District 5

Ben Kallos

Upper East Side's Yorkville, Lenox Hill, Carnegie Hill, Roosevelt Island, Midtown East, Sutton Place, El Barrio in East Harlem

Commercial Observer Power Politicians: The Officials Who Call the Shots on Real Estate

Developers and landlords have always been at the mercy of city politicians, and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious housing agenda has further highlighted the tensions between real estate interests and City Hall.

While only a select few elected officials get a place on the Power 100, there are plenty of folks in and out of City Hall that are paving the way for development and fighting for tenants’ rights. READ MORE

New York Times New York City Offers Free Lunch for All Public School Students by Sean Piccoli and Elizabeth Harris

Breakfast had already been free systemwide, school officials said, and the city’s stand-alone middle schools had a universal free-lunch pilot in place since 2014 that fed an additional 10,000 children who would not necessarily have qualified for free or discounted lunches, officials said.

Among the parade of speakers at Wednesday’s announcement was City Councilman Ben Kallos, who recounted his own experience with the stigma of subsidized school meals. READ MORE

New York Times Development-Weary Neighborhood Tries to Block a New Luxury Tower by Charles V. Bagli

“New Yorkers are exhausted by overdevelopment,” said Ben Kallos, the city councilman who represents the area and a leading opponent of the tall tower. “This is about standing up and showing the city that there’s another way to do things.”

Critics of the project say that supertall towers in residential areas tend to overwhelm the neighborhood and displace less wealthy residents. READ MORE

New York Daily News EXCLUSIVE: NYC pol pushes anti-patronage bill requiring government jobs to be posted for two weeks before hiring by Erin Durkin

City jobs would have to be publicly posted for two weeks before someone is hired under a bill set to be introduced in the City Council this week, in a move meant to cut down on patronage.

Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) is sponsoring the legislation to require 14 days of online job postings before interviews are done for government jobs. READ MORE

ProPublica NYC Housing Official Pans Rent Reforms As ‘Waste’ by Cezary Podkul

New York City Council legislation requiring landlords to register their rent-regulated apartments with the city or face fines is a “waste of taxpayers’ resources.”

That was the blunt message delivered by Anne-Marie Hendrickson, a deputy commissioner at the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), at an often combative, six hour-long public hearing on Monday about potential reforms to city housing laws. READ MORE

New York Daily News Editorial: Heroes … Naming the names of NYC Council members who do the right thing

Summer brings the Daily News’ semi-annual ritual of shaming hypocrites on the City Council and of noting those who are true to their word.

Twice a year, the speaker doles out bonuses to members as rewards for obeisance. The Council justifies the payments, known as lulus, by calling them compensation for added committee duties that supplements the standard annual salary of $112,500. READ MORE

Edible Manhattan Meet Ben Kallos: The New York City Councilman Who Keeps Office Hours at the Greenmarket

The young Councilman Kallos wants a New York where healthy meals are accessible to all, obesity is long gone and every street corner composts and recycles.

Credit: Facebook/Ben Kallos

City Councilman Ben Kallos has come a long way from his days at The Bronx High School of Science, though not so far from its rooftop greenhouse, where he tilled the soil as a teenager. READ MORE

Fastcompany Meet Councilman Ben Kallos, The Agile Politician by Jay Cassano

The first time I walked into New York City Council Member Ben Kallos’s District Office, I immediately recognized the layout: A pair of long tables occupied by laptop-facing 20-year-olds wearing jeans and hoodies.

To be fair, there were also several people not in their 20s wearing Oxford shirts and slacks. And on three sides of those tables–front, back, and left–are a handful of proper individual desks, the people behind them all wearing business attire. READ MORE