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New York Times

New York Times

For New York City Council

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
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.

Experience

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.

Updates

Press Coverage
New York Daily News
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

New Yorkers would finally be able to register to vote with a click of a mouse under a bill to be introduced in the City Council.

Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) will introduce legislation to allow would-be voters to register online.

Currently, the Board of Elections requires paper registration forms to be mailed in the old fashioned way.

“We hope to have a city where everyone who is eligible can vote easily,” Kallos said. “We make it really hard to register, really hard to vote, and we can make it a lot easier.”

- Read more

Press Coverage
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

City Councilman Ben Kallos has come a long way from his days at The Bronx High School of Science, though not so far from its rooftop greenhouse, where he tilled the soil as a teenager. The council member has been at the forefront of pushing New York City’s food agenda to new heights, from providing 1.1 million children with free lunches and dinners to making fresh fruits and vegetables available at NYCHA housing developments to cooking for his constituents at the Greenmarkets.

We caught up with Councilman Kallos to talk new initiatives, old favorite restaurants and where New York stands in terms of progressive food policy in America (hint: relatively speaking, we’re doing pretty well).

- Read more

Press Release

Intro 508 to allow New York City residents to register online was introduced today by Council Member Ben Kallos, Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations and Progressive Caucus Members Co-Chairs Antonio Reynoso and Donovan Richards, as well as Council Members Danny Dromm, Mark Levine, Helen Rosenthal, Stephen Levin, Brad Lander, Ydanis Rodriguez, Debi Rose, and Carlos Menchaca. The bill requires the Board of Elections to provide a secure website for registration. Twenty four States offer online voter registration in some form, many with a fully paperless process that can be submitted directly online. New York City consistently struggles with voter participation and turnout.

Read more

Press Coverage
Our Town
Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ben Kallos, chief of staff to Assembly Member Jonathan Bing, is the first person officially running for the seat held by first-term Council Member Jessica Lappin.

 

- Read more

Press Coverage
New York Times
Monday, May 6, 1996

The business side of being a teen-age computer consultant can be daunting. Age may not be a barrier to getting into the business, but it can limit the compensation. "People take one look at me, and they figure they're not going to pay this kid $50 an hour," said Benjamin Kallos, a 15-year-old at the Bronx High School of Science, an elite public school in New York City.

So the high school sophomore, whose home page on the Web proclaims "Kallos Consulting" in bold red letters, charges $15 or $20 an hour.

Some businesses in New York seem to regard the high school as a job shop for Web site work. Steve Kalin, an assistant principal, says small companies occasionally call the school looking for a student to make Web pages, and more are calling all the time.

"Even the kind of kids who would have worked on the school newspaper in the past are often more interested in electronic publishing now," Mr. Kalin said. "They're making Web sites."

- Read more

Press Coverage
NYC.gov News from the Blue Room
Thursday, October 1, 2009

New Technological Capabilities, Spanning All Aspects of City Services, Will Make City Government More Accessible and Accountable 

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the Connected City Initiative, a series of technology programs to transform the ways in which New Yorkers can interact with – and expect the delivery of services from – City government. Building upon successful projects that have made New York City a pioneer in using technology to improve public services, the Mayor outlined a series of initiatives to make City government more accessible and accountable. They include providing a new iPhone application for New Yorkers to report issues and send photos to 311 with specific location details using GPS technology – an idea championed by Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Council Member Gale Brewer; increasing the number of New Yorkers with access to Electronic Health Records; and eliminating many of the bureaucratic barriers to starting a small business. Additional aims include increasing the use of social networking to improve government efficiency; making the City more sustainable by consolidating data centers citywide and promoting the use of electronic mailings; and increasing broadband adoption among low-income New Yorkers. The Mayor made the announcement at the IBM SmarterCities Forum in Manhattan.

“Every day, new technological innovations help make information flow faster, systems work better and our lives a little easier,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “But often, when it comes to adopting new technology, governments lag behind the private sector and even the casual consumer because they are unwilling or unable to try something new and change the way things have always been done. That’s small-minded thinking. In serving the public, government should constantly be looking for new and better ways to provide information and services. The creation of 311 was a major advancement in that effort, but we never stop looking for ways to improve. The programs of the Connected City Initiative represent the latest steps we’re taking to employ technology to serve New Yorkers better.

- Read more

Press Coverage
Monday, September 14, 2009

Ben Kallos

Policy director

 

Kallos grew up in Manhattan and attended the State University of New York in Buffalo. He majored in psychology and communication and double-minored in philosophy and religion before going straight to law school.

- Read more

Press Coverage
New York Daily News
Friday, September 11, 2009

Government transparency is all the rage these days.

 

- Read more

Press Coverage
New York Observer
Monday, June 15, 2009

Ben Kallos, former chief of staff to Assemblyman Jonathan Bing who is currently working on Mark Green's campaign, is launching a new Web site that allows users to search the attendance records of state lawmakers, making available information that the state isn’t so quick to provide. (Ask folks in the Albany press corps about that.)

- Read more

Press Coverage
Our Town
Thursday, April 16, 2009

 

“I hope to work on Internet strategy to make sure many New York City citizens can share their ideas and the website can get out to as many people as possible,” Kallos said.

As an attorney, Kallos has a background in information technology, having developed a registered voter database online and assisted the New York County Lawyers Association to improve electronic case filing.

Kallos was recently chief of staff to Assembly Member Jonathan Bing. He left that position to mount a campaign for Council Member Jessica Lappin’s seat when she entertained the idea of running for public advocate.

- Read more