By Ray Beckerman
Man's inhumanity to man and other living things threatens the whole human experiment. Let's fight it, and try to build a future.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Can someone explain to me how progressive councilman @BenKallos can get so much done in 1 month?
As we head back to school, I wish you and your families a seamless
transition back into the swing of the school year. This is a busy and
exciting time. I am happy to help you find the right city
resources, from after-school programs to universal pre-k to academic
support. As ever, please contact my office by email or phone
at 212-860-1950 for assistance.
Over summer vacation, we were hard at work. The fight against the
marine transfer station continued, key transparency reforms became law,
benefits to seniors and disabled residents expanded and my push
for safer streets continued. As we move into the school year, I will be
working on keeping our schools strong and continuing the fights
we've already begun.
month, I have joined the community and Pledge 2 Protect on numerous
mornings to protest the Marine Transfer Station outside of
Asphalt Green. At one such protest, The New York Post wrote an article about the brave residents who have been arrested for
the cause. To sign my petition against the waste transfer
station or sign up for more communication about the efforts to stop it,
please visit BenKallos.com/MTS.
introduced a bill requiring that kids’ meals that include toys
as incentives would meet specific nutritional standards. According
to The New York City Department of Health, half of elementary school
children are overweight, while one fifth of kindergarten students and
one fourth of head start students are obese. It's hard enough for
parents to make healthy choices for their kids without the fast food
industry spent $714 million in 2009 on advertising to children, with
nearly half on toys, according to a 2012 Federal Trade Commission report. The money has a clear effect: the report confirms
so-called “pester power”—the ability children have to direct family food
choices. If we are incentivizing children, we should incentivize them
to eat healthy.Healthy happy meals
Thanks to Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito, there
will now be a better process for selecting appointees to the New
York City Board of Elections, an agency riddled in dysfunction. For a new BOE Commissioner spot, to be appointed by
the Council, she is adding a
public Rules Committee hearing to the process. This includes asking potential
nominees to analyze the DOI report and public testimony, as well as
publicly sharing candidate questionnaires.
This is a goal I advocated for strongly, and believe is extremely
important in fixing the Board of Elections to improve our
city's democracy. A Daily News editorial singled me out as wanting to
run a "more open process." I am glad that this advocacy
will lead to a better Board of Elections.
It is essential for students to retain learning over
the summer while still having fun. That's why I chose to highlight
excellent summer science programs in my latest Our Town column, "Summer
of Science" after visiting
excellent programs Breakthrough
New York and Science
the 67th Street library. As the school year begins, I
encourage you to continue pursuing science,
technology, engineering and math (STEM) inside and outside of the
classroom. Last year, I provided millions in STEM funding for schools because
these subjects provide lasting, exciting opportunities. For more
information on STEM programs, please email me or call my office at
Studies show that exercise greatly benefits your health--a
lesson I had to learn firsthand, when I lost forty pounds through
exercise. But, as we all know, having trouble finding
time for fitness is common.
To promote fitness and create more opportunities for you and I to
connect, I will be doing a "Walk With Ben" event on September
15 at 2PM outside of Stanley Isaacs Senior Center at 415 East 93rd
Street (See "City Council Events" below). Soon, we'll start a "Run with Ben" event, so
we can meet our fitness goals together. RSVP to "Walk With Ben" today.
Night Out Against Crime
It was great to join annual Night Out Against Crime events in the community
for the 17th, 19th and the 23rd Precincts.
This year, I helped advocate for the $6.2 million secured by the
City Council to free up 200 officers from desk responsibilities, so
they can fight crime in the streets.
Guide bill, recently signed into law, uses technology to save the city
money--$3 million this year alone--and empowers the Campaign Finance
Board to carry out its important work. This common-sense fix allows the
Campaign Finance Board to publish the voter-guide online instead of in
print in certain years when only a referendum that may not make it
onto the ballot is up for a vote.
been fighting to open up laws and public information for a long time:
In 2006, I founded WikiLaw.org later, merged with Jurispedia.org, in
order to make the law more accessible. I also founded
OpenLegislation.org to put New York State Assembly and New York State
Senate attendance and voting records online for free for the first
time. The passage of these bills represents a step forward for these
know what street improvements you would like to see. Visit BenKallos.com/livable-streets to share your thoughts with me, so I can work with
city agencies for better and safer streets.
As a reminder, please also visit BenKallos.com/BikeSafe to participate in the safe Commercial cycling
program. The four steps to the program are as follows, and depend
on your participation:
1. EDUCATIONAL FORUM
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Distributed FREE Safety Vests, bells and lights for stores
2. MORE SAFETY VESTS
If you see or receive a bike delivery from a person with
NO safety vest displaying business name and ID number, report it to the
business, 311 and Ben Kallos.
