2013 Endorsements

Editorial Board

Editorial Board

New York Post

5th District (Upper East Side): Opponent Ben Kallos, a young community board member and former Assembly staffer ... has thumped for genuine legislative transparency. We prefer him to Kellner.


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.


Elected Official

Ben Kallos has the smarts, skill-set and priorities to be an excellent legislator, and I am proud to endorse him for City Council in Manhattan’s District Five. I look forward to working with him in the weeks, months and years ahead. I strongly support his focus on community participation, legislative transparency and innovative ideas.


I’m proud to endorse Ben’s candidacy and look forward to working with him on important issues such as improving schools and keeping housing affordable to benefit New Yorkers. A progressive and reformer, he is the type of leader we will be lucky to have in City Hall. I am proud to have worked with him and to see him go on to do excellent things.


There always has been a strong partnership between the Council members representing the Upper East Side, and I look forward to continuing that with Ben Kallos.  Ben has shown himself to be a person with a creative vision, a commitment to good government principles, and he is an excellent fit for the district. I look forward to working with him to deliver for the residents of the 5th District, and I am proud to endorse him.


With his commitment to transparency in the legislative process and providing services for those in the community who need them, Ben will make an excellent member of the City Council.


Elizabeth HoltzmanWe need to elect more leaders like Ben Kallos, who have a record of combatting corruption and fighting for women’s rights.  We as a city must stand up to the appalling culture of harassment in government.


As the City's govrnment undergoes many changes next year, officials with a thorough understanding of technology, as Ben has, will be valuable assets to the City Council. With his web development background and history of open data advocacy, Ben will be a leader in making government more transparent.


“Ben represents a new generation of political leaders for the city of New York, one dedicated to economic empathy, legislative transparency, and progressive reform. He will bring new energy and bold ideas to the City Council,” said Congressman Nadler, who has represented Manhattan and Brooklyn in Congress since 1992.

A progressive trailblazer, Rep. Nadler has represented Manhattan and Brooklyn in Congress since 1992 after serving 15 years in the State Assembly. He is the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties. Congressman Nadler is also a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. 


Ben's progressive ideas and reform agenda are needed at City Hall.  I am pleased to endorse him for City Council.


Ben Kallos will be a voice for accountable government in the City Council, and I am pleased to support his candidacy. Over the years, we have shared a vision for local government that is open and participatory, including support for reforming the member item system in meaningful ways to help root out corruption while providing more information to constituents.


I look forward to having Ben as a partner in government. As founder of the NY Democratic Law Students Council, he’ll be a strong advocate for voting rights and community involvement in important decision making. His political skills and passion for improving quality of life for all New Yorkers will be great assets to the City Council.


Ben Kallos has been a thoughtful advocate for open government and civic engagement, and has a strong record of service both to our East Side communities and all New Yorkers.  I join my colleague Congresswoman Maloney in enthusiastically supporting Ben as the nominee of our party, and look forward to working with him as our next City Council member.

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Ideas flow out of him like words out of [President] Bill Clinton at a convention.   To combine this left brain and right brain skill would be enormously valuable to the East Side and for New York City.


"Ben worked to make Assembly legislative records more readily accessible to the public, a vital service that signals what kind of councilmember he will be. He is strongly committed to preserving, improving and expanding health services, fundamental to the city of New York,” said Assembly Member Gottfried.

Assembly Member Gottfried has been in the Assembly for over 40 years and has chaired the Health Committee where he has been a national figure on public health, healthcare and reproductive health. Assembly Member Gottfried introduced the first same-sex marriage bill in the Assembly in 2003, and was a co-sponsor of the bill that became law in 2011. He also sponsors the Gender Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity.


"Ben shares many of the concerns I have prioritized in the Comptroller's office, including promoting transparency in the budgeting process and establishing controls to prevent waste and fraud. His commitment to keeping government accountable to the people he represents will bring positive change for the voters in his district and the City as a whole,” said State Comptroller DiNapoli.

Comptroller DiNapoli was elected to the Assembly in 1987 and was appointed the 54th Comptroller of the State of New York in 2007.  He has been a key figure in budget reform in Albany. His life of public service started when he was elected as a trustee of the Mineola Board of Education, becoming the first 18-year old in New York State to hold public office. He’s been making government more accountable and transparent to the people for more than 35 years.


