New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Press Coverage

... Upper East Siders ... Ben Kallos ... are running for a seat on the City Council. We interviewed each of them about five issues that Upper East Side residents find most pressing.

How would you make sure that the Marine Transfer Station was not built?

Ben Kallos: I try to have a wider scope. This issue has been going on for seven years and nothing’s happened. New York is 15 percent recycling, and San Francisco is over 75 percent recycling. My question is why is New York City following an obsolete waste management plan. We should be educating people about recycling and not putting 50 percent of our waste into the ground. We need to make sure the vehicles we are using for waste transportation aren’t emitting fumes. This is a local issue, but we need to broaden our scope. We’re in this together as a city.

Ben Kallos, a candidate to represent Roosevelt Island in the NYC Council adds: Today's resignation of the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Director demonstrates that the concerted efforts of Roosevelt Islanders who bravely rallied, testified and spoke out to reform the Public Safety Department can achieve results. Residents no longer have to rely on empty political promises, instead taking action to better our community. None of this would have been possible without the hard work of members of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Safety Committee led by Erin Feely Nahem, who had to make personal sacrifices and faced adversity for her tireless efforts. We eagerly await the results of the investigation into Public Safety Department by the Inspector General who can create an oversight board of resident to prevent future misconduct.

As we’ve reported, though, the proposed text looks a bit different than the version that cleared the committee earlier this year — for example, it cut two paragraphs that promoted open-source software. That’s not exactly music to the ears of open government advocates — one, for example, told us that a government pivot to open source would be a cost-saver and potential job creator.

 Joseph Strong, a representative from City Council candidate Ben Kallos’ office said that his team started giving out water to residents as soon as they heard about the power outage.

By funding public college education for all – regardless of immigration status – the City will build a better workforce, earn more in taxes and become stronger.

A comprehensive policy platform created exclusively by advocacy group Manhattan Young Democrats was adopted today by City Council Candidate Ben Kallos for inclusion in his campaigns solutions for a better City.

Following child care funding cuts in the Final Executive Budget affecting thousands of working families, Council Candidate Ben Kallos joined Executive Director of DC 1707 Raglan George, Jr. at the “One Man One March,” along with Mabel Everett, President of Local 205 Day Care Employees, to call on Mayor Bloomberg to restore funding to help provide for New York City’s children, single parents and families living in poverty.

 

A New York City Council candidate who had made his name as a technology consultant and spearheaded an open government initiative several years ago found parts of his website copied by another City Council candidate in a different borough, as Politicker first reported.

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Ben Kallos is a Democrat running for City Council on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Roosevelt Island. Kallos, who previously served as director of policy and communication for former Public Advocate Mark Green's 2009 campaign, heads up Kallos Consulting, which has the tagline "Where Technology, Politics and Law Come Together."

He was also a cofounder of the Open Government Foundation, a New York-based non-profit started in 2009. On his website, Kallos says that the platform was the first "to post attendance, legislation and voting records going back to 1995 along with an application that showed how often your New York City or State legislator voted with the majority." He notes that the New York State Senate and the New York City Council launched similar portals with that information shortly thereafter. The information on the OGF's website has not been updated since 2009. Kallos Consulting also focused on web development for organizations including the Democratic National Committee’s Law School Democrats, the New York State Democratic Party, and New York City Government’s Community Board 8 in Manhattan, according to his website. Kallos said his website was developed with Drupal.

According to the NYCCFB, Alvarez has raised $16,988.00, and Kallos has raised $63,288.00.

According to Politicker, Kallos sees the imitation as flattery. “The fact that our campaign’s open platform focused on solutions and progressive internship program have become a model demonstrates that we are not only leading by example, but changing the dialogue,” he told the news site.

The internships section of the Pedro Alvarez website was identical to the section on the Ben Kallos website.

Ben Kallos, a candidate for City Council on the Upper East Side, was apparently offering campaign internships in the south Bronx.

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Mr. Kallos, for his part, seemed unperturbed about another campaign copying his website. Rather than address the identical website sections when reached for comment, he touted the strength of his own campaign.

“The fact that our campaign’s open platform focused on solutions and progressive internship program have become a model demonstrates that we are not only leading by example, but changing the dialog,” Mr. Kallos stated.

The State Assemblymember whose district includes Roosevelt Island (and a candidate for Lappin’s City Council seat when she leaves to run for Borough President this year), previously declined to answer or even acknowledge a request from The WIRE for a statement. He was not at the hearing.  His competition for the Council seat, Ben Kallos, sent a representative to read his statement in opposition to the project and in support of community concerns.

“Cornell NYC Tech can’t claim to be sustainable unless it supports the local infrastructure on which it relies,” Kallos’ campaign asserts.  It goes on to quote a statement by City Planning Commissioner Michelle de la Uz in her no vote for the project: “I am not happy with their exemption from paying for services.”

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has been proven to be hypocritical in its unequal treatment of senior management versus regular employees, according to compensation documents obtained by Ben Kallos, a City Council Candidate for the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island.

“No contract for workers – no contract for the Chair!” exclaimed Kallos. “The MTA’s rewarding of executives while punishing workers is hypocrisy, especially when using tax dollars.”

"Roosevelt Island NYC Council Candidate Ben Kallos tweets:We need to improve access for @RooseveltIsland especially on weekends w/ no #manhattan bound #mta #f trains pic.twitter.com/EbKvTxhVXx"

9:05 PM - 13 Apr 13from Manhattan, NY, United StatesView image on Twitter

 

 

Last week’s events call attention to the importance that each one of the fifty-one members of the city’s only legislature have in determining how we as a city spend $77.7 billion dollars, comprising the fourth largest budget in the country after the federal, California, and New York State budgets.

Ben Kallos’s team stepped up to the plate that day when some volunteers didn’t show up, and did the registration for us.

As a City Council candidate for the 5th District, which includes Roosevelt Island, I have been supporting Democracy for Roosevelt Island through my community’s hard fought battle for the freedoms and democracy appreciated by all other residents of New York City. This is because, unlike the rest of the City, Roosevelt Island is managed by Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC), a New York State Agency whose Board members are appointed by the Governor.Roosevelt Island activist and former Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Matthew Katz brought to our campaign’s attention that there is now a vacancy on the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) Board as a result of the resignation of Sal Ferrara [Ferrera], a nonresident who was appointed in June of 2011 without being elected by Roosevelt Island residents.

Ben Kallos is running to succeed Jessica Lappin as New York City Council Member for Manhattan's 5th District which includes Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side. Last week, Mr Kallos sent the following letter to Roosevelt Island's Assembly Member.

Ben Kallos pressures Gov. Cuomo to strengthen democratic representation on behalf of Roosevelt Island.

NY City Council candidate Ben Kallos was on hand to greetand meet with Roosevelt Island residents while some from his staff volunteered for the Easter Egg Hunt.

Mayor Bloomberg has been a fantastic partner for the tech community. I’d like to see this trickle down to the more local politics – for example, I’m hoping Ben Kallos (and any other technologist candidates – he’s the only one I’m aware of) – will win the upcoming city council election. It makes such a difference to have city officials working closely with the technologists and tech activists here in NYC.