. The bill would also let the city do the work and bill the property owner.

Laurent Delly, who has lived near a shed that has stood since 2004 at the corner of West 123rd Street and Lenox Avenue, called the bill great news for the city. "We would be pleased with a tangible solution to this chronic issue, which has affected all of us as New Yorkers for years," he said.

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Press Coverage
Habitat
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

But sidewalk sheds have been known to overstay their welcome, like a drunken uncle, sometimes sticking around for a dozen years or more, providing magnets for drug dealers, homeless people, trash, and worse. To remedy the situation, city councilman Ben Kallos, who represents the Upper East Side, proposed a new law on Tuesday that would give building owners three months, with the possibility of a three-month extension, to make repairs and remove scaffolding and sidewalk sheds, the New York Times reports. If the work is not completed in that time, the city will step in to do it, and charge the owner for the work.

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Press Coverage
Metro
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A bill introduced in City Council on Tuesday gives a timeline for when scaffolding has to come down or the building owner has to pay up.

The bill would set a 90-day deadline for building owners to fix a dangerous condition, according to Kallos' office. Another 90 days could be requested if an extension is required.

After the deadline, the city would finish the construction work or repairs and the building owner would have to foot the bill.

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Press Release
Tuesday, December 6, 2016

New York, NY – Nearly 9,000 scaffolds that entomb 190 miles of City sidewalks may soon be dismantled, under legislation introduced by Council Member Ben Kallos. Unnecessary scaffolding also known as “sidewalk sheds” would have to be removed if seven days pass without construction work.
 
Sidewalk sheds are temporary structures, made of wooden planks, boards and metal pipes to protect pedestrians from dangerous conditions that are being corrected or new construction. Scaffolding is not only an eyesore but attract crime such as drug deals and provide an alternative to shelter for homeless. Many sidewalk sheds persist for years, sometimes more than a decade. There are several sidewalk sheds in Council District 5 represented by Kallos that have been up for years, over two years at 340 East 64th Street and 301 East 95th Street and over three years at 349 East 74th Street. Often times, it is much more expensive to fix a dangerous condition than to leave a sidewalk shed up indefinitely
 Kallos’ legislation would set the following timeline for sidewalk sheds in place for dangerous conditions:

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