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Elected officials have joined the war against e-bikes: in December, East Side councilmen Dan Garodnick and Ben Kallos issued a “report card” grading restaurants. Establishments that used e-bikes for delivery automatically received failing grades. Kallos told the Voice that he would like to see doormen refuse entry to delivery workers using e-bikes.
Low-income seniors and families now have access to high-speed internet service for less than 15 dollars per month through a new program available to customers of Charter Communications, the cable giant that acquired Time Warner Cable last year and offers broadband service in New York through its Spectrum brand.
“Over a million New Yorkers will have access to low-cost broadband” through the Spectrum Internet Assist program, City Council Member Ben Kallos said at an event announcing the initiative at Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center on East 93rd Street last week.
“This new service will ensure internet access is no longer a luxury that goes to the few, but is rather treated as a basic necessity in the 21st Century,” said New York City Public Advocate Letitia James.
Elderly and low-income New Yorkers will soon have access to affordable high-speed internet, thanks to a new product from Charter Communications.
Spectrum Internet Assist offers qualifying seniors and families high-speed broadband internet for $14.99 a month. Standard features like email inboxes, internet security software and a modem are included for free.
Public Advocate Letitia James and City Councilman Ben Kallos announced the initiative at the Stanley Issacs Community Center on East 93rd Street Thursday.
"Access to affordable high-speed internet should not be a luxury reserved for few -- it is increasingly important for everyone to have access in today's society," said James. "New Yorkers young and old depend on internet access for basic life functions but too often do not have access in their own homes because services are truly cost prohibitive."
State regulators gave the Connecticut-based communication company permission last year to buy Time Warner Cable on the condition that it upgrade broadband speeds and expand high-speed Web service to low-income consumers.
City Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) and Public Advocate Letitia James supported the sale conditions.
“Access to affordable high-speed internet should not be a luxury reserved for few — it is increasingly important for everyone to have access in today’s society," James said in a statement.
The new service is meant to "bridge the digital divide" and bring the "absolute necessity" to those who haven't been able to afford it until now, according to Public Advocate Letitia James, who announced the service on Thursday at the Stanley Isaacs Community Center with Councilman Ben Kallos — both spearheaded the push for more affordable internet.
Charter's lead offer for residential high-speed internet at 100MB is $44.99 a month.
Stanley Isaacs resident Ron Riley, 41, said that he'll now be able to afford internet access instead of relying on his smartphone. His son has a learning disability and frequently uses the phone's internet to watch educational videos.
"This is going to help get him online so he can watch YouTube and the programs he watches to learn," Riley told DNAinfo New York. "This will help me take care of him."
Carter, who heads the city’s Law Department, testified before the Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations that the state and federal investigations into the mayor and his aides necessitated the hiring of outside counsel. “The ongoing investigations are criminal in nature,” Carter told Council Member Ben Kallos, the committee chair, “and I know from my 40 years of experience in law enforcement that that is a…specialized area of practice that requires experience because of the delicacy of the judgments to be made.”
Carter noted that the investigations involve an area of practice “particularly sensitive to conflicts of interest” and dozens of witnesses, some of whom insisted on independent counsel, thus the hiring of at least 11 outside law firms for the legal defense.
Local resident group, Carnegie Hill Neighbors (CHN), has been feverishly fighting the development since it was given the go-ahead in summer 2015. In March 2016, CHN enlisted the services of planning expert George M. Janes to help the cause.
After looking at the zoning drawings, Janes said he noticed a “tactic to subdivide the lot” so that DDG’s building would no longer face on to East 88th Street. By avoiding this, the firm escaped further zoning laws triggered by coming up to the street’s edge.
Two months later, councilmember Ben Kallos and Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer penned a letter to the city flagging the issue and calling for construction to be halted. They succeeded and work stopped in May.
Council Member Ben Kallos, chair of the governmental operations committee, addressed the budget disparity, although he did not make it a focus of the hearing.
Kallos pointed out that the notoriously dysfunctional BOE has proposed its largest budget increase in years, and also has not proposed any savings, referencing the mayor’s preliminary budget promise to identify $500 million in additional agency savings in time for the executive budget. “The cost increase you’re proposing is actually more than 10 percent of the existing savings that the mayor’s asking for,” Kallos said.