3. REPORT UNSAFE BIKING
If you see wrong way or unsafe biking, remember the business name and
identification number from the safety vest then report it to the store,
311 and Ben Kallos.
Tell the store that you can wait longer for deliveries
so bikes can be slower and safer for everyone.
When you call 311, DOT and NYPD will be notified and will take the
appropriate steps to resolve the issue.
many families are hungry in New York City, while food banks often
experience their most difficult months in the summer. You can help by
donating nonperishable items to the New York City Council's Food Bank.
The nearest location is the Jan Hus Homeless Outreach and Advocacy
Program at 351 East 74th St.
I also joined New York Common Food Pantry to help distribute food to
those in need. This is a gratifying experience that can make a real
difference. To learn more and volunteer, visit their site.
This is part of my larger commitment to a healthier, more sustainable
New York City.
If you would like to be featured in an upcoming
neighborhood guide from our office, please let us know about your
after-school program. If you know of (or run) an after-school
program in the area, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
summer interns and fellows came from law school, social work programs,
colleges and high schools across the city. They were a great class of
interns who contributed to the East Side and our city while learning
about government. Though we will miss them, we look forward to
welcoming our new fall interns.
This month, I joined plenty of community events and
celebrations. Here are just a few: Reception with DNC delegates on
bringing the Democratic National Convention to New York
City; Threw out the first pitch at Harlem RBI Day; P.S. 77
Lower Lab School book fair; Roosevelt Island New York Junior Tennis
League Awards Day; Roosevelt Island Summer Kids End of Summer
Celebration; and Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez's Senior Summit.
If you would like me to join you at a community event, please email email@example.com or call 212-860-1950. If my schedule permits, I will be
happy to attend.
Learn more about the laws that affect the daily lives of
New Yorkers, or visitBenKallos.com/legislation. The following is a bill I
Int. 443- Crane modernization
According to a recent report by the New York Committee for Occupational
Safety and Health (NYCOSH), construction is the City’s deadliest
industry. This bill, that I co-sponsored with Council Member Debi
Rose, ensures that aging and potentially dangerous cranes are
no longer in use.
The following is a bill I co-sponsored,
that has now become law:
experienced bus drivers
The employee protection provision is necessary to ensure bus drivers
and mechanics have the experience and training required to bring
our children to and from school each day.
You may be eligible for restitution funds from the
Attorney General's Immigrant Restitution fund if you have received
services from the
International Immigrants Foundation, Inc. (IIF) or the International
Professional Association, Inc. (IPA). If you believe you may be
eligible, learn more and file a claim: http://nylag.org/ipa-immigrant-restitution-fund
9/5: First Friday First Friday of Each Month, District Office at 244 East
Please join me on August 1st for my next First Friday event. This is a
chance for me to meet you in person to discuss what's important to you
and how to make our neighborhood a better place to live. Please RSVP
online or to firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 212-860-1950. I look forward to seeing you there.
9/15: Walk With Ben 2PM, Stanley Isaacs Senior Center, 415 E 93rd St. Join us for the first-ever Walk With Ben. Take a stroll
with the Council Member for light exercise and an open conversation. RSVP
9/8 and 9/22: FREE Legal Housing
3-6PM, District Office at 244 East 93rd Street PLEASE NOTE: Because
of the holiday, the clinic was rescheduled from its usual time of first
and third Monday. It will resume its usual schedule next month.
If you have any legal questions regarding housing, please come join us
and reserve a time to speak with a volunteer attorney. This event was
organized with assistance from Eviction Intervention Services (EIS). We
are excited to announce this new service, and look forward to assisting
you on legal housing matters.
You must make an
appointment in advance. Email RSVP@BenKallos.com or
call 212-860-1950 to reserve a time slot. We look forward to
helping you! Please email email@example.com for
any additional details.
Second Tuesday of the month, District Office at 244 East
If you are looking to become more involved in your community, please
consider joining a District Five policy committee. Committees
include education, environment, senior services and more.
9/3, 9/10, 9/17, 9/24: Tai Chi at
Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park 4pm, FDR Four Freedoms Park,
Every Wednesday in
September, learn Tai Chi at Four Freedoms Park! Classes will be taught
by Grand Master Jean Phillippe Cisse and focus on learning basic
techniques and increasing balance, circulation, flexibility, and
energy. Ages 15 and up, learn
9/6: Carnegie Hill Electronics Recycling Day 10:00am - 4:00pm,
Outside Church of the Heavenly Rest, 2 East 90th Street (near Fifth Ave)
Drop off old and unwanted electronics at Carnegie Hill Neighbors’
8th Annual Electronics Recycling Day. RSVP online here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
9/9: Elder Abuse
Prevention Presentation 9:30am, Stanley M.
