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District 5

Ben Kallos

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

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney and City Councilmember Ben Kallos posed for a photo Friday at the newly renovated Carl Schurz Park Playground. 

“This is the only park serving the entire 80s,” said City Councilmember Ben Kallos, explaining the playground’s importance to the surrounding blocks. “This means that children will have a place to go outside safely and equipment to play on as we ride out this pandemic.”

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By Emma Tuckers

Councilman Ben Kallos on Wednesday is expected to introduce two additional bills intended to support small businesses during the pandemic. The first one would streamline the process for restaurants to obtain a sidewalk-cafe license or renew one if it was previously approved. It would also allow for licenses to be transferred if the establishment undergoes a change of ownership.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers remarks and rides the ferry to celebrate the extension of the Astoria ferry line. Astoria Ferry Landing, Astoria. Friday August 28, 2020. (Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

Last week, the NYC Ferry service announced it would finally expand the line to connect the neighboring boroughs, after years of advocacy from Astoria community leaders. The line will offer a direct connection from 3-10 Astoria Blvd.

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For years, the housing lottery only included newly constructed units. When someone moved into one and then left, the vacated apartments did not return to the lottery. Buildings kept their own waiting lists, leading to allegations to those with political connections or who paid bribes could cut in line.

Some of those vacant units will now be entered in the lottery, allowing everyone to be made aware when they become available.

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New York City officials declared a climate emergency in an effort to mobilize local and national responses to stall global warming.

It’s the largest city in the US, with over 8.62 million inhabitants.

The New York City Council passed the legislation Wednesday, calling for an immediate response to the global climate crises. The bill referenced several reports on the state of global warming and its impact, imparting that extreme weather events brought about by rising temperatures demonstrates that the planet is “too hot to be a safe environment.”

Read more in CNN.

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Kallos’ bill is sponsored by 31 other Council members in the 51-seat chamber and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. It would tip the balance toward a full match and would also codify into the city Campaign Finance Act relevant pieces of the ballot referendum approved by voters last year.

Supporters of a full public match argue the system still leaves the city’s rich and powerful with outsized influence, especially in citywide races where candidates rely more on large contributions than candidates for City Council do.

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By Graham Rayman

“Scaffolding is there to protect us from falling buildings, but what’s going to protect us from falling scaffolding,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “With scaffolding falling throughout our city, scaffolding companies have proven that they can’t be trusted to self-certify anymore. Department of Buildings must inspect every scaffold when it goes up to ensure that it will actually keep us safe.”

Kallos cited seven scaffolding collapses dating back to February 2017 that resulted in either property damage or injury.

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