Membership Organization

The 504 Democratic Club is a New York City-based coalition of Democrats working towards inclusion of people with disabilities in the political and social fabric of society. Club members hail from all five boroughs. “The members of the 504 Democratic Club were blown away by Ben's knowledge of the intricacies of disability issues. While many stalwarts expected to endorse his opponent due to having a disability himself, it was clear that Ben was far and away the best candidate to represent the disability community. Sometimes, understanding and experience trumps identity politics, and it was clear that the club almost unanimously changed their preconceived support upon hearing Ben's presentation,” said Dodge Landesman of the 504 Democratic Club. Kallos has been an advocate for special needs while supporting his mother in her battle against Parkinson's disease, and social services and public health are priorities in his campaign platform.


Citizen Action of New YorkCitizen Action of New York has endorsed Ben Kallos for New York City’s Fifth Council District. “Ben Kallos is a progressive with a history of delivering results,” said Té Revesz, Board Chair of the New York City chapter of Citizen Action of New York. “We’re impressed by his strong experience, from helping pass legislation in the State Assembly to achieving reform as the head of Effective New York.” 



Citizens UnionIn Manhattan City Council District 5, Citizens Union prefers Ben Kallos over Micah Kellner and Ed Hertzog. Citizens Union is deeply concerned with the sexual harassment allegations surrounding Kellner’s tenure in the State Assembly and believes that Kallos will be a strong voice for reform in the City Council.

In Manhattan City Council District 5, Citizens Union supports Ben Kallos over Micah Kellner, who is running on the Working Families Party line, and Republican David Garland.  Citizens Union remains concerned with the sexual harassment allegations surrounding Kellner’s tenure in the State Assembly.


We're proud to support someone as dynamic and effective as Ben Kallos as our pro-arts candidate," said LIT Executive Director John Clancy. "Ben impressed us enormously at our candidates forum this spring, and he has a great record of getting things done – from putting Albany legislation online to promote transparency to leading the charge to get rid of a corrupt state senator. I’m confident he'll be a powerful voice for New York City arts and culture.


The Lenox Hill Democratic Club, or LHDC, was founded in 1957 by a group of Democrats who felt that their regular democratic clubs did not adequately represent the Democratic Party.  As an insurgent reform democratic club it was not until 1961 that the LHDC’s founding members successfully elected its first District Leaders. As a reform club, the LHDC is proud to list among its founders and former and current members—numerous judges, elected officials, and other city luminaries including Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, State Senator Liz Krueger, and Assemblyman Pete Grannis to name just a few.


Founded in 1949, Lexington was the first Reform Club, serving as a model for the movement that came to dominate Democratic politics in Manhattan. The Lex Club was largely the result of the experiences of a group of young college and law school graduates who wanted to get involved in the Democratic Party, and had their eyes opened – fast – about politics at the local level.


Ben Kallos has made women’s rights a cornerstone of his platform and continues to strongly champion equal access to health care and information for women and girls. We feel confident that in the City Council, Ben will emphasize issues that matter to all New Yorkers, like safeguarding access to reproductive care, ensuring that all New Yorkers have the information they need to stay healthy and safe, and providing protections against the anti-choice forces that prey on vulnerable women in this city


National Organization for Women"NOW-NYC is proud to endorse Ben Kallos for City Council. Kallos has a strong platform for women - from funding sexual health programs to establishing health coordinators in schools to protect young girls - Kallos makes the women and girls of this city a priority," said Sonia Ossorio, President of NOW-NYC. "Now-NYC is committed to fighting our culture of sexual harassment and promoting gender equality in politics by championing feminist candidates like Ben Kallos."


The residents of the 5th Council District deserve a leader of personal integrity, and one who is deeply committed to gender equality – from health initiatives to equal pay,” said NOW-NYS President Zenaida Mendez.


New York Communities for ChangeWhether in support of workers at car washes or fast food chains, I am proud to join New York Communities for Change to help win a living wage for all New Yorkers. I am honored to have NYCC's support and look forward to continuing to work with them to support economic justice and income equality for New York City's working families.



I am writing to inform Ben Kallos that the Planned Parenthood of New York City Political Committee is very pleased to endorse your candidacy for City Council. We applaud Ben Kallos' commitment to reproductive health equity for all New Yorkers. 



Progressive Caucus AllianceThe Progressive Caucus Alliance announced its endorsement of Ben Kallos for the 5th Council District in Manhattan. Kallos is the tenth candidate the members of the New York City Council Progressive Caucus have endorsed as a part of their effort to support progressives running for open City Council seats in 2013.

Ben Kallos is a third generation Upper East Sider. Born and raised in the neighborhood, he attended New York public schools and went on to become Executive Director of a leading good government group, a public interest lawyer, an entrepreneur and former Chief of Staff to a local Assembly Member. His focus on progressive policy solutions, combined with his depth of experience in the public sector, makes him a natural choice for the endorsement of the Progressive Caucus Alliance.


