New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos
This website is maintained for historical purposes.
Ben Kallos is no longer a candidate for Manhattan Borough President or any other office.

Press Coverage

On Jan. 14, the East River Democratic Club endorsed Dan Quart for Manhattan District Attorney. During the same meeting, they also endorsed Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President, David Weprin for City Comptroller, and Tricia Shimamura and Keith Powers for City Council.

Meanwhile, Ben Kallos received an endorsement from the Four Freedoms Democratic Club, which they announced this morning. The club also voted to endorse Brad Lander for City Comptroller.

Several prominent environmental advocates and activists endorsed Councilmember Ben Kallos (D-Yorkville, Lenox Hill) in his bid to succeed Gale Brewer (D) as Manhattan Borough President.

Council Member Ben Kallos (Photo credit:

Council Member Ben Kallos

Kallos’ colleague City Council Environmental Protection Committee Chair Costa Constantinides (D-Queens) was among those to endorse him in the race, citing Kallos’ track record.

“The New York City Council passed Climate Works for All to limit pollution by dirty buildings thanks to unwavering support for our planet from Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Ben Kallos,” said Constantinides. “When the real estate industry put profits over people by fighting strong limits on dirty buildings,  Ben Kallos not only stood up for our planet but refused their dirty money.”

Yesterday, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 officially endorsed Councilmember Ben Kallos (D-Yorkville, Lenox Hill) for Manhattan Borough President.

ATU Local 1181 represents more than 14,000 school bus operators, matrons, and mechanics, and they endorsed Kallos due to the Councilmember’s tireless work on their behalf. As a Councilmember, he has authored legislation to give operators more time for dry runs, allowing them to flag bad routes before the school year begins. Furthermore, prior to his election, he marched with ATU Local 1181 members to support the inclusion of Employee Protection Provisions (EPPs) in their contracts.

“I am proud to have the support of our bus drivers who get our students to school and provide transportation for our disabled,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “We must support the bus drivers who get us where we need to go from the disabled to our children going to school.”

Like many Brothers, Brother Kallos credits his leadership ability in no small part to what he learned at AEPi. As a Founding Father of the Alpha Nu chapter at the University at Albany, he was deeply focused on creating a chapter that was focused on Jewish issues, Israel issues and Jewish identity. “In essence what we offered was a values-based organization,” he said.

“One of the most useful skills that I use to this day is how to rush, which they teach at conclave. These are skills I use to this day, and it even got me elected. The ability to knock on a stranger’s door and convince them to join your organization is the same skill you need whether you’re running for city council or President of the United States of America.”

In the future, Brother Kallos wants to run for Manhattan Borough President to be able to affect change on an even greater scale. He believes that politics must always be about helping people and that it’s important to want to talk to people, understand their needs and make choices to improve everyone’s lives. For potential candidates, he recommends interning in political offices or volunteering on campaigns to make sure it’s the right fit. Brother Kallos believes all people have to opportunity to find and pursue their passions, whatever they may be: “Life is precious; don’t waste it working in a dead end job, or a job you hate,” he says. “If you have a job you love you’re going to work even harder and put in 18-hour days but you’re going to love it, and it won’t even feel like working.”

The congresswoman joins a long list of unions that have already endorsed the New York City councilman.

The race for Manhattan borough president is still well over a year away, but New York City Councilman Ben Kallos has already locked up literally dozens of labor union endorsements. And now he has gained the support of arguably the most prominent individual to weigh in on the race so far – Rep. Carolyn Maloney.

Maloney is the first, and so far only, member of Congress to endorse a candidate in the Manhattan borough president’s race. She’s also the first sitting lawmaker to back Kallos’ campaign. “It’s about getting things done, and I’ve been proud to work with Council Member Ben Kallos to deliver for the East Side, which is why I am endorsing him to bring the same results to the entire borough as the next Manhattan Borough President,” Maloney said in a statement provided to City & State.

Councilman Ben Kallos has scored an endorsement from a 20,000-strong union for his Manhattan borough president run.

The New York City and Vicinity District Council of Carpenters and Joiners of America and its nine local chapters gave its seal of approval on Monday.

“When the carpenters stood up to irresponsible developers who would put workers in dangerous situations just to make a buck, Council Member Ben Kallos was there and he will continue to stand with us to protect workers and residents alike as the next Manhattan Borough President,” the union’s executive secretary Joseph Geiger said in a statement.

The councilman previously got endorsements from the New York Professional Nurses Union, Communications Workers of America Local 1101, Steamfitters Local 638 and others.

The New York State Iron Workers District Council and the Bricklayers Local 1 endorsed New York City Council Member Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President.

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Former Public Advocate Mark Green is endorsing City Council Member Ben Kallos for Manhattan borough president. “There are no easy public policy issues, but Ben has taken on some of the hardest,” Green said. Kallos was the policy director on Green’s ... 2009 campaign to reclaim the public advocate’s office.

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — The International Union of Operating Engineers’ six New York locals are endorsing City Council Member Ben Kallos, who last week launched an early bid for Manhattan borough president. Kallos has pushed bills to track construction deaths and injuries and to require workers on city-subsidized projects to get prevailing wage.

Upper East Side Council Member Ben Kallos officially kicked off his campaign last week to become the next borough president of Manhattan, running on a platform of anti-corruption and community empowerment...

Kallos said he wants to continue the work he started on the Council, which he notes has included adding a thousand pre-kindergarten seats to his district, securing $200 million for parks and cleaning up the streets of the Upper East Side by adding green trashcans on every corner.

He also pointed to his record on cleaning up the political system. When he first ran in 2013, Kallos rejected donations from real estate companies and corporations, saying he hoped it would push other members to do the same. Since then, he helped pass legislation to ban outside income for members...

