New York City Council Member Ben Kallos was praised by the New York Times for his “fresh ideas” and elected in 2013 to represent the Upper East Side, Midtown East, Roosevelt Island and East Harlem along with all 8.4 million New Yorkers in the New York City Council. He grew up on the Upper East Side with his mother, who still lives in the neighborhood, and his grandparents, who fled anti-Semitism in Europe. As Vice-Chair of the Jewish Caucus, he has been an ardent advocate for Israel and supporter of Jewish causes.
During the 2014-2017 session, as Chair of the Governmental Operations Committee, he sought to root out patronage, de-privatize government, eliminate billions in waste, expand elections, and to use technology to improve access to government. He has become a leading advocate for education, affordable housing, public health, sustainable development and transportation improvements and safety. In his current term 2018-2021 as Chair of the Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions, and Concessions he is focusing on preserving and building new affordable housing, overseeing every deal made by the City closely to ensure New Yorkers are actually getting the affordable housing they need. Council Member Kallos is also working to empower communities in the planning process to create opportunities for minority & women-owned small businesses. His office is open and transparent, with constituents invited to decide on how to spend one million dollars on local projects in the district as well as to join him in a conversation on the First Friday of each month, or he will go to them if they can gather ten neighbors for “Ben In Your Building.”