Sierra Club Endorsed"Ben Kallos has the ability to help tackle the major environmental challenges that New York City faces. He has innovative ideas to preserve our green spaces and improve our city’s sustainability,” said Irene Van Slyke, Political Chair.  “We’ll proudly support Ben Kallos with our successful and time-tested organizing efforts,” continued Ken Baer Chair of the Executive Committee of the NYC Group.


Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City was founded in February 1986 as the first and only citywide Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Democratic organization in New York City. The first event was a small cocktail party held at The Ballroom in Chelsea. Little did we know that this new organization would grow to be the largest LGBT Democratic political club in the City and State of New York.


Tenants PAC is proud to support Ben Kallos for Manhattan’s District 5. He is someone that we can trust to stand up for tenants – a person of action and a champion of tenants’ rights

Michael McKee
Tenants PAC


Neighborhood Leader

My friend Ben Kallos will do an excellent job in the City Council on behalf of those in our community who need an advocate. I am proud to join a coalition of Democrats united behind Ben Kallos, including Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, State Senator Liz Krueger, Councilwoman Jessica Lappin, Borough President Scott Stringer and many others. All of us stand firmly behind Ben as someone with the courage to stand up for our community and the best person for the job.



On Tuesday, September 10th, I will be voting for Ben Kallos to be my next City Council member.

Ben is a man of unquestioned integrity. He has spent years in public service, not building a personal power base, but strengthening coalitions that have made a real change in our state. He has worked with Bill Samuels to help guide the New Roosevelt Initiative, and organization promoting good government in our state. He has organized lawyers through the New York Democratic Lawyers Council to protect the rights of voters during our elections. Ben has even brought his substantial technology skills to bear on issues large and small, everything from building votersearch.org, a tool that allows New Yorkers to quickly and easily check their status as a voter, to helping our local Community Board have a cheaper, more functional presence on the internet.

But more importantly he is a man that I trust. Ben speaks his mind, speaks it well, and speaks it honestly. Ben is a leader that inspires those around him and is a man with the social and political skills to build the broad coalitions within the City Council that are necessary to guide our city, and represent our neighborhood. Ben is someone that I know understands New York and understands the needs of New Yorkers.

Title is for identification purposes only.


Title for identification purposes only.


New York State Leader

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Ben’s running a campaign dedicated to excellence, he’s got the experience, and the desire, and the drive to make sure that everyday he’s waking up to improve the lives of New York City’s residents.

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Ben is, like [State Senator Gustavo Rivera], a young future leader for our community.  Ben has also worked and played a key role in developing policy positions from redistricting to campaign finance reform. 


Technology Leader

AdvomaticLet's get a fellow techie into office! Tech leaders Craig Newmark and the Free Software Foundation's Richard Stallman are supporting Ben. Ben brought some much needed transparency to our state government working with us to put the state legislature's voting records online. That combination of smart government and tech savvy are some of the reasons we support Ben for City Council. He's worked inside and outside government on transparency issues. He's also a progressive through and through. Added bonus: he's a fellow Drupal Developer! He is endorsed by New York Communities for Change, NOW-NYC, Sierra Club, Citizens Union, Citizen Action of NY and the Timeshttps://kallosforcouncil.com/


Richard M. Stallman (RMS)

Kallos has a record of pushing government to enter the Internet age in the right way, the way that respects people's freedom and increases the public's control over government.



1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East today endorsed Ben Kallos for City Council in Manhattan’s fifth council district, citing his progressive vision and commitment to quality, affordable healthcare and good jobs for working New Yorkers. 1199SEIU is the largest union in New York City, representing over 220,000 city nurses and caregivers and over 400,000 members nationwide.



“Ben Kallos is a hard-working progressive who has always fought for the rights of working men and women. As a lawyer, he fought to get retirement and health benefits for working families, and has been an advocate on issues that are important to the working men and women of New York City, like education, affordable housing, and tax reform."



When it was brought to his attention that the MTA was taking yet another Union to interest arbitration after failing to reach an agreement, he began an inquiry into the contracts of the former MTA Chairmen. He has questioned the rationale that while having hired two separate Chairmen since 2009, the MTA has been unsuccessful in reaching an agreement with any of it’s represented workforce ... Elected officials must realize that the problems our City faces can not be solved on the backs of the working class. With Ben Kallos, we will have a voice in City Hall.


He and his campaign have become a fixture in the labor community, standing with us even when no one else has.

Ben Kallos is running on a vision for a better City with the experience to get it done!  His campaign is changing the rules of the game, so that the dynamic is no longer labor against politician but both working together to bring public opinion to support a sustainable City where working families can thrive.  

