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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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.

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

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?

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.

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.

Former NYC Public Advocate Mark Green endorsed his former staffer Ben Kallos’ NYC Council bid.

Across town, Kallos -- who seeks to succeed Councilwoman Jessica Lappin -- has a letter circulating from Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2 President Harry Farrell urging other labor leaders to join the Kallos campaign.

"In four years when we go back to the table with Con Edison we want City Council Member Benjamin Kallos standing alongside us to ensure another victory," Farrell writes, calling Kallos "a particularly vigorous advocate for broad and strong prevailing wage legislation."

Kallos is a familiar face in political circles, having served as Mark Green's policy director, chief of staff to former Assemblyman Jonathan Bing and executive director of Bill Samuels' New Roosevelt group.


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.”

Democratic Party NY City Council Candidate Ben Kallos invites Roosevelt Island residents to join him on Tuesday October 23 from 6-8 PM at the Riverwalk Bar & Grill. It's an opportunity to meet and discuss important issues facing Roosevelt Island and NYC with Mr. Kallos who hopes to succeed our current NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin as she is expected to run for Manhattan Borough President.

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.


A batch of City Council hopefuls have signed letters such as the one below in favor of paid sick days legislation, marking one more group adding its voice to the chorus of those who want to see the worker-friendly proposal get to the Council floor.