Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney announced her endorsement of Council Member Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President citing their frequent collaboration and record of accomplishment together as Co-Chairs of the East River Esplanade Taskforce, securing pre-kindergarten seats, and keeping the Second Avenue Subway on track.
“It’s about getting things done, and I’ve been proud to work with Council Member Ben Kallos to deliver for the East Side, which is why I am endorsing him to bring the same results to the entire borough as the next Manhattan Borough President,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.
Congresswoman Maloney has mentored and collaborated with Kallos since his election in 2013 to win big for the neighborhoods they represent on parks, public transit, affordable housing, public safety, seniors, and schools.
Congresswoman Maloney founded the East River Esplanade Taskforce with Kallos’ predecessor Jessica Lappin, and when Kallos was elected to the City Council, she asked him to succeed Lappin as Co-Chair. Working together they successfully secured $275 million to revitalize and build a resilient waterfront. Together they secured $15 million from Rockefeller University and $35 million from the city in 2014, plus $1 million from Hospital for Special Surgery in 2015 to fix the crumbling seawall. They then secured $100 million from the city for 8 blocks of new parkland in 2017, and $75 million from the city for more seawall repairs plus an additional $1 million from The Brearley School in 2018.
While the Second Avenue Subway had been planned for over a century, Congresswoman Maloney held frequent press conferences to keep the project on track where she was joined by Council Member Ben Kallos. The press conferences took place in May 2014, June 2015, July 2015, February 2016, and October 2016 ahead of the January 1, 2017 opening of the new subway. They also joined together to announce free wireless Internet on Eastside Subways. To expand her district’s public transit options Congresswoman Maloney secured $4.4 million in funding for ferry service, with $1.4 million going to her district. Kallos then followed that investment with advocacy to the Mayor, winning two ferry stops for his Council District serving the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island.
Affordable housing is a top priority for Congresswoman Maloney and Council Member Ben Kallos who joined with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer to stop super tall towers that threatened to force seniors from their affordable housing and to stop a NYCHA infill proposal that would have built luxury housing on public land without adequate support for public housing residents who can’t get their homes repaired by the bankrupt agency.
When Pre-K for All was launched by the Mayor, the East Side severely lacked seats, with most seats for 4-year-olds only offered miles away such as in the Financial District. With their fellow elected officials, Congresswoman Maloney and Council Member Kallos co-authored a letter to the Mayor and Chancellor in 2017 demanding more seats. The advocacy paid off when they cut the ribbon in September of this year on a new 180-seat pre-kindergarten center on East 76th Street.
As Congresswoman Maloney has led on key initiatives in Congress, Council Member Kallos has authored supporting resolutions in the City Council to support her legislation to build a Smithsonian Museum of American Women’s History and to secure Holocaust reparations from French railways. The Council Member joined the Congresswoman as she led rallies to end acts of hate, to pass common-sense gun reform, and to reinstate a local FDNY Engine Company. Most recently they joined together in support of Retirement Security for All. They’ve also collaborated through the East Side Taskforce for Homeless Outreach and Services (ETHOS) to open WIN-operated supportive housing for women and children on the Upper East Side.
Council Member Ben Kallos serves as Chair of the City Council’s Contracts Committee, which Congresswoman Maloney helped create and set the example for when she was a member of the City Council.