New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

City and State

City and State News Poli-Tech: The digital tools politicos need to gain an edge in 2013 by Aaron Short

Poli-Tech: The digital tools politicos need to gain an edge in 2013

 

Kallos scrolls through several political sites before pulling up votersearch.org, 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.

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Kallos has been busy building VotersGive.com, 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.”

City and State News Heard Around Town, March 27, 2012 by Chris Bragg

Heard Around Town, March 27, 2012

* 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.”

City and State News Council Candidate Using Redistricting Lawsuit Discussion to Raise Money [Updated] by Chris Bragg

Council Candidate Using Redistricting Lawsuit Discussion to Raise Money [Updated]

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.

City and State News In Efforts to Clean Up Albany, Reform Groups Tack in Opposite Directions by Chris Bragg

In Efforts to Clean Up Albany, Reform Groups Tack in Opposite Directions

New Roosevelt is funded by momentary lieutenant governor candidate and multimillionaire CEO Bill Samuels, who has reported his funding to the independent expenditure effort as more than $259,000 in loans. Over the course of five months, they have already spent $184,000 on a slew of consultants—Red Horse Strategies, Kallos Consulting, Hudson TG, Sunshine, Sachs and Associates, and others—which a spokesman for the group said were laying the groundwork for a field operation to defeat Espada. 

City and State News Rising Stars Forty Under Forty by Chris Bragg

Rising Stars Forty Under Forty

 

The latest census figures show New York has 4,617,307 residents under 40 years old. Only 40 of them can fit on our annual list of Rising Stars. So what does it take to make the cut?

It helps to have made a difference already. Our list includes people who have run for office and people who are running offices; people who are making policy and people who are shaping the consensus behind it; people who deliver the news and people who make the news; those who raise their voices the loudest and see results.

And it helps to have already made a mark across multiple fields. This year’s Rising Stars may have started as coffee fetchers and junior staffers and campaign aides, but they have risen to become chiefs of staff and foundation directors and key consultants.