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New York Times

New York Times

For New York City Council

Published: August 30, 2013

MANHATTAN’S DISTRICT 5 (Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island): A few months ago, this race looked as if it would be an easy win for Assemblyman Micah Kellner. Then came the accusations against him of sexual harassment — charges now being investigated by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics in Albany. Fortunately, there is a better candidate in this race: Ben Kallos, a lawyer and activist. Mr. Kallos has government experience as a legislative aide in Albany, where he worked to begin putting voting records online. He has impressive proposals to help students who attend the City University of New York by forgiving college loans to those who work and stay in the city, and to require developers to build more affordable apartments to get tax abatements. He wants to expand broadband service and revisit congestion pricing. Ben Kallos brings fresh ideas and merits this seat.

About Ben Kallos

Confronted with corruption in Albany, Ben put voting records online so New Yorkers could finally hold politicians accountable.

Since then he's run a government reform organization that successfully removed corruption from government and served as Policy Director for former Public Advocate Mark Green.

Ben grew up on the Upper East Side with his grandparents, who fled anti-Semitism in Europe and his mother who still lives here, and who Ben currently supports in her battle against Parkinson's disease.

Graduating from Bronx Science, Ben knows that our public schools are more than just budget line.  he also attended SUNY Albany and SUNY Buffalo Law School, where he paid his own way.

In the Council, Ben will promote transparency to ensure every dollar gets spent to improve your qulaity of life - from affordable housing to senior services to better schools.


Public Advocate Mark Green 

Mark Green
Former Public Advocate
Director of Policy

 Assembly Member Jonathan Bing 

Jonathan Bing
Assembly Member
Chief of Staff

 Bill Samuels 

Bill Samuels
New Roosevelt

Executive Director

Protecting Your Quality of Life

  • Fought corruption by making voting records easily accessible online
  • Forced developers to invest in the community
  • Supported seniors by advocating for home and community care to keep them healthy and independent
  • Protected residents and businesses along the 2nd Avenue subway construction by advocating for safety and helping to draft small business grants legislation
  • Improved education by supporting new schools
  • Committed to fighting the Marine Transfer Station on 91st Street

As a member of the City Council, he will represent you in the Fifth District, be open and accountable to you, and put the focus back on issues of utmost importance to the community, succeeding Councilmember Jessica Lappin as she runs for Manhattan Borough President.


Press Coverage
Friday, February 27, 2015

Efforts are underway to end the game of hide and seek that occurs when cars are towed to make way for parades, and other events.

As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer explained, a happy ending may be in sight for New York City motorists whose cars are towed to the land of ‘who knows where’ to make room for parades, construction, and most often TV and movie shoots.

One city councilman is suggesting a common sense, and common courtesy solution.

“Anytime a car got towed, you’d be able to just call 311, go online, find your car. Not worry if it got stolen, where it got towed, just find it, move on with your life,” Councilman Ben Kallos D-Upper East Side, said.

- Read more

Press Coverage
Thursday, February 26, 2015

Helping people find their towed cars is the idea behind a proposal being made in the city council.

Imagine this scenario: you park your car legally and when you come back, it’s gone!

“A lot of people first think their car got stolen,” City Councilmember Ben Kallos said.

Kallos said then imagine you see a temporary “no parking” sign, either resulting from a TV shoot or street fair.

“So you can either try to touch base with your precinct and see if they’ve got a list of where it might be, or you have to resort to walking around the neighborhood until you find your car,” Kallos told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.

If your car has been moved, Kallos wants the new location entered into a single database.

“Call 311, go on a website and you’d be able to find out where’s my car,” he said.


- Read more

Press Coverage
Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Kallos and James propose that Comcast fix the loopholes in Internet Essentials so that all low-income New Yorkers are eligible. But the most striking feature of their request is that Comcast should offer free broadband to all New York City public housing residents. Two weeks ago, California's equivalent of the PSC, the Public Utilities Commission, approved the merger with similar conditions such as expanding Internet Essentials to all low-income Californians and setting an enrollment quota for the program., Notably, California's conditions were lacking the requirement for free Internet in public housing. Even so, Comcast reeled at California's requirements, calling them intrusive and unrealistic.