With his vision comes the pragmatism to understand the reality of New York City’s looming energy crisis and strategic importance of the Indian Point power plant.  Citing our City’s need for energy that is both reliable and affordable, “Those who rush to call on closing Indian Point without an alternative source of local energy are failing to acknowledge that doing so would mean putting one of the boroughs into a permanent blackout!”  While advocating for investment in the grid and future plant construction, he is willing to make the politically difficult decision to keep the plant open.


It is essential that we elect candidates who have not only performed this kind of work with their own two hands, but understand the technology that is essential to keep our City communicating today and in the future ... Where corporate welfare from windfall City contracts have become the norm, Ben will fight for fair contracts promoting competition to provide adequate community benefits and a living wage that working families need for the City to be sustainable.  When those that took windfall contracts in the past fail to make good on their promises, Ben will have the courage to organize with us against big corporations to keep them to their word.


“Ben Kallos, who worked his way through college at SUNY Albany maintaining technology infrastructure, will help make our city's telecommunications services including internet, cable TV and phone service more affordable, reliable, and accessible.  He is a strong progressive whose forward-thinking ideas include working with cable franchise holders to offer free and low cost Internet to low-income families across New York City,” said Pete Sikora, NYS Legislative and Political Director, CWA District One, which includes 35,000 union members living and working in New York City.


“We look forward to working with Ben Kallos to acquire the resources school leaders need to help every child get a good education.  As a loyal graduate of New York City public schools, Ben will be a highly effective advocate in City Hall,” said Ernest Logan, President of CSA.


DC 1707“Ben Kallos knows that every child needs early education to lay the groundwork for a life of equal opportunity. He places great importance on education and has advocated with me for public center-based child care and Universal Pre-K,” said Executive Director Raglan George, Jr.  “Ben Kallos is among the progressive candidates who support baselining public child care in the budget and restoring child care opportunities.  We are confident that voters in the City Council District 5 have an excellent candidate to represent them in the City Council.”


Local 372 Political Action Committee is proud to support the following candidates for public office in the 2013 election cycle.  These candidates have been selected by our members because they will stand up for our members and support our public schools.


We are pleased that our union, Doctors Council SEIU, is endorsing Ben Kallos.

We are proud to be supporting such a strong advocate for quality healthcare in our City. 


“We’re more than confident that the interests of all New Yorkers and working families will be well-represented with Ben Kallos in the City Council,” said I.A.T.S.E. Local One President James J. Claffey Jr. and we’re pleased to offer him our full support and endorsement."


"With a Union Hall on the Upper East Side, it is important to have a labor lawyer and workers’ advocate as our nominee for City Council. We look forward to having his as an important voice,” said John Skinner of Metal Lathers Local 46.


PSC CUNY"The PSC enthusiastically endorses Ben because he is deeply committed to high quality public education and shares our progressive values.  He is a person of integrity and action, and he knows that an adequately funded CUNY is vital to the future of New Yorkers," said Steve London, PSC First Vice President.


"We are proud to endorse Ben Kallos, a product of our New York City public schools, and look forward to working with him on innovative solutions that put students first,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew.



TWU Local 100TWU Local 100 is proud to announce our support for candidates who are the strongest Public Transportation and Labor candidates in their respective races. Ben Kallos has demonstrated great knowledge and commitment to working with our union to improve public transit in New York. Affordable, reliable, and safe Public Transportation is a basic right of all New Yorkers, and we look forward to working with Ben to promote public transit investments on the City level. TWU Local 100 will do everything we can to get him elected.

President John Samuelsen
TWU Local 100


“As a union-side Attorney, Ben Kallos has stood up for workers – the same values and work ethic we’re confident he’ll bring to the City Council.  He has demonstrated that he is someone we can trust to stand up for the right to fair wages and more,” said Business Manager of UA Plumbers Local no. 1 John J Murphy.


"We know that Ben Kallos will be an effective and forceful voice for New York's working men and women," said Julie Kushner, Director, UAW Region 9A.  "His commitment to good government, community and ethics are all qualities we seek in our City Councilmembers."


“Ben Kallos understands the role the FDNY plays in ensuring public safety and that removing even one more fire company from the fabric of fire protection compromises the safety of all who live, work, and visit New York City. Ben is also committed to protecting the hard earned benefits Fire Officers deserve, and supporting a vibrant middle class in our great City.  The Uniformed Fire Officers Association is proud to endorse Ben Kallos for New York City’s 5th Council District,” said Alexander Hagan, President of U.F.O.A.


He did whatever we asked from protesting with us at the home of Con Ed CEO Kevin Burke, who coincidentally is a voter in Ben’s district, to standing with all of us in support at our rally in Union Square ... In four years when we go back to the table with Con Edison we want City Council Member Benjamin Kallos standing alongside us to ensure another victory.