Call it City Council 2.0. Ben Kallos, a Democratic candidate for the District 5 City Council seat, is using his experience as a tech entrepreneur to run a campaign promising everything from publishing city records online to expanding Internet service to serve more low-income families.
A candidate for Jessica Lappin's City Council seat has cast himself as a progressive and government reformer who welcomes a battle with challengers he claims are backed by the political establishment.
Benjamin Kallos — one of several candidates vying for the District 5 City Council seat — has touted himself as a political outsider since launching his campaign last year.
Kallos, a lawyer who is now the executive director at the New Roosevelt Initiative focusing on government-transparency projects, told DNAinfo that he hopes to bring his progressive bent to the council. A self-avowed wonk, Kallos has worked on open source and other campaigns to make government more responsive.
He, for instance, would like to see the city’s text message alert system not only send missing person notices, but also send reminders for Election Day.
He envisions using the office not only for passing legislation, but also, perhaps, like Bronx state Senator Gustavo Rivera, for conducting community civics classes.
“I’ve spent all this time asking for elected officials to do all these things,” Kallos, a former Community Board 8 member, said. “At a certain point, you have to put up or shut up,” he said of his rationale to run.