New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Roosevelt Island

<P>As a <a href="/about/biography">third generation Upper East Sider</a>, I have deep roots in the community including on Roosevelt Island where my grandfather, Dr. Andrew Kallos, served patients at <A HREF="http://www.nyc.gov/html/hhc/html/facilities/colergoldwater.shtml">Coler… Memorial Hospital</A> upon completing his distinguished service in the United States Armed services during World War II.</P>
<P>As a Chief of Staff to an Upper East Side Assembly Member and longtime member of <A HREF="http://cb8m.com">Community Board 8 Manhattan</A>, I have kept the needs of Roosevelt Island residents at the forefront of my agenda. Working alongside resident leaders to fight for "Democracy on Roosevelt Island" through recognition of the Governor of elections for Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) Board Members and "Access Roosevelt Island" to provide transportation alternatives for Roosevelt Island.</P>
<P>I will continue to fight for responsible development on Roosevelt Island of the infrastructure improvements that will be required to better support the existing 12,000 residents as well as the 2,780 new students and faculty that Cornell NYC Tech will bring.</P>

Roosevelt Islander Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Public Safety Director Guerra Resigned Today Says RIOC Press Spokesperson by Rick O'Connor

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Public Safety Director Guerra Resigned Today Says RIOC Press Spokesperson

Ben Kallos, a candidate to represent Roosevelt Island in the NYC Council adds: Today's resignation of the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Director demonstrates that the concerted efforts of Roosevelt Islanders who bravely rallied, testified and spoke out to reform the Public Safety Department can achieve results. Residents no longer have to rely on empty political promises, instead taking action to better our community. None of this would have been possible without the hard work of members of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Safety Committee led by Erin Feely Nahem, who had to make personal sacrifices and faced adversity for her tireless efforts. We eagerly await the results of the investigation into Public Safety Department by the Inspector General who can create an oversight board of resident to prevent future misconduct.

The Wire Cornell NYC Tech Hears Anger, Disappointment In Final Approval Stage by David Stone

Cornell NYC Tech Hears Anger, Disappointment In Final Approval Stage

The State Assemblymember whose district includes Roosevelt Island (and a candidate for Lappin’s City Council seat when she leaves to run for Borough President this year), previously declined to answer or even acknowledge a request from The WIRE for a statement. He was not at the hearing.  His competition for the Council seat, Ben Kallos, sent a representative to read his statement in opposition to the project and in support of community concerns.

“Cornell NYC Tech can’t claim to be sustainable unless it supports the local infrastructure on which it relies,” Kallos’ campaign asserts.  It goes on to quote a statement by City Planning Commissioner Michelle de la Uz in her no vote for the project: “I am not happy with their exemption from paying for services.”

Main Street WIRE Letters: Ben Kallos Calls on Governor Cuomo to Defend Freedom on Roosevelt Island by Ben Kallos

Letters: Ben Kallos Calls on Governor Cuomo to Defend Freedom on Roosevelt Island

As a City Council candidate for the 5th District, which includes Roosevelt Island, I have been supporting Democracy for Roosevelt Island through my community’s hard fought battle for the freedoms and democracy appreciated by all other residents of New York City. This is because, unlike the rest of the City, Roosevelt Island is managed by Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC), a New York State Agency whose Board members are appointed by the Governor.Roosevelt Island activist and former Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Matthew Katz brought to our campaign’s attention that there is now a vacancy on the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) Board as a result of the resignation of Sal Ferrara [Ferrera], a nonresident who was appointed in June of 2011 without being elected by Roosevelt Island residents.

Roosevelt Islander Roosevelt Island Residents Present Complaints Of RIOC Public Safety Department Brutality Allegations At Board Of Directors Meeting - NY State Inspector General, RIOC Board and Outside Auditor Will Investigate by Rick O'Connor

Roosevelt Island Residents Present Complaints Of RIOC Public Safety Department Brutality Allegations At Board Of Directors Meeting - NY State Inspector General, RIOC Board and Outside Auditor Will Investigate

NYC Council Candidate Ben Kallos, who is seeking to represent Roosevelt Island in the next election, submitted this proposal for a Public Safety Review Board.

Dear Members of RIOC Operations Committee,

In response to repeated allegations of misconduct on behalf of the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department, and a recent incident in which misconduct was alleged, we sent a letter to the Inspector General calling for an investigation of the Public Safety Department’s behavior. Waiting for results is no longer an option. Roosevelt Island residents demand that fair treatment be made available immediately.

We wish to contribute to your discussion of new policies for the Public Safety Department by proposing the creation of a Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) under RIOC as a special
committee or a task force. The proposed board would be comprised of both elected Island
residents, residents nominated from the RIOC Board and the sitting RIRA President.

A summary of the duties of the CCRB, excerpted from our full proposal, follows:

(b) Powers and Duties of the Board

  1. The Board shall have the power to receive, investigate, hear, make findings and recommend action against Public Safety Officers.
  2. Any Board action shall be upon complaints against Public Safety Officers that allege misconduct involving excessive use of force, abuse of authority, or use of offensive language, including, but not limited to, comments relating to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation and disability.
  3. The findings and recommendations of the board shall be submitted to the RIOC Board and the RIOC Board Operations Committee Chair. No finding or recommendation shall be based solely upon an unsworn complaint or statement, nor shall prior unsubstantiated, unfounded or withdrawn complaints be the basis for any such findings or recommendations. It is the responsibility of the RIOC Board to work with the Roosevelt Island Civilian Complaint Board and the Public Safety Department Director to resolve such complaints.
  4. (4) The board shall issue to the RIOC Board a monthly report which describes its activities and summarizes its actions.
  5. (5) The board shall have the responsibility of informing the public about the board and its duties, and shall develop a method of informing the public regarding the provisions of its chapter.

We also call for RIOC to provide free and fair mediation to Roosevelt Island residents in a manner such as the NYC CCRB provides. Because it treats incidents after the fact, mediation alone is not enough, but it can prevent pain and unjust treatment from continuing.

In closing, we ask the RIOC Operations Committee to assess the viability of creating a committee or task force to address Public Safety Department misconduct, and we offer our help toward this end in any way it may be needed. We will submit in paper our full proposal outlining the responsibilities and limits of the proposed CCRB.

Roosevelt Islander Complaint Filed With NY State Inspector General's Office Seeking Investigation of Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Brutality Allegations By NY City Council Candidate Ben Kallos by Rick O'Connor

Complaint Filed With NY State Inspector General's Office Seeking Investigation of Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Brutality Allegations By NY City Council Candidate Ben Kallos

Ben Kallos , Democratic Party primary candidate for 5th NY City Council District (which includes Roosevelt Island) attended the February 16 Roosevelt Island Public Safety Accountability/Brutality Demonstration. Mr. Kallos reported that he submitted a complaint to the NY State Inspector General's Office asking for an investigation into allegations of a pattern of abuse by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department.