New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Press Releases

Statement of Disappointment at Allegations of Former Upper East Side Council Member's Pay-to-Play Politics

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Nonprofits provide vital services to communities in need throughout our City.  Constituents in need should have access to the same opportunities for City funding regardless of the size of the nonprofit or the ability of its employees and board members to contribute to politicians.  City funds for a district should not go out of district just because affiliates of a larger nonprofit have donated more.  No nonprofit should have to use tax dollars to benefit politicians instead of constituents in need.  

“No Contract for the New MTA Chair Without Contracts for All Employees," Demands City Council Candidate

Monday, April 15, 2013

 

Hypocrisy and Unequal Treatment Found with Two Past MTA Chairs

Receiving Contracts While No Employees Had Current Contracts

 

New York, N.Y. – The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has been proven to be hypocritical in its unequal treatment of senior management versus regular employees, according to compensation documents obtained by Ben Kallos, a City Council Candidate for the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island.

No Contract for MTA Chair Prendergast without Contracts For All MTA Employees

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has been proven to be hypocritical in its unequal treatment of senior management versus regular employees according to compensation documents obtained by Ben Kallos a City Council Candidate for the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island. “No contract for workers – no contract Prendergast!” exclaimed Kallos. “The MTA’s rewarding of executives while punishing workers is hypocrisy especially when using tax dollars.”

Governor Cuomo Urged to Restore Democracy to Roosevelt Island

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

 

City Council Candidate Ben Kallos Advocates Resident-Elected Appointment by Governor to

Vacant Seat on Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC)

New York, NY –Governor Cuomo is being urged to be a hero for democracy by appointing a resident-elected board member to a vacancy on the Roosevelt Island Operating Committee (RIOC) board.  Unlike the rest of New York City, many of Roosevelt Island’s services, including tram and bus transportation, are managed by RIOC.  While democracy had been brought to Roosevelt Island when Governors Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson agreed to appoint whoever was elected to the RIOC Board, Governor Andrew Cuomo inadvertently took democracy a step backwards by appointing an unelected non-resident, Sal Ferrara, in June, 2011, who has since resigned.

Support and Advice Offered to Opponent on Assembly Legislation to Protect Roosevelt Islanders

Thursday, March 28, 2013

 

Advice Based on Candidate’s Experience Passing Legislation as a Chief of Staff in the Assembly to Improve Likelihood of Passage Legislation to Create CCRB for Roosevelt Island’s Public Safety Department

 

New York, NY – Candidate Ben Kallos offered his Assemblymember opponent for City Council in the Upper East Side support and advice to improve the likelihood of passing legislation to protect Roosevelt Island residents from ongoing concerns with the Public Safety Department (PSD). Because the PSD is run by independent Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC), it is not subject to the NYPD’s Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB).  The legislation in question, New York State Assembly Bill Number A.956, would create a statewide CCRB with oversight that includes RIOC’s PSD.

Support and Advice Offered to Opponent on Assembly Legislation to Protect Roosevelt Islanders

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

 

New York, NY –Candidate Ben Kallos offered his opponent for City Council in the Upper East Side, Assemblyman Micah Kellner, support and advice to improve the likelihood of passing legislation to protect Roosevelt Island residents from ongoing concerns with the Public Safety Department (PSD). Because the PSD is run by independent Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC), it is not subject to the NYPD’s Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB).  The legislation in question, New York State Assembly Bill Number A.956, would create a statewide CCRB with oversight that includes RIOC’s PSD.

 

 

Procedural solutions offered by Kallos include:

  • ·         Force a committee vote on the legislation.
  • ·         Force a vote on legislation on the floor of the Assembly.
  • ·         Author legislation narrowly tailored to serve Roosevelt Island.
  • ·         Public hearing and solicitation for improvements.

 

 

Policy solutions offered by Kallos include:

  • ·         Create a CCRB specifically for RIOC PSD, not for police statewide. Require the appointment of Roosevelt Island Residents.
  • ·         Include experienced law enforcement professionals, just as the current CCRB does.
  • ·         Require cooperation by the RIOC PSD.

