Sutton Area Community News Bulletin Profile of Concilman Ben Kallos by Jacqueline Paprin
Smiling, warm, bright, handsome, 34 years old, and newly married to Irene, Ben Kallos brings energy and dedication to his recent role as City Councilman. Having spent his lifetime in this neighborhood, he is well acquainted with its characteristics and needs.
Grandparents Kallos left Hungary in the 40’s to join an enclave of compatriots who had settled on the Upper East Side. His father was a dermatologist, who practiced at Coler-Goldwater Hospital. Ben attended Park East Synagogue Day School and then went on to Bronx High School of Science. At age 12, he was determined to pursue a career in social activism.
Ever the New Yorker, he earned his Bachelor’s degree at SUNY Albany and his law degree at SUNY Buffalo. He practiced law after graduation and then became Chief of Staff for Jonathan Bing. Continuing his involvement in civic affairs, he joined Mark Green’s campaign for Public Advocate. His next position was Executive Director of Good Government Group New Roosevelt. In 2013, he was elected to the City Council.
Ben answers to a constituency of 168,000 people, 100,000 of which are voters. He defines his commitment to these citizens by stating, “This office belongs to the people.” Indeed, the first Friday morning of every month, from 8 to 10, his doors are open to anyone who wants to stop by and discuss issues. In addition, the second Tuesday of each month is “policy night”, also a venue for open exchange.
Currently, he is addressing the voices of residents who are objecting to the location of a garbage dump at the Marine Transfer Station on 91st Street. Secondly, he is involved with street safety, including public transportation and bus service. A third compelling item on his agenda is providing housing for the homeless.
Long-term goals include attention to education. He maintains that this community includes students who achieve at the highest academic levels, at the least expense to taxpayers. He is a fervent proponent of a tuition-free CUNY.
Ben Kallos is an ardent supporter of SAC. He has attended meetings and offered needed support in implementing its goals. This neighborhood is indeed fortunate to have him as our elected representative in city government.
(Full disclosure: his trusted aide is my granddaughter.)