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 8.6 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.
During the 2014-2017 session as Chair of the Governmental Operations Committee, he sought to root out patronage, de-privatize government, eliminate billions in waste, expand elections, and to use technology to improve access to government. As Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus he has become a leading advocate for education, affordable housing, public health, sustainable development, and transportation improvements and safety. As Chair of the Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions, and Concessions from 2017 through 2019 he focused on preserving and building more than 7,000 affordable homes overseeing every deal made by the City to ensure New Yorkers are actually getting the affordable housing they need.
Currently, as Chair of the Committee on Contracts, he brings the same scrutiny and tenacity to oversee procurement policies and procedures, government and collection agency contracts, as well as the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services and the Procurement Policy Board.
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 for “Ben In Your Building.”