Ryan pointed out that the BOE is not beholden to the city. “Unlike some other agencies, the Board is an independent board and while we are certainly sensitive to requests, wherever they may come from...we do operate a bit differently from some of the other agencies,” Ryan said.
Rivington House sale not reason the Department of Citywide Administrative Services fired top official: commissioner
"It's not a topic that I can get into," Camilo said when asked by Council government operations chair Ben Kallos whether "poor performance" got Morales fired. She also refused to say whether Morales was cooperating with federal authorities investigating the mayor.
Camilo said she made the decision to get rid of Morales and informed first Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris. Morales's lawyer has said the dismissal was improper and called the timing "highly suspicious."
Meanwhile, DCAS revealed that since overhauling their rules on deed restrictions in response to the scandal, they've received requests to change or remove the restrictions on seven properties.
The properties are in Harlem, Longwood in the Bronx, and Bedford Stuyvesant, East Flatbush, Crown Heights, Bushwick, and East New York in Brooklyn. No action has been taken on any of the proposals yet.
Kallos (D-Manhattan) said the Longwood request raises red flags because like Rivington, it is a non-profit nursing home and rehab facility currently restricted to that use.
His request comes after US intelligence and law enforcement agencies released a January report in the final days of the Obama administration that found the Russian government employed cyberattacks to undermine Hillary Clinton and boost Donald Trump.
Considering the request for additional funding, Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), the committee chair, asked Ryan why he isn’t taking up de Blasio on an offer for an extra $20 million provided the agency agrees to a series of reforms, including establishing a blue-ribbon panel to identify failures.
Ryan cited “philosophical” differences with the administration for not taking the money.
Asked by Council member Ben Kallos whether, “poor performance” led to Morales’ firing, Camilo said, “It’s not a topic that I can get into.” She also declined to say whether Morales is cooperating with federal prosecutors. Camilo asserted that she made the decision to fire her deputy commissioner and then informed first Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris. De Blasio has said he knew nothing about it.
Morales’ lawyer has called the timing of the dismissal suspicious.
The lifting of deed restrictions at Rivington House cleared the way for the sale of the former nursing home to luxury condo developers for $116 million.
A top city official wasn’t fired because of his role in a controversial land deal that allowed a non-profit nursing home to be converted to luxury housing — but his boss refused to say Monday if he was ousted because of other federal investigations.
The axed official, Ricardo Morales, who served as a deputy commissioner at the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, was at the center of two deals now being probed by federal investigators.
One was the lifting of deed restrictions on Rivington House, a Lower East Side nursing home, that eventually led to its sale for luxury condos.
The city’s top lawyer predicted Monday that taxpayers will have to shell out “a few million dollars more” for the legal bills of mayoral aides swept up in several corruption probes.
And that’s on top of the $10.5 million already spent on outside lawyers.
Corporation Counsel Zach Carter described the additional legal costs as not “a large magnitude” and said it appears the federal probes are “winding down and concluding.”
“We believe that there will be a few million dollars more expended, but I can’t give you an exact figure,” Carter testified at a City Council budget hearing. “I don’t believe that it will be a large magnitude of expenditures.”
City Councilman Ben Kallos, who has been pushing for the stops to be returned, posted photos on Thursday of MTA workers installing the ticketing machines.
If you work in Manhattan and have the gift/luxury of a lunch break, you’ve probably used a POPS without knowing it.
POPS, or privately owned public spaces, can be sunny or shaded plazas or sitting areas in indoor atriums, where you can enjoy your sandwich away from the desk.
At worst, these POPS are barren, vacant lobbies, or simply (and illegally) inaccessible.
Why does that matter beyond the fact that you can’t find a place to nibble your sandwich? Because there’s no such thing as a free POPS: each one was set aside for the public by property owners or developers in exchange for building bigger or taller towers and thus renting out more commercial space.
A new City Council effort aiming to get developers to stick to their end of the bargain has a particularly juicy case study: Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, which was able to build taller in exchange for setting aside public spaces.
The public part of Trump Tower has received significant attention since Trump descended the escalator in June 2015 to announce his presidential run.
