New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Press Releases

Former Public Advocate Mark Green Endorses Council Member Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President

Monday, January 6, 2020

“Ben Kallos legislates with a rare combination of focus and creativity,” said First Public Advocate Mark Green. “All the way back in 2009 when he was working with me to develop ‘Change for New York: 100 Ideas for a Better City,’ I was confident that Ben Kallos had a unique progressive vision. In his time in the Council I have been blown away by his ability to get big wins for New Yorkers while standing up to powerful forces, and I know he’s ready to take the role Manhattan Borough President by storm.”

Serving as Director of Policy for Green’s 2009 campaign for Public Advocate, Kallos worked with Green on his "Change for New York: 100 Ideas for a Better City." Since being elected to the City Council in 2013, Kallos has championed many of Green’s progressive policies and has won hard-fought gains, including expanding the public campaign finance system Green originally wrote for a full public match to get big money out, providing affordable housing through an online portal, fighting homelessness by founding a taskforce and building supportive housing, and adding more than 1,400 new public school seats.

Green and Kallos have recently teamed up to support progressive candidates for office, including Jumaane Williams for Public Advocate and most recently Elizabeth Warren for President. Kallos was the first Manhattan politician to endorse Warren, after Green initially introduced them.

“There are no easy public policy issues, but Ben has taken on some of the hardest,” said Former Public Advocate Mark Green. “Ben has taken on ‘unsolvable’ problems that have plagued New York for years—from scaffolding to tenant blacklists—and found creative ways to finally make the progress New Yorkers are looking for. I am proud to see what he’s done, and excited to see him bring his energy to the borough of Manhattan.”

Unions Representing 40,000 Laborers Endorse Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The New York State Laborers’ Political Action Committee comprised of 24 local unions and 5 district councils endorsed New York City Council Member Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President. Early in his career, Kallos represented the LiUNA! affiliates including the Mason Tenders District Council as a union-side labor lawyer.

Operating Engineers Endorse Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President

Thursday, November 7, 2019

New York, NY – Today, Ben Kallos received the endorsement of the New York City Coalition of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) made up of six local unions representing 18,000 members, for a total of thirteen labor organization endorsements as he runs to be the next Manhattan Borough President succeeding Gale Brewer who is term-limited.

“During his time in the City Council no one has worked harder than Ben Kallos to protect the safety of tens of thousands of men and women in the construction industry. He understands that in order to ensure their safety and the safety of the millions of New Yorkers, commuters, and tourists who pass by construction sites each day, it is critically important that all workers be properly trained. He knows and continuously advocates that the integrity and rigor of our procedures for licensing these workers must be maintained and, when necessary, strengthened,” said Edwin Christian, President of the 18,000 member coalition. “Ben Kallos understands the significance of those credentials. Our members believe Ben Kallos has the proper credentials to be Manhattan’s next Borough President.”

New York City Coalition of Operating Engineers consists of the following six IUOE locals:

  1. Local 14 - Edwin L. Christian, President
  2. Local 15 - Thomas A. Callahan, Treasurer
  3. Local 30 - William Lynn, Recording Corresponding Secretary
  4. Local 94 - Kuba Brown, Vice President
  5. Local 211 – Nelson J. Más, Trustee
  6. Local 891 - Robert Troeller, Trustee

7 Labor Unions Endorse Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

First Labor Endorsements for Any Candidate in 2021 Go to Ben Kallos

New York, NY – Today, Ben Kallos was the first candidate to receive any labor endorsements in a race for 2021, receiving seven endorsement from major labor organization as he runs to be the next Manhattan Borough President succeeding Gale Brewer who is term-limited.

“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,” said 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.”

Kallos a union-side labor lawyer who once represented the Mason Tenders District Council announced his candidacy for Manhattan Borough President with the support of the following brothers and sisters in organized labor with tens of thousands of members throughout the city and the borough of Manhattan (alphabetical order):

  1. Communications Workers of America Local 1101
  2. Heat and Frost Insulators Local 12
  3. New York Professional Nurses Union
  4. Organization of Staff Analysts (OSA)
  5. Steamfitters Local 638
  6. Sheet Metal Workers Local 28
  7. Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2

City Council Reformer Ben Kallos Launches Bid for Borough President on Platform of Anti-Corruption and Community Empowerment Backed by Record of Accomplishment

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Council Member Kallos Known for Winning Anti-Corruption Reforms Has Taken On City Hall and Real Estate to Win School Seats, Parks Investment, Transportation Improvements, and to Stop Supertalls in Residential Neighborhoods

New York, NY - New York City Council Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Ben Kallos is the first to announce that he is running to succeed term-limited Gale Brewer as Manhattan’s next Borough President.

The “reform democrat” is running on a platform of accomplishments and anti-corruption measures he won to help communities stand up to real estate as they fight for affordable housing, something that sets him apart as a candidate for Manhattan Borough President. Council Member Ben Kallos has been recognized by City and State who ranked him as one of the best city council members and as a workhorse who has passed more than 40 laws. Kallos won over a thousand pre-kindergarten seats for his district, secured $200 million for parks, and authored anti-corruption measures including a ban on lulus and outside income, all while refusing money from real estate that allowed him to bring the first of its kind grass-roots community rezoning to stop overdevelopment of supertall towers for billionaires to preserve and build affordable housing for everyday New Yorkers.

