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About Ben Kallos

New York City Council Member Ben Kallos was praised by the New York Times for his “fresh ideas” and elected in 2013 to represent the Upper East Side, Midtown East, Roosevelt Island and East Harlem along with all 8.4 million New Yorkers in the New York City Council.  He grew up on the Upper East Side with his mother, who still lives in the neighborhood, and his grandparents, who fled anti-Semitism in Europe. As Vice-Chair of the Jewish Caucus he has been an ardent advocate for Israel and supporter of Jewish causes.

As Chair of the Governmental Operations Committee where he has sought to root out patronage, de-privatize government, eliminate billions in waste, expand elections, and to use technology to improve access to government.  He has become a leading advocate for education, affordable housing, public health, sustainable development and transportation improvements and safety.  His office is open and transparent, with constituents invited to decide on how to spend one million dollars on local projects in the district as well as to join him in a conversation on the First Friday of each month, or he will go to them if they can gather ten neighbors for “Ben In Your Building.”

Most Recent Newsletter

April News: April News: MTS Costs Soar, Low-Cost Broadband, FREE Reusable Bags

Thank you to the over 2,000 East Siders and Roosevelt Islanders who voted this March in Participatory Budgeting, contributing to the highest turnout we've had in four years. Results will be announced next month.

In March, the City Council begins the budget process with hearings on how the city plans to spend its money in the coming year. I've questioned how we are saving to prepare for potential cuts by Trump, the need for more school seats on the Upper East Side, the rising cost of waste transfer caused by marine transfer stations, and the need for additional funds to repair the East River Esplanade, many of which were included in the City Council's official budget response to the Mayor.

New York City faces a homelessness crisis with 22,973 children, 17,548 parents, and 13,913 single adults in shelters, and many more living on the street. Last year, I founded the East Side Taskforce on Homeless Outreach and Services (ETHOS) to help the homeless in our community. This month I was proud to welcome new supportive housing for women and children with elected officials, community leaders, teachers, parents and even children from the schools across the street. One homeless individual who we believe suffers from mental illness drew renewed attention this month when a community member launched a petition. I have previously worked with the City's outreach teams to offer her mental health services, which she declined. After many complaints, a resident was willing to come forward, making an official complaint, and I personally went with this resident to the 19th Precinct leading to her arrest and her finally accepting both shelter and treatment. If you see someone in need, don't give them money, please call or use the 311 app and contact my office so we can help.

March was women’s history month, and I was proud to introduce a resolution in support of building a Women’s History Museum on the national mall in Washington, D.C. In April we will host an Earth Day event with free reusable bags where you can learn what you can do for a greener city. For children in grades five through eight, I am asking "What would you do as Council Member for A Day?"

Chag Pesach Sameach, Happy Easter, and enjoy the beginning of spring 

 

SPECIAL EVENTS

April 20, 6pm-8:30pm

Earth Day Event

April 27, 6pm
Bike Safety Class

April 29, 2pm-6pm
Spirit of Service Festival

DISTRICT OFFICE EVENTS

April 7, 8am-10am
First Friday

Sincerely, 

P.S There will be no Brainstorming with Ben in April so that I may instead answer four questions at our annual Passover Seder.

Updates

Video
Thursday, January 29, 2009
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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

Press Coverage
YNN's Capital Tonight: State of Politics
Monday, April 12, 2010

 

Samuels is running on a “five pillars of reform” platform (redistricting, member items, outside income etc. – the usual), but insists he’s not a protest candidate and is in the race to win. The one thing he won’t do, however, is fight dirty.

Samuels has hired Ben Kallos (that’s Mr. Open Legislation, to you) to do “research,” stressing that “research” does not mean “oppo,” which he finds “boring.” (Interestingly, Kallos last worked for Mark Green’s 2009 public advocate campaign, during which Green said he swore off oppo, too).

- Read more

Press Coverage
Long Island Business News
Friday, March 25, 2011

Ben Kallos, executive director of New Roosevelt, said the constitutional amendment Martins approved did not go far enough to institute independent redistricting, as Martins’ promised to do when he signed Mayor Ed Koch’s New York Uprising pledge in 2010.

"Under that amendment, we wouldn’t see any redistricting until 2022," Kallos said. "And that redistricting would still allow for a swing of up to 10 percent in population to occur, meaning upstate would gain extra districts compared to Long Island and the rest of the downstate area."

Kallos said it is the hope of those protesting that Martins will get on board with a redistricting law as proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, which would provide for only a 2 percent population swing in any district and could be enacted right away. 

- 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