New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Press Coverage

7 a.m. – City Council candidate Ben Kallos petitions calling for return of subway clerk booths, 86th Street and Lexington Avenue, Manhattan.


Following a Daily News story on a man whose family says he was nearly beaten to death by Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department officers, City Council candidate Benjamin Kallos wants to know: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?


Over the weekend, a movement calling itself 'Money-Out Voters-In" held a "day of action" targeting the campaign-funding issues around Super PACs and the Supreme Court's "people-as-corporations" ruling in the Citizens United case.


Former Public Advocate–and candidate for almost every office in New York–Mark Green,endorsed fellow East Sider Ben Kallos to replace Councilwoman Jessica Lappin, herself campaigning for Manhattan Borough President.


Former NYC Public Advocate Mark Green endorsed his former staffer Ben Kallos’ NYC Council bid.


Across town, Kallos -- who seeks to succeed Councilwoman Jessica Lappin -- has a letter circulating from Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2 President Harry Farrell urging other labor leaders to join the Kallos campaign.

"In four years when we go back to the table with Con Edison we want City Council Member Benjamin Kallos standing alongside us to ensure another victory," Farrell writes, calling Kallos "a particularly vigorous advocate for broad and strong prevailing wage legislation."

Kallos is a familiar face in political circles, having served as Mark Green's policy director, chief of staff to former Assemblyman Jonathan Bing and executive director of Bill Samuels' New Roosevelt group.



Kallos scrolls through several political sites before pulling up, a free website he launched five years ago—one of the first to combine state voter records with online search functions.

The site contains a simple interface requiring a user’s first and last name, birthday and zip code, before it spits back an individual’s registration status, election districts and the location of the voter’s county board of elections.

Voter sites have evolved significantly since then.



Kallos has been busy building, a site that allows candidates to create a website that meets campaign finance reporting requirements and gives voters a more substantive portrait of politicians’ backgrounds.

Six New York City Council candidates, including Kallos, have signed up with VotersGive, which Kallos hopes will compete with more established sites including NationBuilder and ActBlue.

“Candidates approached me and said ‘We need a website,’” he explained. “I built it for free, and anyone can use it for free and have a website by that day. This is a democracy platform. I even offered it to my opponents.”


Democratic Party NY City Council Candidate Ben Kallos invites Roosevelt Island residents to join him on Tuesday October 23 from 6-8 PM at the Riverwalk Bar & Grill. It's an opportunity to meet and discuss important issues facing Roosevelt Island and NYC with Mr. Kallos who hopes to succeed our current NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin as she is expected to run for Manhattan Borough President.


Professor Christopher Malone and City Council Candidate Benjamin Kallos Teach Class on Civics at Bronx High School of Science

Benjamin Kallos (class of '98) and Professor Chris Malone (Chairman of Political Science at Pace University) taught a lesson to seniors about voting and elections. Mr. Kallos is a candidate for City Council; Professor Malone is the Legislative Director to NY State Senator Gustavo Rivera.



A batch of City Council hopefuls have signed letters such as the one below in favor of paid sick days legislation, marking one more group adding its voice to the chorus of those who want to see the worker-friendly proposal get to the Council floor.


Kallos raised a total of $28,453 in the last six months, bringing his campaign chest to $33,456, he said. “Our campaign is very excited about the 348 contributions that demonstrate more community support than we ever expected, and we hope to continue that trend, expanding the number of small contributions from residents all over the district and the city,” Kallos said, noting that his average contribution was $95.42 and that 22 percent of the contributions were $10, a threshold many candidates point to in showing their grassroots support.


A friend of TheMusic.FM is running for City Council and one of his many on-point positions is the need to reform New York’s ridiculous cabaret laws which make dancing illegal in most establishments.


At Upper East Side City Council candidate Benjamin Kallos’ unique redistricting-themed fundraiser last night, Mark Favors, the lead plaintiff in the redistricting lawsuit that led to court-drawn congressional lines in New York, was the guest of honor and had some interesting thoughts on the redistricting situation, especially from his perspective as an African-American resident of Harlem.

Watch Mr. Favor's specific remarks by clicking


This all seems as obvious a lifestyle to Kallos as his decision to run for Jessica Lappin’s seat in the City Council in 2013. He’s positioning himself as a young voice, a progressive choice, someone who has worked tirelessly, frenetically even, on so many civic issues it makes the résumés of some sitting council members seem paltry by comparison.


Cynical pols deliver conventional wisdom that voters don’t care about redistricting, but don’t tell that to New York City Council candidate Benjamin Kallos, reports City & State.


Cynical pols deliver conventional wisdom that voters don’t care about redistricting, but don’t tell that to New York City Council candidate Benjamin Kallos.


* Cynical pols deliver conventional wisdom that voters don’t care about redistricting, but don’t tell that to New York City Council candidate Benjamin Kallos. The East Side aspirant for Councilwoman Jessica Lappin’s seat is holding a fundraiser next month featuring Mark Favors, lead plaintiff in the Favors v. Cuomo lawsuit challenging the state’s method of drawing new lines. It’s a natural issue for Kallos, executive director ofBill Samuels’ New Roosevelt Initiative, though he acknowledged it’s an unusual draw for an event with a top ticket price of $1,000. Kallos said he’s trying to run “a substantive campaign about the issues that not only affect the district but the city as a whole.”


I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a campaign fundraiser themed quite like this before, but New York City Council candidate Ben Kallos is holding a fundraiser (donation for co-chairs, $1,000) centered around a discussion of the redistricting lawsuit Cuomo v. Favors.


Speaking before a crowd in the back of the Off The Rails bar, Mr. Kallos particularly demonstrated some passion for government transparency in his speech. In addition to touting his efforts to get New York voting records online, he cheered the Council’s recently passed Open Data Bill and presented a “Suggest Your Own Solution for a Better City” worksheet for the crowd to fill out or submit online.