New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Press Releases

Smart City Plan to Facilitate and Improve Quality of Life for All New York City Residents

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Manhattan, NY - As part of his campaign platform to become the next Manhattan Borough President, today Council Member Ben Kallos put forth a plan to push New York City fully into the 21st century by modernizing urban infrastructure using Smart City technology. The plan calls for communications technology, such as sensors, meters, air quality detectors, and replacement indicators among others to be installed throughout the City to facilitate daily life and save the city billions of dollars over time through increased efficiency. 

Once the proposal is implemented it would put New York City on par with places like Singapore, London, Dubai, and Barcelona, which have installed internet connected sensors to improve and automate daily life since the beginning of the last decade.

Four Freedoms Democratic Club Endorses Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President

Friday, January 22, 2021

“Council Member Kallos has been engaged with our Club since our founding and has been a strong advocate for our neighborhood,” said Four Freedoms Democratic Club President Jerry Ferguson. “We are excited to see Council Member Kallos expand his impact to all of Manhattan as Borough President.”

Endorsed by Assemblymember-Elect Jenifer Rajkumar and State Committee Members Foa and Mapp

Monday, December 21, 2020

Rajkumar and state committee members are rallying behind Kallos for his record on reform

New York, NY - Today Council Member Ben Kallos received the endorsement of New York State Assemblymember-Elect Jenifer Rajkumar in his race for Manhattan Borough President. Rajkumar identified Kallos’ history of standing up for women and people of color as well as his courage in fighting corruption in government for her endorsement. Rajkumar is the first South Asian American elected to the New York State Assembly. State Committee Members Conrad Foa and Tamika Mapp highlighted Kallos' wins for tenants and on campaign finance reform.

Environmental Leaders, Activists, and Organizers Endorse Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President Platform of Fighting Climate Change

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Climate change is being put front and center in the New York City race for Borough President in Manhattan, an island particularly susceptible to rising sea levels, by candidate Council Member Ben Kallos, who was endorsed today by the New York City Council’s Environmental Protection Committee Chair Costa Constantinides, Co-Creator of Captain Planet, Barbara Pyle, and Environmental Activist and Comedian Chuck Nice.

Environmental Leaders, Activists, and Organizers Endorse Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President Platform of Fighting Climate Change

Thursday, December 17, 2020

New York, NY – Climate change is being put front and center in the New York City race for Borough President in Manhattan, an island particularly susceptible to rising sea levels, by candidate Council Member Ben Kallos, who was endorsed today by the New York City Council’s Environmental Protection Committee Chair Costa Constantinides, Co-Creator of Captain Planet, Barbara Pyle, and Environmental Activist and Comedian Chuck Nice. 

“New York City Council passed Climate Works for All to limit pollution by dirty buildings thanks to unwavering support for our planet from Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Ben Kallos. When the real estate industry put profits over people by fighting strong limits on dirty buildings, Ben Kallos not only stood up for our planet but refused their dirty money,” said Council Member Costa Constantinides. “We authored a resolution declaring a climate emergency here in New York City and became the biggest city in the world to do so. I am endorsing Ben Kallos as the next Manhattan Borough President to continue our fight against climate change.”

The son of a Greek-Cypriot immigrant and an education activist, Costa Constantinides has represented the New York City Council’s 22nd District since 2013. As chair of the Environmental Protection Committee since 2015, he has been committed to fighting the effects of climate change and keeping it from forever changing New York City’s landscape. Sustainability, resiliency, and air quality have been among Costa’s top environmental issues since long before he was elected into office. His district includes his native Astoria, as well as Rikers Island, parts of Jackson Heights, Woodside, and East Elmhurst.

"Ben Kallos is a leader, a true advocate, and a fighter not only for the environment and sustainability but also for social justice. I'm very proud to know Ben and it is my honor to endorse him for Manhattan Borough President," said Barbara Pyle, co-creator of Captain Planet and the Planeteers. "When we created Captain Planet and the Planeteers 30 years ago, our mission was to inspire and empower a new generation of environmentally literate leaders. Ben is exactly the kind of person our program hoped to inspire: Planeteers that would go on to be in politics and in positions of power where they can make a difference for the betterment of the planet. Seeing the work Ben has done and what he represents in New York City is a dream come true for me. I am impressed with his commitment and I could not imagine a better Borough President. New York City is lucky to have him. He gives me hope for the future and is an ideal role model for today's young people to not only walk to the ballot box, but to run, run for office, that is."  