The Wall Street Journal reports that on Wednesday, three new bills to protect POPS were introduced in the City Council, sponsored by Council members Ben Kallos and Daniel Garodnick. The first of the three bills would raise penalties for building owners from $4,000 to $10,000 for first offenses, and to $20,000 for additional offenses. Under the bill, a fine of up to $2,500 could be imposed for each month a violation goes unattended.
How many students apply to each New York City school, how many get in, and where do they come from? We could soon find out
While some of that information is already publicly available, Kallos wants to gather more details and make it available in a single report.
He also hopes to expand the bill to include information about Pre-K for All applications to help reveal what he sees as unmet need. Kallos said that 54 percent of families who applied for pre-K on the Upper East Side, part of his district, were not offered seats in their zip code in 2015.
“The Mayor’s promise of ‘Pre-Kindergarten for All’ must include enough seats in every neighborhood,” Kallos said in a statement. “Parents in my district are giving up on our public schools and with it our government, and parents who can’t afford private school are being forced out.”
Council member Ben Kallos of Manhattan, a sponsor of the legislation, said the attention surrounding Mr. Trump’s campaign led to enforcement efforts that other buildings had escaped. Council member Daniel Garodnick is also a sponsor of the legislation.
Councilman Ben Kallos is expected to introduce a bill on Wednesday that would require the Education Department to release additional data such as the number of applications each school receives, how many offers it extends and where students live. Credit Emon Hassan for The New York Times
Mr. Kallos said that his constituents routinely complain of being turned away from nearby prekindergarten classrooms or gifted and talented programs, for which they have qualified, because there is not enough room.
This legislation would show where students end up when they leave their neighborhoods to attend school, as many do. Mr. Kallos said that most elementary schools in his district were populated with students from the area, but at Ella Baker School, at 317 East 67th Street, which serves students from prekindergarten through eighth grade, most of the students are from elsewhere.
City Council Member Ben Kallos, who represents a broad swath of Midtown East and the Upper East Side, on Wednesday introduced a bill requiring expanded disclosure on school enrollment, part of an effort to address a space crunch that has half of the city's public school students attending overcrowded schools.
Under the terms of the proposed bill, the Department of Education would make publicly available aggregated and disaggregated data on the number of applications and admissions granted for each school in the city, as well as enrollment numbers and expected open seats for the next school year. This data would be further broken down by grade level and the community school and council districts of residence for students, as well as their zip codes.
"We need to better track what schools people are applying to, how many folks are being turned away from schools, and have a better sense of where they're ending up so we can re-adjust programming," Kallos told Gothamist.
The council members, including Margaret Chin, Corey Johnson, Rosie Mendez, Daniel Garodnick, Ben Kallos, Mark Levine and Ydanis Rodriguez, expressed concern that the regulatory agreement had been crafted without significant input from HDFC stakeholders, that the regulation was “one-size-fits-all,” that additional restrictions could hurt stakeholders’ leveraging ability, among other concerns.
“Look out Silicon Valley, here comes Silicon Alley, supported by a city government that is providing the funding, space, and data the tech sector needs to thrive,” stated New York City Council Member Ben Kallos.
Councilman Ben Kallos, who attended the CB8 meeting on Wednesday, supported finding new use for the Queenboro Oval, telling tennis players to "get on the Roosevelt Island tram" to play at the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club or to back the creation of a non-profit that could maintain tennis courts at the location.
He pointed to the Riverside Clay Tennis Association which maintains courts at Riverside Park near West 96th Street.
"If you don't want to worry about the RFP and don't want Parks to have to worry about ethics laws, the best thing you can do is get the community board to pass a resolution saying that it wants to work with a nonprofit like Riverside and I can give funding from my office to get that started," Kallos said.
“New York State should be a national role model for voter access and voting rights, with same-day registration, early voting, and no-excuse absentee voting,” said NYC Council Member Ben Kallos, chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations. “I applaud Attorney General Schneiderman’s efforts to get these voting reforms passed, and in the City Council we will continue to support that effort with resolutions calling on the state legislature to do the right thing.”
Today, over one million low-income youth and seniors now have access to affordable high-speed internet.
As of 2015, more than 730,000 households in New York City do not have broadband, nearly 1 in 4 in Brooklyn and 1 in 3 in the Bronx, leaving them on the wrong side of the digital divide.
