New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Politico

Politico First in Playbook: The International Union of Operating Engineers’ six New York locals are endorsing City Council Member Ben Kallos by Erin Durkin

First in Playbook: The International Union of Operating Engineers’ six New York locals are endorsing City Council Member Ben Kallos

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — The International Union of Operating Engineers’ six New York locals are endorsing City Council Member Ben Kallos, who last week launched an early bid for Manhattan borough president. Kallos has pushed bills to track construction deaths and injuries and to require workers on city-subsidized projects to get prevailing wage.

Politico Land use fight continues over proposed Upper East Side tower by Sally Goldenberg

Land use fight continues over proposed Upper East Side tower

As City Councilman Ben Kallos greeted constituents during an Easter egg hunt in Sutton Place Park two years ago, a resident approached him to discuss a less benign matter: Word had spread that a developer intended to build a luxury skyscraper on nearby East 58th Street.

He handed Kallos a nine-page packet of marketing materials prepared by Cushman & Wakefield.

"The Sutton Place Development is an ultra-luxury, as of right, ground up opportunity which will reach over 900 feet tall," the brochure boasted. It predicted the tower would be "an obvious choice for local and foreign buyers."

The councilman immediately notified the neighborhood paper, attended co-op board meetings and informed the local community board, which passed a resolution raising concerns about the plan.

And so began an unusual land use dispute that has outlived the previous developer, spanned two city planning commissioners and pitted a well-funded community group, East River Fifties Alliance, against the new developer and Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration.

Politico Online tool will help determine eligibility for benefits by Miranda Neubauer

Online tool will help determine eligibility for benefits

An online tool from tax preparation company Intuit that can easily determine whether an application is eligible for food stamps or other benefits is now freely available through a federal agency to states, local governments or nonprofit organizations.

Councilman Ben Kallos has been pushing for legislation that would require the city to use income tax filings to determine eligibility for public benefits.

Last year, Intuit made the Benefit Assist tool available to help users of TurboTax determine whether they were eligible for an array of programs, including SNAP, Medicaid, Medicare and many others.

 

Politico City Hall halted more than $700,000 to suspect nonprofits las year by Addy Baird and Sally Goldenberg

City Hall halted more than $700,000 to suspect nonprofits las year

But there is no protocol for communication between the attorney general’s office and the Council, and transparency records show that in December 2015, Hospital Audiences received additional funding from the Council.

The Council did not raise red flags until April 2016 when, in a letter obtained by POLITICO New York, Dyer contacted Councilman Ben Kallos to explain the situation.

Hospital Audiences had been awarded $123,100 in the 2016 fiscal year through several different grants from seven Council members: Kallos, Peter Koo, Daneek Miller, Karen Koslowitz, Jimmy Van Bramer, Inez Dickens and Mark Treyger.

 

Politico Bill calls for optimizing city websites based on web analytics by Miranda Neubauer

Bill calls for optimizing city websites based on web analytics

A bill introduced in the City Council on Tuesday seeks to expand on and codify the practice of optimizing city websites based on the analytics of their visitors.

Councilman Ben Kallos, chair of the Committee on Government Operations, introduced the legislation. It would require the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications to ensure that all agencies use web analytics in maintaining and designing their websites.

Politico Bill calls for public legislative feedback feature on Council website by Miranda Neubauer

Bill calls for public legislative feedback feature on Council website

Councilman Ben Kallos, chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations, and Councilman James Vacca, chair of the Committee on Technology, are introducing the bill that seeks to mirror a feature available on the website of the New York State Senate.

Politico City publishes detailed budget info on open data portal by Miranda Neubauer

City publishes detailed budget info on open data portal

The city has begun publishing detailed budget data on its open data portal, not long after Councilman Ben Kallos introducedlegislation that would require making the budget information accessible in a format that is searchable and accessible to third-party applications.

Politico De Blasio pushes online engagement in new Digital Playbook by Miranda Neubauer

De Blasio pushes online engagement in new Digital Playbook

According to the playbook site, the city took input from residents, as well as several civic and technology leaders, elected and city government officials and providers, along with examples from other governments and the private sector.

The playbook specifically credits City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and Councilmembers Ben Kallos, James Vacca, Brad Lander, Vanessa Gibson and Helen Rosenthal. It also credits the organizations Bangladesh-American Community Council, the Brite Leadership Coalition, the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, the Central Family Life Center, Adhikaar, Make the Road NY and MASA.

Politico New York Playbook Time Travel to Save City Quadrillion Dollars by Azi Paybarah

New York Playbook Time Travel to Save City Quadrillion Dollars

BEN KALLOS: "Time Travel to Save City Quadrillion Dollars." "Investment of tax dollars into time travel, will provide an infinite return on investment as we are able to avoid calamity be altering our time line. So long as we do not create a portal to the alternate timelines we destroy, we should all be fine." SEE THE STATEMENT: http://benkallos.com/press-release/time-travel-study-legislation-drafting-and-passage-announced-council-member-ben-kallos

Politico City tech approach gets mixed grades two years in by Miranda Neubauer

City tech approach gets mixed grades two years in

He saw potential for Technology Development Corporation, the nonprofit corporation set up in 2012 under Bloomberg to oversee major technology projects, where he last worked, to evolve into something like the federal government's 18F. Its websitedocuments credit the agency with key involvement in the Pre-K for All outreach system and IDNYC.

He said, he felt however, that nobody "understand[s] the potential value of the TDC well enough."

Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal invoked a possible role for the Technology Development Corporation at a recent Council hearing considering two bills introduced by Councilman Ben Kallos aimed at pushing the administration to embrace open-source software,  which the Independent Budget Office estimates could eventually save $25 million. An 18F employee was among those testifying in favor.