Environmental Activist, filmmaker, executive producer, photographer and TV executive Barbara Pyle spent two decades as CNN’s environmental editor. In 1989, Barbara and Ted Turner co-created the animated action adventure series Captain Planet and the Planeteers. Broadcast in over 100 countries to popular and critical acclaim Captain Planet still maintains a dedicated international fan base. The Barbara Pyle Foundation. Its mission is “to use media in all its forms to make the world a better place and empower people to protect the planet.”

Union Representing 14,000 Transportation Workers Endorse

Friday, August 21, 2020

New York, NY Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181, representing 14,000 members, endorsed New York City Council Member Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President. ATU Local 1181 represents school bus operators, matrons, and mechanics as well as operators of MTA buses and Access-A-Ride Paratransit. With today’s announcement, Kallos has been endorsed by 74 district councils and local unions for Manhattan Borough President.

“We endorse Council Member Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President because he has always stood up for our members and the countless students, working families, and disabled New Yorkers we transport,” said Michael Cordiello, President and Business Agent of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181.

As a candidate in 2012, Kallos joined ATU Local 1181 in support of the Employee Protection Provision (EPP), marching across the Brooklyn Bridge, joining picket lines during their strike, and bringing coffee to warm members in the cold. Since being elected to the City Council in 2013, Kallos has been dedicated to ensuring operators and attendants have the tools they need to transport students safely each day. Kallos even authored laws to give operators and attendants more time for dry runs and created an opportunity to flag bad routes before the start of the school year.

Ben Kallos, is a Democrat and Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus who has distinguished in his unwavering support for working families who have organized into labor unions. Kallos’ campaign previously announced the endorsement of 73 unions representing nurses, engineers, laborers, communication workers, and many more. Following the endorsement from New York City Carpenters, Kallos has now been endorsed by 74 New York State district councils and local unions 47 of whom represent workers in New York City.

“I am proud to have the support of our bus drivers who get our students to school and provide transportation for our disabled,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “We must support the bus drivers who get us where we need to go from the disabled to our children going to school.”

Union Representing 3,000 Elevator Mechanics Endorse Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President

Friday, February 21, 2020

The International Union of Elevator Constructors Local One representing 3,000 members endorsed New York City Council Member Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President. With today’s announcement, Kallos has been endorsed by 73 district councils and local unions for Manhattan Borough President.

“We are all in for Council Member Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President and will be taking to the streets to elect a champion for labor. Kallos understands the importance of training and experience when it comes to elevator work throughout our city,” said Lenny Legotte, President-Business Manager of International Union of Elevator Constructors Local One.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney Endorses Council Member Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Touts Record of Accomplishments for the District: Parks, Subway, Ferry, School Seats

New York, NY – Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney announced her endorsement of Council Member Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President citing their frequent collaboration and record of accomplishment together as Co-Chairs of the East River Esplanade Taskforce, securing pre-kindergarten seats, and keeping the Second Avenue Subway on track.

“It’s about getting things done, and I’ve been proud to work with Council Member Ben Kallos to deliver for the East Side, which is why I am endorsing him to bring the same results to the entire borough as the next Manhattan Borough President,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

Unions Representing 20,000 Carpenters Endorse Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

New York, NY – The New York City and Vicinity District Council of Carpenters and Joiners of America and its nine local unions endorsed New York City Council Member Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President. With today’s announcement, Kallos has been endorsed by 72 district councils and local unions for Manhattan Borough President.

“When the Carpenters stood up to irresponsible developers who would put workers in dangerous situations just to make a buck, Council Member Ben Kallos was there and he will continue to stand with us to protect workers and residents alike as the next Manhattan Borough President,” said Joseph A. Geiger, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New York City and Vicinity District Council of Carpenters.

“When the city uses tax dollars to subsidize development, those dollars should be creating good paying jobs with training necessary for safer construction. Council Member Ben Kallos has worked alongside the Carpenters for prevailing wages and training on dozens and dozens of city projects. We need Ben Kallos as our next Manhattan Borough President to fight for good paying jobs and training on every tax payer subsidized project,” said Michael Cavanaugh, Vice President of the New York City and Vicinity District Council of Carpenters.