In 2013, I promised to secure affordable broadband for low-income New Yorkers from our internet franchisers. In 2015, when Charter Communications sought to merge with Time Warner Cable, I joined Public Advocate James testifying at hearings and advocating for the Public Service Commission to require any company acquiring Time Warner Cable help bridge the digital divide by providing low-income residents with low-cost high-speed broadband Internet which was secured by Governor Andrew Cuomo and an order of the Public Service Commission. Today, over one million low-income youth and seniors will have access low-cost high-speed broadband Internet. Learn more from the release, the announcement, or coverage in the New York Daily News, DNAinfo, and NBC.
Spectrum Internet Assist
$14.99 per month for 30 Mbps downloads and 4 Mbps uploads, email and more
No contract, no cost for modem and no activation fees
Spectrum Internet Assist Eligibility
Families with children in public schools who receive free or reduced cost lunch
Seniors (over 65) who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Prospective enrollees must clear outstanding debt to Charter/Time Warner Cable/Bright House Networks from previous 12 months and may not have had broadband subscription within 30 days of signing up.
Visit SpectrumInternetAssist.com or Call 844-525-1574
We are one step closer to "Universal Broadband" and I will continue to fight until every New Yorker has access to affordable high-speed Internet and no one is left on the wrong side of the digital divide.
March marks the beginning of Participatory Budgeting. During this period you have an opportunity to vote on how to spend $1 million in our community. Voting will be available at dozens of Participatory Budgeting voting sites throughout the district and by absentee ballot. Make sure your voice is heard by requesting your absentee ballot today or committing to vote.
In February the New York Times covered an Education Committee hearing where legislation I introduced was discussed. My bill would require the Department of Education to report on the number of applications each school receives, how many offers it extends and where students live as well as show where students end up when they leave their neighborhoods to attend school. Many East Side residents are familiar with the Pre-Kindergarten shortage. This legislation would offer deeper insight and transparency into the problem so we can ensure no child is turned away from his or her neighborhood school.
Do you love Art? In March my office is taking part in our annual Sotheby's Student Art Show where hundreds of local students of all ages will showcase their artwork at the world famous Sotheby's. The show's opening reception will take place March 23 at 5pm sharp. You can RSVP by emailing artshowbenkallos [dot] com
We finished off February with a focus on city management, including a Committee on Governmental Operations hearing on how to help residents and businesses avoid getting quality of life violations. As the City Council reviews the Mayor's Preliminary Budget, I will continue to push for performance budgeting to ensure every taxpayer dollar is getting results.
March 29, 6pm-8pm
Democracy works best when residents are empowered to have an impact on the decisions of government. Over my three years in office, I hope you have had an opportunity to make your voice heard at First Friday, Brainstorming with Ben, Ben-In-Your-Building, a neighborhood meeting, in a petition or by calling or emailing me. Here is just some of what we’ve accomplished together:
- 14 laws passed to make government more transparent and honest, to improve democracy, and to improve quality of life
- 523 pre-kindergarten seats added to the district
- 57,000+ square feet of park space opened to the public
- 35,000 children protected by moving the Marine Transfer Station ramp from Asphalt Green
- $47 million secured for parks in the neighborhood from City Council district funds, the City Budget and private partnerships
- $6.8 million invested in STEM education in our local public schools and free lunch for all middle schools
- Rent frozen for more than 1 million rent stabilized tenants in the city 2 years in a row through advocacy at RGB
- Over 19,480 violations issued to unsafe drivers and bikers for safer streets in 2016
Thank you for your partnership. Countless community leaders and residents have helped, and together we have accomplished so much. Make your voice heard with monthly updates at BenKallos.com/subscribe
Council Member District 5
Over the last two weeks New Yorkers have made me even prouder to represent this City as they have come out by the tens of thousands, taking action to support everything from a woman’s right to choose to keeping our nation and City open to immigrants and refugees. To stay informed about ways to defend New York City values against the threats of the Trump Administration, sign up to get more frequent messages from me with notifications of upcoming actions (you can unsubscribe at any time).
As we make our voices heard nationally, we must reinvest in leading on the local level. In the spirit of community collaboration, it was a pleasure seeing almost two hundred residents at my State of the District event, where I highlighted much of what we have accomplished together over the past three years, and what we can achieve on the East Side and in New York in 2017.
