New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Press Coverage

U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer Helps Commemorate Opening of Building that Nearly Doubles Medical College's Research Space, Enhances Student Education
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Nine members of Congress from New York City also signed on to the plan on Thursday, and Councilman Ben Kallos campaigned for the mayor's plan outside the 4 and 5 trains on the Upper East Side on Friday morning. 


On Sunday, January 26, Benjamin Kallos was joined by over 700 Upper East Side leaders and residents as he took the oath of office for the city council, representing the Upper East Side’s 5th district.


BetaNYC, New York City's Code for America brigade, is embracing the prospect of change under the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio by seizing on his agenda priority to prevent pedestrian fatalities to renew its call for the city and the NYPD to release traffic data in a more usable format.


Wednesday was the first day on the job for 21 of the 51 members of the New York City Council. Their first order of business was no easy task: electing a new Speaker.

The official vote was in the Council chambers, however, there has been intense politicking for weeks. County leaders and Mayor Bill de Blasio have tried to sway the members to back their preferred candidate. The pressure gave some of the freshman Council members—many of whom have never held political office before—a first taste of New York City politics.


With new leadership in city government we have an amazing opportunity for the East Side and the City as a whole to bring about fundamental changes and tangible results.


A comprehensive policy platform created exclusively by advocacy group Manhattan Young Democrats was adopted today by City Council Candidate Ben Kallos for inclusion in his campaigns solutions for a better City.


Following child care funding cuts in the Final Executive Budget affecting thousands of working families, Council Candidate Ben Kallos joined Executive Director of DC 1707 Raglan George, Jr. at the “One Man One March,” along with Mabel Everett, President of Local 205 Day Care Employees, to call on Mayor Bloomberg to restore funding to help provide for New York City’s children, single parents and families living in poverty.



Kallos scrolls through several political sites before pulling up, a free website he launched five years ago—one of the first to combine state voter records with online search functions.

The site contains a simple interface requiring a user’s first and last name, birthday and zip code, before it spits back an individual’s registration status, election districts and the location of the voter’s county board of elections.

Voter sites have evolved significantly since then.



Kallos has been busy building, a site that allows candidates to create a website that meets campaign finance reporting requirements and gives voters a more substantive portrait of politicians’ backgrounds.

Six New York City Council candidates, including Kallos, have signed up with VotersGive, which Kallos hopes will compete with more established sites including NationBuilder and ActBlue.

“Candidates approached me and said ‘We need a website,’” he explained. “I built it for free, and anyone can use it for free and have a website by that day. This is a democracy platform. I even offered it to my opponents.”


Professor Christopher Malone and City Council Candidate Benjamin Kallos Teach Class on Civics at Bronx High School of Science

Benjamin Kallos (class of '98) and Professor Chris Malone (Chairman of Political Science at Pace University) taught a lesson to seniors about voting and elections. Mr. Kallos is a candidate for City Council; Professor Malone is the Legislative Director to NY State Senator Gustavo Rivera.



Ben Kallos, who works for Bill Samuels’ New Roosevelt Initiative, is running for the Upper East Side NYC Council seat currently held by Jessica Lappin in 2013.


When Ben Kallos goes to bed each night, he asks himself whether he made the world a better place than it was when he woke up. In between, he tries to meet that lofty standard.



The latest census figures show New York has 4,617,307 residents under 40 years old. Only 40 of them can fit on our annual list of Rising Stars. So what does it take to make the cut?

It helps to have made a difference already. Our list includes people who have run for office and people who are running offices; people who are making policy and people who are shaping the consensus behind it; people who deliver the news and people who make the news; those who raise their voices the loudest and see results.

And it helps to have already made a mark across multiple fields. This year’s Rising Stars may have started as coffee fetchers and junior staffers and campaign aides, but they have risen to become chiefs of staff and foundation directors and key consultants.


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. 


New Roosevelt is funded by momentary lieutenant governor candidate and multimillionaire CEO Bill Samuels, who has reported his funding to the independent expenditure effort as more than $259,000 in loans. Over the course of five months, they have already spent $184,000 on a slew of consultants—Red Horse Strategies, Kallos Consulting, Hudson TG, Sunshine, Sachs and Associates, and others—which a spokesman for the group said were laying the groundwork for a field operation to defeat Espada. 



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).


Mr. Kallos has kept himself busy, putting his knowledge of technology and geeky insights to use in local government. The result is a series of Web sites that take local political info out of dusty file cabinets and up online. One site lets people see if they’re registered to vote. Another lets users check the attendance records of state lawmakers. His latest creation: a crowd-sourced calendar for political events around New York City and the state.


Ben Kallos has launched, a social organizing site that lists political events and fundraisers.