 

500 Signatures Collected to Bring Back Subway Booths at 86th Street With City Council Candidate Ben Kallos

Monday, March 25, 2013

New York, NY– March 21 marked the collection of 500 signatures for the return of subway station booths and agents on the Upper East Side in continuation of a three-month long push to increase safety and accessibility at crowded subway stations. The “Bring Back our Booths” petition and awareness campaign, comes in the wake of local objections to the removal of booths and agents from the 86th Street and 77th Street stations’ northbound platforms.

Cornell Must Support Roosevelt Island in Construction of Tech Campus

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

“Cornell NYC Tech can’t claim to be sustainable unless it supports the local infrastructure of Roosevelt Island on which it relies,” Kallos testified, further calling on the University to provide funding for the maintenance of the Island’s sea wall, roads, and the “Helix” (the off-ramp of the Roosevelt Island Bridge). He also argued that the project be modified to provide a higher percentage of academic buildings and that those buildings be prioritized.

Safety & Accessibility Concerns Spur Petitioning To Bring Back Subway Booths & Agents at 86th Street Subway Station

Monday, February 4, 2013

Ben Kallos, candidate for City Council on the East Side of Manhattan and Roosevelt Island, took to the street this morning to petition for safer subways, with campaign volunteers, Upper East Side residents and students to voice their concerns over safety, security, and accessibility in the subways and collect petition signatures calling on Acting MTA Chair Fernando Ferrer to “bring back the booths” and agents to the 86th Street Station’s northbound platform.

“These platforms are overcrowded and people are getting pushed into the tracks,” Kallos said, in the midst long lines for MetroCards and a chaotic crowd on the platform. “With no cell service and 911 underground, we need agents and the booths in Subway stations so that if anything happens again, especially on the overcrowded 4, 5, 6 tracks, people can actually be helped.”

Inspector General Called on to Investigate Public Safety on Roosevelt Island & Create Resident-Led Oversight Body by City Council Candidate Ben Kallos; Recent Incident Receives Citywide Attention, Leaves RI Residents Wanting Action

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Campaign calls on the state Inspector General yesterday requesting the creation of an oversight body consisting of residents and an investigation into the “unprovoked” attack of 20-year-old Roosevelt Island resident Anthony Jones by members the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department.

 

 

Initiative Launched to Improve Low Turnout in Youth Voters: Parents Pledge to Vote with Kids So They’ll Vote When They Can

Sunday, November 4, 2012

 

VoteWithKids.org launched this weekend days from the Presidential election, aimed at increasing youth voter turnout for future elections, by getting parents to take their children to vote.  The website and public service announcement calls for parents to bring their children with them to their polling locations on Election Day.   

A quote that inspired the project came from Professor Eric Plutzer of Pennsylvania State University, “The single most important factor in whether young people vote in their first or second eligible election is whether their parents vote,” featured in report by U.S. News and World Report.

Hosts Movie Premier for 'Brooklyn Castle' to Call for Greater Investment in Education and After-School Programs

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Kallos Calls on Elected Officials to See “Brooklyn Castle” Before Considering Cuts to Education and After-school Programs

 
New York, NY – New York City Council Candidate Ben Kallos joined director Katie Dellamaggiore and players JustusAlexis and Rochelle from the film Brooklyn Castle at its premier last night on Friday October 19, 2012 at Lincoln Center’s Film Society to call for greater investment in education and after-school programs.
 
“I am pleased to support Brooklyn Castle, which shows the real results our City can get when we invest in education and after-school programs,” said City Council Candidate Ben Kallos.
 
The campaign was inspired by Brooklyn Castle to add a new solution to its education platformwith our commitment to: Support Chess in Schools to Promote Better Decision Making in New York City's Youth to Lower Juvenile Delinquency
 
“Any Elected Official should be required to see Brooklyn Castle before making any cuts to education or after-school programs,” demands Kallos. "We'll even buy you a ticket!"
 
“Elected Officials must understand that every dollar cut from education and after-school programs kills the hopes and dreams of our City’s youth and is ultimately an investment of $2.50 or more in our criminal justice system,” Kallos concludes, “Let’s invest in our children’s future and not our prisons!”