We continue our push to bring true Universal Pre-K to the East Side and Roosevelt Island, to fight against overdevelopment, and to bring scaffolding down throughout the city. We are also taking action to support women's health, fire safety, and construction safety.
How will you get involved this month?
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Holocaust Remembrance Day
- Muslim Ban
- Take Action and Resist
- New York Times Editorial Supports Scaffolding Reform
- 50 Year Agreement Reached on the Roosevelt Island Tram
- City Council Funding for Local Non-Profits Due February
- Universal Pre-Kindergarten Presentation on Registration
- Free State and City College
- Meeting with Parent Teacher Associations
HOUSING & ZONING
- East River 50s Alliance Town Hall
- Protecting the Rent Freeze
- Safe Construction Jobs Act Hearing
- Historic Districts Council is Hiring
PARKS & THE ENVIRONMENT
- Update: Fighting for a Select Bus Service Stop at East 72nd Street
- Successful Commercial Bike Safety Event
- Honoring the Second Avenue Subway Task Force
- Job Posting: Program Manager at Citi Bike
GOVERNMENT TECHNOLOGY AND TRANSPARENCY
- Third Annual State of the District
- Judicial Inductions
- Due This Friday: Join Your Community Board
- Free Tax Preparation by AARP Tax Aide at Lenox Hill
- Supporting the Homeless, ETHOS Update
- 3 Kings Day at El Museo Del Barrio
- Judicial Inductions
- Rally Opposing Anti Labor Secretary Nominee
- Our Lady of Peace Parishioners Appeal Church Closing
- NYC Ballet Family Saturdays: $5 Ticket Offer
- NYC Urban Debate League Is Looking for Volunteer Judges
- In the Community
EVENTS AND RESOURCES
Happy New Year! Your gift for the holiday season and surviving nearly a decade of construction is a brand new Second Avenue Subway.
On Sunday January 22, I will be hosting my annual State of the District event with FREE reusable bags at Memorial Sloan Kettering and everyone is invited. At the State of the District, I will be discussing the busy year my office has had and highlighting some of the victories we have accomplished with our many community partners. RSVP to reserve your bag.
In December we continued to fight for responsible development. I introduced a bill aimed at fighting the proliferation of scaffolding by limiting how long it can be up without work being done or completed. The battle to rezone the Sutton area continued in December as the community and elected officials submitted the rezoning application to the City. As the property was sold at auction to the original lender, the race to rezone continues. At 180 East 88th Street we submitted a zoning challenge to force the developer to follow the zoning laws. We are even reclaiming public park land from a private use and need your opinion on what the park should look like.
As I continue to fight special interests I am proud to have passed laws to open up the deed restriction process and improve our campaign finance system by stopping public dollars from amplifying the voices of special interests doing business with the city so that public dollars only amplify the voices of voters like you.
Thank you all who attended the Holiday Party in early December, it was great seeing everyone at my district office. I hope to see many of you at my State of the District event on January 22. RSVP
January 22, 2017
State of the District Address
January 23, 2017
Trading the Sky Panel
January 26, 2017
Commercial Bike Safety Event
DISTRICT OFFICE EVENTS
Brainstorming With Ben
Landmarking and Land Use Clinic
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- INVITATION: State of the District with Free Bags
- Opening the Second Avenue Subway
- Campaign Finance Laws Passed
- Scaffolding Reform
- Traffic Cones
- Delivery Bike Safety
- 180 East 88th Street Construction Permit Challenged
- Sutton: Citation for Charles Fernandez
- Join Your Community Board
HOUSING AND ZONING
- Reforms to Stop BSA Variances from Neighborhood Plans
- Preventing the Next Rivington: Deed Restriction Reforms Signed into Law
- Unveiling Henderson Place District Marker
- Join Me for "Trading the Sky" Panel Discussion
- Land Use Clinic
- Mapping the Shadows of New York City
- Freinds of the Upper East Side Historic Districts 2017 Awards: A Call For Entries
- Opening the Queensboro Oval Under the 59th Street Bridge
- Cleaner Air From City Power Plants
- Con Edison Steam and Power Plant at East 74th Street
- Apply for Pre-K
- Help the Homeless by Counting Those in Need
- NYCEDC Works Toward Starting Life Sciences Incubators