“Our Carpenters build everything that makes our city so great from our high rises to our docks, from the cabinets to the floor, and even keep our industry working,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “We have worked together over the years to protect workers throughout our city and it would be my honor to continue representing them and working families throughout our city as the next Manhattan Borough President.”

The New York City District Council of Carpenters and Joiners of America is a representative body comprised of nine individual Locals and over 20,000 union members. The District Council functions as the voice for thousands of New York City’s most dedicated and skilled Carpenters, Millwrights, Dockbuilders, Timbermen, Cabinetmakers, Floorcoverers and Industrial Workers. Above all else, the District Council is dedicated to guarantee that every worker in our represented trades has rights in the workplace, a fair wage, a healthy family and hope for the future. The construction industry is prone to exploitative and dangerous conditions in the workplace; our efforts are to eliminate those tendencies through strong advocacy and direct action. The United Brotherhood of Carpenters is one of North America’s largest building-trades unions, with nearly a half-million members in the construction and wood-products industries.

New York City locals:

  1. Local 20 – Carpenters – Staten Island
  2. Local 45 – Carpenters – Queens
  3. Local 157 – Carpenters – Manhattan
  4. Local 212 – High Rise Concrete
  5. Local 740 – Millwrights & Machinery Erectors
  6. Local 926 – Carpenters – Brooklyn
  7. Local 1556 – Dockbuilders & Timbermen
  8. Local 2287 – Resilient Floor Coverers
  9. Local 2790 – Industrial & Shop Workers

Ben Kallos, is a Democrat and Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus who has distinguished in his unwavering support for working families who have organized into labor unions. As a legislator, Kallos authored the law to count every injury and life lost on a construction site with steep fines for disreputable contractors that would hide injuries on the job (Local Law 78 of 2017). He was also a co-prime sponsor of laws to require site safety supervisors and safety training on construction sites. Kallos has also carried legislation to require prevailing wage, training, and apprenticeship on city-subsidized construction projects as well as to offer private sector workers to an auto-IRA retirement savings plan.

Kallos’ campaign previously announced the endorsement of 62 unions representing nurses, engineers, laborers, communication workers, and many more. Following the endorsement from New York City Carpenters, Kallos has now been endorsed by 72 New York State district councils and local unions 45 of whom represent workers in New York City.

“I am proud to have the support of our nurses, construction workers, civil servants, telecommunications and utility workers, who do the work that makes our city great,” concluded Council Member Ben Kallos. “We must support our working families in government, healthcare, at public utilities, and in the private sector, for a better borough.”

Iron Workers and Bricklayers Endorse Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President

Monday, February 3, 2020

New York, NY – The New York State Iron Workers District Council and the Bricklayers Local 1 endorse New York City Council Member Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President. With today’s announcement, Kallos has been endorsed by 32 New York City district councils and local unions for Manhattan Borough President.

“When a developer took government subsidies only to go "open shop" leaving iron workers out, Council Member Ben Kallos joined us in fighting for good paying jobs and safe construction. When the developer threatened Kallos politically, we had his back, and he wrote a piece for local media calling on the developer to protect workers and residents with proper training. When the developer threatened to sue Kallos, then sent a cease and desist, he went even further by citing OSHA violations and recounting the lives lost on prior construction by the builder, demanding training and protections for workers,” said James Mahoney President of the New York State Iron Workers District Council. “The Iron Workers District Council and its [local] unions endorse Council Member Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President because we need more elected officials who will stand up to anyone when it comes to doing what's right for our brothers and sisters in labor.”

“We endorse Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President because he knows how important the skilled craftworkers in the masonry trades are to building and maintaining our city. We know Kallos appreciates the depth and rigor of our members' training and skills because he saw it first hand at our training center.  He was even willing to pick up a trowel and lay some brick and put on a harness and get up on a suspended scaffold,” said Jerry Sullivan, President of International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 1, NY. “As a Council Member Kallos pushed for more worker training along with better wages and benefits on city subsidized jobs and we know he will continue to do so as the next Manhattan Borough President.”

“Iron workers and Bricklayers together have built our city from the most iconic landmarks to the housing and offices in which we live in work,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “I have joined with the Iron Workers and Bricklayers in standing up for construction safety through training and better wages. It would be my honor to continue representing them and working families throughout our city.”