Isaacs Neighborhood Center, 415 E. 93rd Street
The Isaacs Center is hosting a special presentation from The Carter
Burden Center for the Aging’s Community Elder Mistreatment and Abuse
Prevention Program (CEMAPP). They will discuss different forms of elder
abuse, as well as warning signs and actions to stop it. Learn more here.
9/10: Cornell Tech
Community Open House 10am - 4pm,
Gallery RIVAA, 527 Main Street
To celebrate their new
shared community space on Roosevelt Island in the Roosevelt Island
Visual Arts Association (RIVAA) Gallery, Cornell Tech will be hosting
an open house throughout the day. Light refreshments will be served.
9/11: East 79th
Street Neighborhood Association Monthly Meeting 6:00PM, Temple Shaaray
Tefila, 250 East 79 Street Special Guest Speaker NY State Senator Liz Krueger
9/11 - 9/14: Dances
Patrelle presents Romeo and Juliet 7pm on
9/11, 9/12, & 9/13, 2pm on
9/14, The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, E. 68th Street (between
Park and Lexington Ave)
For their 25th
Anniversary, Dances Patrelle will be performing Romeo and Juliet,featuring
the choreography of Francis Patrelle and several performers who trained
on the Upper East Side. Tickets are $35 - $50, with discounts available
for students and seniors, and can be purchased online at Dances Patrelle, by phone at 212-772-4448,
or at The Kaye Playhouse Box Office.
9/13: Volunteer Gardening at Carl Schurz Park 9:30am - 12:30pm,
Carl Schurz Park, 86th Street Mall at East End Avenue
Join the Carl Schurz Park Volunteer Gardeners, an adult group that
meets monthly to work in the park. Children must be accompanied by
adults, learn more here.
9/14: The Very
Hungary Band 2:00pm - 3:00pm, St
Catherine’s Park, 1st Avenue between 67th and 68th Street
Join Lou Gallo and Jean Rohe from The Very Hungary Band will be
singing, dancing, and storytelling with children in the Ball Field Area
at St. Catherine’s Park. Suggested for pre-school to 7 years old. Learn
9/15: Just Say
Yes to Fruits and Vegetables Nutritional Program for Seniors 9:30am, Stanley M.
Isaacs Neighborhood Center, 415 E. 93rd Street
Join the Isaacs Center for their monthly nutritional program for
seniors. In September, the topic will be “Easy Meal Planning for
Seniors”. Attendees will receive a free gift. Learn more here.
Conservations: Why the UN’s Climate Summit is Important to All of Us 7:00pm, Church of
the Holy Trinity, 316 E 88th Street (between 1st and 2nd Ave)
A panel discussion, in advance of the UN Climate Summit, featuring
multiple perspectives on the threat of climate change and what we can
do to lessen its effects.
9/27 - 9/28:
Gracie Square Art Show 10:00am - 5:00pm,
Carl Schurz Park, East End Ave. from 84th - 89th St. and within the
Park at East 86th St.
In its 42nd year, the Gracie Square Art Show is one of the top open air
art shows in the country. There will also be other activities, including
tours of Gracie Mansion and children’s activities. For more
information, visit Gracie Square Art Show.
9/27 & 9/28:
MoMA in the Playground 11:00am - 1:00pm,
Carl Schurz Park Plagyground, 86th Street Mall at East End Avenue
During the Gracie Square Art Show, bring your kids and join MoMa
educators who will be demonstrating how to make paper shaping
sculptures. Event is free, learn more here.
Workshop: Canning & Preserving the Harvest 12:30pm- 2:00pm,
Maggie's Magic Garden, 1574 Lexington Avenue (between 100th and 101st) Join GreenThumb and Just Food for a workshop on how to
preserve vegetables and create fruit jams. Visit the GreenThumb website
for more details and RSVP here.
9/30: Stanley Isaacs Senior Center Field Day at Asphalt
Green 9:30am, Stanley M.
Isaacs Neighborhood Center, 415 E. 93rd Street
Join Stanley Isaacs Senior Center for their annual tradition. There
will be presentations and activities at the Isaacs Center in the
morning, followed by lunch and field activities at Asphalt Green in the
afternoon. Learn more here.