- Proclamation for Sally Minard
- Tours for Schools
- Firefighter Raises Money for Upper East Side Fire Victims
- Night at the Opera
- Park NYC Roll Out
- E-Waste Event at the 92nd Street Y
- The Glass Room with Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito
- Happy Holidays
- Remembering the Fallen at Pearl Harbor
- City Council Funding for Local Non-Profits
- Legislative Corner
- Free Legal Clinics
- Here to Help
- Mobile District Hours
- Ben in Your Building
EVENTS AND RESOURCES
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.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Holiday Party
- Stop Work Order Issued at Sutton Tower
- 90th Street Pier Opens as Park to Public
- Improvements to the Mayor’s Management Report
- Proclamation for Heroic Firefighters
- New This Month: Land Use and Landmarking Clinic with Historic Districts Council
- The Presidential Election
- Long Lines on Election Day
- Homeless Outreach to Encourage Voting
- Registering as an Organ Donor Gets Easier and Disenfranchised Incarcerated Voters Get Absentee Ballots
HEALTH & SAFETY
- Universal Free School Lunch
- Obamacare Signup
- Preparing for Emergencies
- Free Smoke Detectors, Preventing Home Fires
- Medicare Enrollment Event
- Eastside Task Force for Homeless Outreach Meets to Make a Difference
- Supreme Court Denies Appeal to Remove Landmark
- Advocacy Protects NYC’s Integrated Communities from Proposed HUD Policy
- Tenants & Neighbors Protecting Our Affordable Housing
- Landmarks50 Alliance Luncheon
- Protecting affordable Housing on Roosevelt Island
- Apply for Kindergarten
- Public Service Award from NCJFE and Blue Card Dinner
- Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway
- Constituent Spotlight: “Madam Secretary” Goes Green
- Pre-Turkey Day Shred-A-Thon
- Junior Tennis League and Meeting with Parents
- Welcoming Windward
- Goodwill Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
- In the Community
- Legislative Corner
- Progressive Caucus: 15 Priority Bills Passed
- Free Legal Clinics
- Here to Help
- Mobile District Hours
- Ben in Your Building
EVENTS AND RESOURCES
Today is Election Day and you can vote at the polls from 6AM to 9PM.
Verify You Are Registered to Vote: https://voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us/
Find Your Poll Site: https://nyc.pollsitelocator.com/search
Remember your Assembly District and Election District to skip the line at the front door and go straight to get your ballot and vote.
Frequent Issues on Election Day:
- Name not in the book? Vote by affidavit ballot and register to update your voter registration, do not leave without voting.
- Machines aren't working? Get a paper ballot anyway and cast it in the emergency ballot box, your ballot will be fed into the machine and counted later when it is working.
- Don't Have ID? No problem. You don't need a driver's license or municipal identification to vote, just your signature. You can wear whatever you want covering any part of your body. If you are a first time voter just bring the letter you received from the BOE confirming your registration and reminding you to vote (or a utility bill, bank statement, paystub, government check or other government document with name and address).
Home Fire Prevention
The New York City Fire Department and the American Red Cross will host a home fire prevention event in my district office with those attending able to schedule a FREE smoke detector and carbon monoxide sensor installation in their home ahead of the holidays and winter season.
Free Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector Installations
Thursday, November 10, 6pm - 8pm
District Office, 244 East 93rd Street
Emergency Preparedness & Free Go Bag Kits
Please join me at the next meeting of the East 79th Street Neighborhood Association for a presentation by CERT Upper East Side and the Office of Emergency Management to learn how to put together your own Go Bag Kit and how to join your local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
Free Go Bag Kits & How to Join CERT
at the East 79th Street Neighborhood Association Monthly Meeting
Thursday, November 17, 6pm - 8pm
Upper East Side Rehabilitation and Nursing Center
211 East 79th Street, New York, NY
*Limited Supply of Free Go Bags Kits, Attendance and RSVP Required
Medicare Open Enrollment
Please join me and the Medicare Right Center to learn more about Medicare benefits, the fall open enrollment period and programs that help pay Medicare costs.