"New York City is the landlord for nearly half a million New Yorkers living in 178,000 public housing units," says Kallos. "With the digital divide so big and income inequality being one of the primary causes, we need to make sure that every single New Yorker has access to the Internet. And that starts with our very low income living in public housing."

- Read more

Press Coverage
NBC News 4 New York
Friday, February 27, 2015

Legislation proposed by a city council member Friday would help New Yorkers find their vehicles when they're towed because of temporary parking restrictions.

Councilman Ben Kallos, a Democrat who represents the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island, said cars that are towed for temporary parking violations -- like when a movie is being filmed -- are often moved blocks away without the owner's knowledge.

Kallos introduced the legislation so owners would no longer be left wondering what happened to their cars.

“Imagine arriving at your parking spot to find its gone, not knowing if it is stolen or towed, without being able to find out where it is, unless you’ve got the time to walk every block of your neighborhood,” Kallos said.

- Read more

Press Coverage
Capital New York
Thursday, February 26, 2015

Councilman Ben Kallos is expected to introduce legislation today that would allow residents to get information on the locations of vehicles towed due to temporary parking restrictions by accessing the Department of Transportation's website or calling 311. 
Currently, according to Kallos, that is only possible for vehicles taken to impound lots for regular parking violations. When vehicles are moved to a surrounding block due to construction without the owners' knowledge, the police may have no record of it, Kallos said, and owners are told to search surrounding blocks or contact construction crews who may have left.

- Read more

Press Coverage
New York Daily News
Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Manhattan city councilman is looking to end the game of hide-and-seek that faces drivers whose cars are towed because of temporary parking restrictions.

A bill introduced Thursday by Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Upper East Side) would let owners find out where their car was moved by calling 311 or consulting the Department of Transportation’s website.

- Read more

Press Coverage
Friday, February 27, 2015

When cars are moved because of things like parades or movie shoots, drivers often have no clue where their vehicles are, and now one city lawmaker is looking to change that.

Manhattan Councilman Ben Kallos is pushing a bill that would require the city Transportation Department to notify 311 and put information about relocated cars on its website.

Drivers would then be able to visit the website or call the city's helpline to find their cars.

That's the way it currently works when a car is towed to an impound lot for a normal parking restriction.

Kallos tells the Daily News he decided to introduce the bill after his disabled mother's car was towed several blocks from her home, and was covered in tickets once she found it.

- Read more

Press Release

In the wake of the FCC ruling on net neutrality, New York City Council Member and free and open source software developer Ben Kallos said:

"Universal broadband is best supported by a free and open Internet, which the FCC guaranteed today by reclassifying the Internet as a utility.

As a city of more than 8.4 million residents, over a third of whom are foreign born, New York has long advocated for Net Neutrality. Our growing tech industry, which has brought a new wave of middle class jobs back to New York, relies on the equality of access that the FCC granted today.

In addition to the FCC, thank you to President Obama, Governor Cuomo, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and my colleagues in the City Council, Costa Constantinides, Daniel Dromm, Corey Johnson, Karen Koslowitz, Stephen Levin, Antonio Reynoso, Ydanis Rodriguez, and Ruben Wills, as well as the nearly four million Americans who submitted public comments to the FCC, for helping to protect the Internet’s foundation of democracy and equality.”

Read more

Press Release

"Our nation faces a $6.8 trillion retirement deficit, according to the National Institute on Retirement Security, which this legislation seeks to solve," said Council Member Ben Kallos, an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Attorney. "Erosion of pensions in the public sector and retirements benefits in the private sector have left our working families without a way to save a nest egg for retirement.  Providing small businesses in the private sector with the tools they need to offer their employees better retirement benefits will go a long way towards filling the retirement deficit and providing workers the retirement they deserve.  It has been a pleasure to work with Effective New York founder Bill Samuels on this big idea and thank you to Public Advocate James for her leadership on this and other issues of income security and inequality."

Read more

Press Coverage
Gotham Gazette
Monday, February 23, 2015

Council Members Rosie Mendez and Ben Kallos were on hand Monday to support Garodnick's proposal. "There's a reason we're out here in the cold today - because we don't want, in the future, New York City retirees to be left out in the cold," said Mendez.

"Fiscal responsibility means setting aside funding for our health benefits when they accrue," Kallos said. "We can't leave a $92 billion health obligation debt to the next generation."

- Read more