Press Coverage

Miranda Neubauer


A New York City Council candidate who had made his name as a technology consultant and spearheaded an open government initiative several years ago found parts of his website copied by another City Council candidate in a different borough, as Politicker first reported.


Ben Kallos is a Democrat running for City Council on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Roosevelt Island. Kallos, who previously served as director of policy and communication for former Public Advocate Mark Green's 2009 campaign, heads up Kallos Consulting, which has the tagline "Where Technology, Politics and Law Come Together."

He was also a cofounder of the Open Government Foundation, a New York-based non-profit started in 2009. On his website, Kallos says that the platform was the first "to post attendance, legislation and voting records going back to 1995 along with an application that showed how often your New York City or State legislator voted with the majority." He notes that the New York State Senate and the New York City Council launched similar portals with that information shortly thereafter. The information on the OGF's website has not been updated since 2009. Kallos Consulting also focused on web development for organizations including the Democratic National Committee’s Law School Democrats, the New York State Democratic Party, and New York City Government’s Community Board 8 in Manhattan, according to his website. Kallos said his website was developed with Drupal.

According to the NYCCFB, Alvarez has raised $16,988.00, and Kallos has raised $63,288.00.

According to Politicker, Kallos sees the imitation as flattery. “The fact that our campaign’s open platform focused on solutions and progressive internship program have become a model demonstrates that we are not only leading by example, but changing the dialogue,” he told the news site.


The Wire
David Stone

The State Assemblymember whose district includes Roosevelt Island (and a candidate for Lappin’s City Council seat when she leaves to run for Borough President this year), previously declined to answer or even acknowledge a request from The WIRE for a statement. He was not at the hearing.  His competition for the Council seat, Ben Kallos, sent a representative to read his statement in opposition to the project and in support of community concerns.

“Cornell NYC Tech can’t claim to be sustainable unless it supports the local infrastructure on which it relies,” Kallos’ campaign asserts.  It goes on to quote a statement by City Planning Commissioner Michelle de la Uz in her no vote for the project: “I am not happy with their exemption from paying for services.”


Long Island Exchange
Long Island Community News Release

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has been proven to be hypocritical in its unequal treatment of senior management versus regular employees, according to compensation documents obtained by Ben Kallos, a City Council Candidate for the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island.

“No contract for workers – no contract for the Chair!” exclaimed Kallos. “The MTA’s rewarding of executives while punishing workers is hypocrisy, especially when using tax dollars.”


Roosevelt Islander
Rick O'Connor

"Roosevelt Island NYC Council Candidate Ben Kallos tweets:We need to improve access for @RooseveltIsland especially on weekends w/ no bound trains"

9:05 PM - 13 Apr 13from Manhattan, NY, United StatesView image on Twitter




Gotham Gazette
Ben Kallos

Last week’s events call attention to the importance that each one of the fifty-one members of the city’s only legislature have in determining how we as a city spend $77.7 billion dollars, comprising the fourth largest budget in the country after the federal, California, and New York State budgets.


Main Street WIRE
Ellen Polivy

Ben Kallos’s team stepped up to the plate that day when some volunteers didn’t show up, and did the registration for us.


Main Street WIRE
Ben Kallos

As a City Council candidate for the 5th District, which includes Roosevelt Island, I have been supporting Democracy for Roosevelt Island through my community’s hard fought battle for the freedoms and democracy appreciated by all other residents of New York City. This is because, unlike the rest of the City, Roosevelt Island is managed by Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC), a New York State Agency whose Board members are appointed by the Governor.Roosevelt Island activist and former Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Matthew Katz brought to our campaign’s attention that there is now a vacancy on the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) Board as a result of the resignation of Sal Ferrara [Ferrera], a nonresident who was appointed in June of 2011 without being elected by Roosevelt Island residents.


Roosevelt Islander
Rick O'Connor

Ben Kallos is running to succeed Jessica Lappin as New York City Council Member for Manhattan's 5th District which includes Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side. Last week, Mr Kallos sent the following letter to Roosevelt Island's Assembly Member.


Albany Times Union's Capitol Confidential
Jimmy Vielkind

Ben Kallos pressures Gov. Cuomo to strengthen democratic representation on behalf of Roosevelt Island.


Roosevelt Islander
Rick O'Connor

NY City Council candidate Ben Kallos was on hand to greetand meet with Roosevelt Island residents while some from his staff volunteered for the Easter Egg Hunt.



Mayor Bloomberg has been a fantastic partner for the tech community. I’d like to see this trickle down to the more local politics – for example, I’m hoping Ben Kallos (and any other technologist candidates – he’s the only one I’m aware of) – will win the upcoming city council election. It makes such a difference to have city officials working closely with the technologists and tech activists here in NYC.



NBC News 4 New York
Chuck Scarborough

Some Upper East Side strap hangers say the MTA made a big mistake when it stripped their subway station of its manned booths. They say crime has increased at the uptown 86th Street station and vandals are damaging metro card machines and they are causing them to malfunction. Community leaders have started a Bring Back Our Booths petition demanding the MTA stop removing booths and agents.