At the time of an announcement, Kallos unveiled seven endorsements from organized labor unions: Communications Workers of America Local 1101, Heat and Frost Insulators Local 12, New York Professional Nurses Union, Organization of Staff Analysts (OSA), Steamfitters Local 638, Sheet Metal Workers Local 28, and Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2.

City Council Members & Nominees Announce Rules Reform Platform for 2014 Council Session

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ben Kallos, Democratic nominee from Council District 5 said, "The proposed rules reforms include ideas proposed by the government transparency community – and will go a long way towards a 'City Council 2.0' with increased transparency, openness, and accountability that will greatly empower our city's residents.”


Council Candidate Releases Policy Book Focused on Transparency and Reform

Thursday, August 15, 2013

City Council candidate Ben Kallos today released a policy book containing goals and areas of policy support in advance of the City Council Primary in Manhattan's District 5 (the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island). The book contains a vision for a more accountable and equitable local government, as well as steps he would take in the City Council to work towards such results for District 5 and citywide. 

Council Candidate Helps Fellow 2013 Hopefuls Get on Ballot

Friday, July 5, 2013

New York, N.Y. – Council Candidate Ben Kallos is offering free voter file access starting today to all 2013 City candidates in the hopes of electing a better City Council. Free voter file accounts will allow Democratic and Republican Party Primary candidates to verify petition signatures so that they can get the 450, 2,000 and 3,750 signatures from registered voters in their party to get on the ballot for City Council, Borough President and Citywide office, respectively.  These petitions must be filed with the Board of Elections between Monday, July 8 and Thursday, July 11.

Council Candidate Kallos Stands Against Cuts to Senior Services at NYCHA

Friday, June 14, 2013

New York, N.Y. – Yesterday, Council Candidate Ben Kallos joined seniors, NYCHA residents and members of AFSCME Local 371, offering testimony to rethink cuts to senior services for NYCHA before the City Council Committee on Public Housing. Kallos, whose district encompasses the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island where Stanley Isaacs and Holmes Towers have a NYCHA Senior Center, urged the City Council to help NYCHA keep senior centers well staffed and well funded as the agency faces a $205 million shortfall as the result of federal sequestration. 

Statement on Dropping FOSS from FITARA

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Were the United States Government to begin developing all new code using a free and open source license, it would mean hundreds of billions of dollars in cost-savings for the public. The IT sector would flourish with thousands of new jobs and the improvements created by efficiency of software sharing between agencies would improve government, bringing it into the Internet age the right way.

Transit Riders and Workers: "Bring Back our Booths!"

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

"Fares keep going up, while service keeps going down, and that doesn't make any sense," said Ben Kallos, City Council Candidate for the Upper East Side. "We've collected over a thousand signatures on the Upper East Side as part of the Bring Back Our Booths campaign that we launched earlier this year when riders grew concerned about inaccessibility and safety after agents and booths were removed from subway stations at 77th and 86th Streets.  We’re thrilled to work with Transit Forward and TWU Local 100 to take this campaign for a better commute Citywide."

Roosevelt Island in Blackout: City Council candidate Ben Kallos and team provide aid to residents

Friday, May 24, 2013

Roosevelt Island, N.Y. – Much of Roosevelt Island is in blackout this morning, as emergency responders from Con Edison and the 144th precinct seek to restore power. Residents seeking emergency support should call 911.

City Council candidate Ben Kallos has provided a hotline for residents to seek non-emergency assistance from his team of volunteers. Residents can call 855-2KALLOS (855-252-5567) while the blackout persists.

One Man One March for Child Care Funding Joined by Council Candidate Kallos with Proposal for Funding

Monday, May 20, 2013


“Child care helps New York’s single parents escape poverty,” says Kallos.

“City-subsidized child care pays for itself.”


New York, NY – 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. 

Pioneering Social Media Platform Rolled Out in City Council Race

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Twitterverse – A new kind of political platform has been launched by Ben Kallos, candidate for City Council on the East Side of Manhattan and Roosevelt Island. The candidate is putting his open, participatory platform on twitter to spark conversation. Between now and primary day, Kallos will tweet his 125 solutions for a better city using the hashtag #BetterCity. The #BetterCity tweets are intended to leverage the unique power of twitter to generate an exchange of ideas between elected officials, interested groups and constituents.

Cornell NYC Tech Not "Sustainable" as Claimed

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Kallos Campaign testifies before City Council: “Cornell NYC Tech can’t claim to be sustainable unless it supports the local infrastructure of Roosevelt Island on which it relies.”

Key points from the testimony include:

  • Require Cornell NYC Tech to be truly “sustainable” by supporting their own infrastructure;
  • Direct tax revenues from businesses on the Cornell NYC Tech campus to RIOC;
  • Require transportation improvements ahead of Cornell NYC Tech’s move-in day; and
  • Support local renewable energy through the Cornell NYC Tech “applied sciences” mandate.