New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos


Jesse Towsen
Chief of Staff

Jesse Towsen managed Ben Kallos' winning City Council campaign. A graduate of Brown University, his previous experience includes interning with New Roosevelt Initiative under Ben Kallos. There, they worked together to defeat disgraced Senator Pedro Espada and elect Gustavo Rivera in his place. Jesse grew up in New York City.

Jesse Towsen - Chief of Staff

Debbie Lightbody, JD, LMSW
Director of Constituent Service and Social Work

Debbie Lightbody is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) with a Master of Science in Social Administration and a Juris Doctor from Case Western Reserve University.  She has more than ten years of experience as a Social Worker.  Debbie mentors a team of masters-level social work students who work with her to provide constituent service to residents of Council District Five.

Debbie Lightbody

Wilfredo Lopez, Esq.
Legislative Director

Wilfredo Lopez grew up in Puerto Rico and New Jersey, but now proudly resides in the Bronx. He holds a JD from The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from The College of the Holy Cross. After spending nearly, a decade working in retail management for various Fortune 500 Companies, Wilfredo turned his attention toward working for criminal justice, immigration, and affordable housing reform. Most recently, he was an Assistant District Attorney at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office. Wilfredo brings passion and commitment to the residents living in this district. 



Sushant Harite
Budget Director and District Office Manager

Sushant Harite managed campaign finance compliance on Ben Kallos' City Council Campaign.  He brings his finance experience and strong attention to detail to the office, where he is responsible for managing the district office and the budget process.

Sushant Harite

Josh Jamieson
Communications Director

Josh J. Jamieson grew up in Long Island but has made Queens, NY his home after becoming a graduate of Queens College’s Urban Studies Masters’ program. During his post-graduate time Josh focused his efforts and research on topics like public service in urban settings and New York City government. Josh has worked in New York City’s highly demanding news media since 2009, first at WABC-7, and then at Network News Service – (CBS News). Josh holds two Bachelor’s degrees from SUNY Old Westbury, one in Media and Communications and the other in American Studies.


Tirso Tavarez
Deputy Director of Constituent Service

Tirso Travarez is a graduate of CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice and is dedicated to ensuring the government serves the people. With previous experience at the office of Council Member Dan Garodnick, State Committee Member Lincoln Restler, and the Center for Popular Democracy, he did policy and organizing work on Ben Kallos' City Council campaign.

Tirso Travarez

Abby Damsky
Scheduler and Community Liaison (for scheduling purposes),

Abby Damsky is a graduate of Brandeis University with a BA in Politics and Sociology. Abby has previously served as a constituent service intern for Council Member Ben Kallos and a community service intern for State Senator Liz Krueger. Abby grew up in the district and is passionate about advocating for all members of the community.

Abby Damsky

Kaela Shelby
Community Liaison and Communications Aide

Born and bred in Texas, Kaela Shelby relocated to Queens, NY in 2014, where she earned both her Bachelor’s in journalism and Master’s in government and politics from St. John’s University. Prior to joining the team, Kaela served as an intern at WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show,” Scholastic and The Source magazine. Today, she gladly lends her passion for communication and politics to informing and serving our district to the best of her ability.

Kaela Shelby


Sarah Anders, Communications Director, 2014 - 2016
Taylor Digby, Scheduler, 2015 - 2016
Isabel Smith, Intern - Scheduler, 2014 - 2018
Paul Westrick, Legislative Director, 2014 - 2018


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