CBS New York
Kristine Johnson

Strap hangers on the Upper East Side say "bring back the booths." A coalition of riders, community leaders and transit workers are collecting signatures to petition the MTA to return station agents and booths to their subways. They claim that crime and vandalism have increased with removal of booths and are demanding the MTA do something about it.


Roosevelt Islander
Rick O'Connor

NYC Council Candidate Ben Kallos, who is seeking to represent Roosevelt Island in the next election, submitted this proposal for a Public Safety Review Board.

Dear Members of RIOC Operations Committee,

In response to repeated allegations of misconduct on behalf of the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department, and a recent incident in which misconduct was alleged, we sent a letter to the Inspector General calling for an investigation of the Public Safety Department’s behavior. Waiting for results is no longer an option. Roosevelt Island residents demand that fair treatment be made available immediately.

We wish to contribute to your discussion of new policies for the Public Safety Department by proposing the creation of a Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) under RIOC as a special
committee or a task force. The proposed board would be comprised of both elected Island
residents, residents nominated from the RIOC Board and the sitting RIRA President.

A summary of the duties of the CCRB, excerpted from our full proposal, follows:

(b) Powers and Duties of the Board

  1. The Board shall have the power to receive, investigate, hear, make findings and recommend action against Public Safety Officers.
  2. Any Board action shall be upon complaints against Public Safety Officers that allege misconduct involving excessive use of force, abuse of authority, or use of offensive language, including, but not limited to, comments relating to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation and disability.
  3. The findings and recommendations of the board shall be submitted to the RIOC Board and the RIOC Board Operations Committee Chair. No finding or recommendation shall be based solely upon an unsworn complaint or statement, nor shall prior unsubstantiated, unfounded or withdrawn complaints be the basis for any such findings or recommendations. It is the responsibility of the RIOC Board to work with the Roosevelt Island Civilian Complaint Board and the Public Safety Department Director to resolve such complaints.
  4. (4) The board shall issue to the RIOC Board a monthly report which describes its activities and summarizes its actions.
  5. (5) The board shall have the responsibility of informing the public about the board and its duties, and shall develop a method of informing the public regarding the provisions of its chapter.

We also call for RIOC to provide free and fair mediation to Roosevelt Island residents in a manner such as the NYC CCRB provides. Because it treats incidents after the fact, mediation alone is not enough, but it can prevent pain and unjust treatment from continuing.

In closing, we ask the RIOC Operations Committee to assess the viability of creating a committee or task force to address Public Safety Department misconduct, and we offer our help toward this end in any way it may be needed. We will submit in paper our full proposal outlining the responsibilities and limits of the proposed CCRB.


NY1's Road to City Hall
Road to City Hall

Benjamin J. Kallos is running in District 5. He has been endorsed by former PA, Mark Green, New Roosevelt Founder, Bill Samuels, and Organizing for America National Military and Veterans Affairs' New York State Director, Rob Diamond.
Victoria Bekiempis

A candidate for Jessica Lappin's City Council seat has cast himself as a progressive and government reformer who welcomes a battle with challengers he claims are backed by the political establishment.


Benjamin Kallos — one of several candidates vying for the District 5 City Council seat — has touted himself as a political outsider since launching his campaign last year.


YNN's Capital Tonight: State of Politics
Nick Reisman

New Roosevelt Initiative founder Bill Samuels is endorsing the good-government organization’s executive director Ben Kallos for city Council against Assemblyman Micha Kellner.


Roosevelt Islander
Rick O'Connor

Ben Kallos , Democratic Party primary candidate for 5th NY City Council District (which includes Roosevelt Island) attended the February 16 Roosevelt Island Public Safety Accountability/Brutality Demonstration. Mr. Kallos reported that he submitted a complaint to the NY State Inspector General's Office asking for an investigation into allegations of a pattern of abuse by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department.


The Epoch Times
Zachary Stieber


Tech’s Influence on Elections

Some candidates are already on board, like Benjamin Kallos, who is running for City Council’s Upper East Side 5th District.

Kallos already advocates for tech-friendly policies. He said the city needs to lessen its dependence on the real estate and finance industries, and focus more on the tech sector. His suggestion, among others, is to provide $50,000 micro-seed grants for startups.


City and State First Read
City and State - First Read

7 a.m. – City Council candidate Ben Kallos petitions calling for return of subway clerk booths, 86th Street and Lexington Avenue, Manhattan.


Roosevelt Islander
Rick O'Connor

Ben Kallos (NYC Council Candidate for the 5th district which includes Roosevelt Island), shares this January 30, 2013 letter he sent to NY State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott regarding the alleged brutality incident.


New York Daily News
Celeste Katz

Following a Daily News story on a man whose family says he was nearly beaten to death by Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department officers, City Council candidate Benjamin Kallos wants to know: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?


Dan Janison

Over the weekend, a movement calling itself 'Money-Out Voters-In" held a "day of action" targeting the campaign-funding issues around Super PACs and the Supreme Court's "people-as-corporations" ruling in the Citizens United case.


New York Observer's PolitickerNY
Colin Campbell

Former Public Advocate–and candidate for almost every office in New York–Mark Green,endorsed fellow East Sider Ben Kallos to replace Councilwoman Jessica Lappin, herself campaigning for Manhattan Borough President.