Medicare Open Enrollment
Thursday, November 17, from 9:30am to 11am
Stanley Isaac's Neighborhood Center, 415 East 93rd Street
I am proud to sponsor shred-a-thons by The Upper Green Side with Council Member Garodnick so you can shred your documents that contain personal information and protect your privacy and identity. You bring the paper and the giant shredder truck turns it into microbits while you watch! You can also bring compost, eyeglasses, corks, batteries and cords.
Sunday, November 20, 10am - 2pm
92nd Street Green Market (at First Avenue)
Autumn is here, leaves have fallen, and Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur have come and gone giving me some time to reflect and recharge ahead of what will be a busy November.
My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the two fires that occurred on the Upper East Side in October. On November 10, my office will host a fire prevention event with the help of the New York City Fire Department and the American Red Cross. RSVP
While we continue to push for improvements to the M15 and M79 buses, I was proud to support the launch of a new app that shows you how bunched your bus is and how fast (or slow) it runs. Visit BusTurnaround.NYC
We also made progress in the fight against hunger by making access to government programs easier through Automatic Benefits. A national collaboration between the United Stated Department of Health and Human Services, Intuit, and my office will give the public a free “Benefit Assist” tool to identify what benefits those in need qualify for.
On November 8, Americans will turn out for the general elections, please make sure you go out and vote. The polls will be open from 6am. to 9pm. Make sure you know your poll site. Policy Night will take place Tuesday the 15th to avoid a conflict with Election Day.
I hope you had a safe Halloween and I wish you a happy Thanksgiving.
PS. Reminder First Friday is on the 4th and Policy Night is Tuesday the 15th due conflict with Election Day
Shannah Tovah and Happy New Year to those who celebrate and welcome to cooler temperatures and fall foliage for all. As I observe the Days of Awe between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, I ask your forgiveness. If I have disappointed you, please let me know so that I may earn your forgiveness and do better. May the coming months and year be a good one.
September finished with a six-hour hearing that I co-chaired to finally learn more about what really happened at the Rivington nursing home where deed restrictions were lifted, allowing the site to be become luxury condos. By questioning City Hall officials under oath and in public, we got a detailed account of what went wrong in an effort to ensure this doesn't happen again.
Improving bus service remains a priority. We met with MTA officials about bus service, petitioned for a 72nd Street stop on the M15-SBS, and are proposing bringing off-board payment to the M79. Please make your voice heard at Community Board 8.
As we enter flu season, please join me for my Annual Senior Health Fair on October 13 from 11am to 2pm at the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, where you can get free flu shots, health screenings, learn about Identity theft prevention, and more. RSVP today at BenKallos.com/Events.
You can also get a free IDNYC with a one year membership at NYC cultural institutions at the Roosevelt Island Senior Center, from the 11th to through the 17th (Monday 10am - 12pm & Tuesday – Friday from 9am to 5pm). Schedule an Appointment
There are six weeks left to get fresh fruits and vegetables from GrowNYC’s Fresh Food Box every Thursday, 3:30pm-6:30pm. Come by this Thursday to sign up for next week for just $12 while you still can.
P.S. Due to conflicts with the Jewish Holy Days on Tuesday evenings, there will be no Policy Night in October.
October 13, 11am-2pm
October 11 - 14, 9am - 5pm
DISTRICT OFFICE EVENTS
October 7, 8am-10am
October 6, 13, 20 & 29
No Policy Night
New York City’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget of $82.1 billion comes with funding increases to many programs that residents have come to rely on. This year’s budget has initiatives I am proud to have fought for, including:
- $38.5 million added to Summer Youth Employment Program budget to fund 60,000 summer jobs for the city’s youth, 72 of which worked with Council Members of the Progressive Caucus
- $4.9 million in additional funds for the Emergency Food Assistance Program, which increased funding for the purchase of food for those in need by over 40 percent
Programs I voted in favor of include:
- $1.8 million in base lined funding for 1,400 seniors currently on waitlists
- $16 million for 3,223 additional elementary school after school seats for a total of 6,600
- $17.5 million to fund 26,000 after-school seats for middle-school youth in School’s Out NYC
- $43 million in base lined funding to improve libraries
- $10 million for cultural organizations
- $22 million in base lined funding for District Attorneys, to create Alternatives to Incarceration Unit, reduce gun-related and other violent crimes
- $2.5 million for Vision Zero education and outreach
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Council Member, District 5