New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Our Town

Our Town Kallos Outlines His BP Platform: As he enters race, UES council member talks about plans by Emily Higginbotham

Kallos Outlines His BP Platform: As he enters race, UES council member talks about plans

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...

Our Town The Education of Ben Kallos by DANIEL FITZSIMMONS

The Education of Ben Kallos

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.)

Our Town Race for Campaign Cash Heats Up by Megan Finnegan Bungeroth

Race for Campaign Cash Heats Up

Kallos raised a total of $28,453 in the last six months, bringing his campaign chest to $33,456, he said. “Our campaign is very excited about the 348 contributions that demonstrate more community support than we ever expected, and we hope to continue that trend, expanding the number of small contributions from residents all over the district and the city,” Kallos said, noting that his average contribution was $95.42 and that 22 percent of the contributions were $10, a threshold many candidates point to in showing their grassroots support.

Our Town Lifelong Upper East Sider Aims For Lappin’s Seat by Megan Finnegan Bungeroth

Lifelong Upper East Sider Aims For Lappin’s Seat

This all seems as obvious a lifestyle to Kallos as his decision to run for Jessica Lappin’s seat in the City Council in 2013. He’s positioning himself as a young voice, a progressive choice, someone who has worked tirelessly, frenetically even, on so many civic issues it makes the résumés of some sitting council members seem paltry by comparison.

Our Town Kallos Joins Green Campaign by Dan Rivoli

Kallos Joins Green Campaign


“I hope to work on Internet strategy to make sure many New York City citizens can share their ideas and the website can get out to as many people as possible,” Kallos said.

As an attorney, Kallos has a background in information technology, having developed a registered voter database online and assisted the New York County Lawyers Association to improve electronic case filing.

Kallos was recently chief of staff to Assembly Member Jonathan Bing. He left that position to mount a campaign for Council Member Jessica Lappin’s seat when she entertained the idea of running for public advocate.