When speaking about their work with Kallos, leaders of the Upper East Side described the councilman as someone who is caring, a good listener and invested in working with the community.

Community Board 8 chair, Alida Camp, said Kallos has been a good partner of the board since he’s taken up his role on the city council. She said he often attends the board’s meetings ...

Valerie Mason, president of the East 72nd Street Neighborhood Association, said she appreciated how Kallos has empowered community groups and taught them how to be activists.

Betty Cooper Wallerstein, who serves as the head of the East 79th Street Neighborhood Association, said the quality most distinct about Kallos is how much he cares. She said this was particularly important because she has seen a lot of representatives who come into office with their own ideas and are not open to what others have to say.

Wallerstein said she’s seen Kallos listen to constituents, evaluate what they’ve had to say and changed his position on things because of what the community needed...

City Councilmember Ben Kallos announced his bid Wednesday to replace the term-limited Borough President Gale Brewer, touting a record as a reformer in the City Council and several labor union endorsements. Kallos also cited the fact that he was one of the first members of the City Council to refuse campaign contributions from the real estate industry.

"Without the corrupting influence of big money from real estate I've been free to stand up for residents alongside our Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and win. We've made so much progress and the stakes have never been higher, we can't afford to lose momentum. Manhattan's next Borough President must continue the work of Gale Brewer, standing up to the Mayor and real estate, in favor of communities," Kallos said in his announcement.

Kallos has represented the City Council's Fifth District — which spans much of the Upper East side, Roosevelt Island and small portions of East Harlem and Midtown East — since 2014. Since taking office, Kallos has fought for improvements in his district such as the installation of new trash cans on every corner and the addition of more than 1,000 Pre-K seats. Kallos has also fought for reforms in the City Council, authoring laws to limit outside income for councilmembers and eliminate compensation for leadership and committee posts...

Seven labor unions endorsed Kallos on the day of his campaign launch, including: Communications Workers of America Local 1101, Heat and Frost Insulators Local 12, New York Professional Nurses Union, Organization of Staff Analysts (OSA), Steamfitters Local 638, Sheet Metal Workers Local 28, and Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2.

He put a trash can on every corner in his district, but can he clean up all of Manhattan?

Upper East Side Councilman Ben Kallos is betting voters will say yes as he officially launches his borough president run.

“We’ve proven that communities with a Council member and a borough president who actually work for them instead of big money donors can accomplish almost anything,” he told the Daily News.

“I want to continue the work of [term-limited BP] Gale Brewer standing up to the mayor and real estate in favor of communities,” he added.

The Democrat cited his work on ethics reforms along with constituent services during his nearly six years so far on the Council.

The term-limited pol recently authored legislation to increase taxpayer matching funds to political candidates, with the goal of reducing the influence of big money in politics. His bill increased matching funds so they apply to nearly 90% of a pol’s donations, up from the status quo of 75%...

While the BP is viewed as a ceremonial job, Kallos promised to use all the powers at the office’s disposal to continue his crusade against new “super-tall” buildings. Among other steps, he said he’d use funds to hire urban planners and other experts for community boards so residents can fight back...

Kallos kicks off his campaign Wednesday with a string of endorsements. They come from: Communications Workers of America Local 1101, Heat and Frost Insulators Local 12, Organization of Staff Analysts, Sheet Metal Workers Local 28, Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2, Steamfitters Local 638 and the New York Professional Nurses Union.

Meet the 32-year-old who could be your next city councilmember.

Ben Kallos is not your typical Upper East Sider.

He went to state school because, he said, he couldn’t afford an Ivy League education. His Hungarian grandparents immigrated to New York in the 1950s. He grew up on the East Side but went to high school at Bronx Science. He got his law degree, worked in private practice, then the New York State Assembly and a good government group.

None of that has stopped the 32-year-old from winning the Democratic primary for City Council on the Upper East Side. Kallos, barring an upset by his Republican counterpart, David Garland, would succeed Jessica Lappin in district five come November. (Over the weekend, Kallos won the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney for the post.)

Various winners in City Council primaries gathered with members of Common Cause New York on the steps of City Hall today to castigate the influence of independent expenditures, especially Jobs for New York, a group backed by real estate interests.

'Campaign finance is a great equalizer, it allows idealist candidates who are reformers to get elected without being in debt to the very special interest we are running against. In my race the most frequent contribution was 10 dollars,' said Mr. Kallos.

There was one NYC candidate who stood out amongst the rest, Ben Kallos. Ben Kallos’ is not your normal City Council Candidate. He was endorsed by Craig Newmark and Richard M. Stallman, among others. For the last few years, Kallos has been running a Drupal based website, asking the public for their ideas.

Kallos is also one of first 50 people who joined BetaNYC when it was called “Open Government NYC.” Since then, he has been a vocal member for open government and a dedicated open source developer. As a member of the Brigade and on the campaign trail, Ben spoke openly about his ideas for Open Government.

Fortunately, there is a better candidate in this race: Ben Kallos, a lawyer and activist. Mr. Kallos has government experience as a legislative aide in Albany, where he worked to begin putting voting records online ... Ben Kallos brings fresh ideas and merits this seat.

We continue our series on City Council candidates with a Q&A with government transparency advocate Ben Kallos, who’s running to represent District 5 in Yorkville, Roosevelt Island, and the Upper East Side. Yesterday, we ran a Q&A with Republican candidate David Garland.

Call it City Council 2.0. Ben Kallos, a Democratic candidate for the District 5 City Council seat, is using his experience as a tech entrepreneur to run a campaign promising everything from publishing city records online to expanding Internet service to serve more low-income families.