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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 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, March 15, 2016 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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Press Coverage
NY1
Monday, February 8, 2016

The Eastside Taskforce for Homeless Outreach and Services will provide support for meals, legal services, supportive housing and other programs benefiting the city's homeless.

Council Member Ben Kallos tells NY1 it's meant to help New Yorkers struggling to stay afloat. 

"These are actually services for anyone who's homeless, at risk, or even just hungry. And so, we have between the churches, synagogues, and non-profits we have meals, lunch and dinner, even sometimes breakfast. We also have food pantries," said Kallos. "One of the things that we're really focused on is trying to find additional beds so people have a choice." 

The taskforce is comprised of a handful of religious centers, non-profit groups, the Department of Homeless Services and Human Resources Administration.

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Press Coverage
CBS New York
Tuesday, February 9, 2016

State and city elected officials from Manhattan’s Upper East Side have formed a task force to combat homelessness in the district.

City Council Member Ben Kallos said he was surprised when a recent survey on district needs showed Upper East Side residents’ number one complaint was homelessness and panhandling on the streets.

“That was a real awakener,” Kallos told WCBS 880’s Stephanie Colombini.

Kallos said the task force will pool resources from city and state agencies, nonprofits and religious institutions to provide targeted assistance to the homeless community on the east side.

“We’re hoping this can be a model for other neighborhoods,” Kallos said.

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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.

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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."

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