City Council District 5 - Democratic Primary

   
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Preferred Candidate - Benjamin Kallos - Dem
Age: 32 Occupation: Technology Leader, CivicActions.org
Education: SUNY Albany (degree not reported), SUNY Buffalo (JD)

Benjamin Kallos has made his career in good government. He is former Executive Director of the New Roosevelt Initiative, currently known as EffectiveNY, an organization geared towards state constitutional reform. Kallos has worked under Public Advocate Mark Green and Assemblymember Jonathan Bing on similar reform-minded initiatives. His platform aligns very closely with that of Citizens Union. Specifically, Kallos wants to increase transparency by making more information on the City Council available online, including outside income disclosures. Kallos would also ensure that the city’s landmark Open Data Law is fully implemented, using his oversight role in the City Council to monitor agency compliance. He also supports election reforms such as instituting instant runoff voting for citywide elections, and would utilize participatory budgeting if elected to distribute member items in his district. Beyond good government issues, Kallos opposes the construction of the marine waste transfer plant on East 91st Street and suggests eliminating the need for its construction with increased recycling and a broader plan for waste management for the city. Citizens Union believes that Kallos will be a strong voice for reform in the City Council, and that with in-depth policy knowledge on our issues, he earns our preference.

 

 

  
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Micah Kellner - Dem
Age: 34 Occupation: Member, NYS Assembly
Education: New York University (BFA)

Micah Kellner currently is the Asssemblymember for District 65. During his tenure, Kellner has helped reduce school overcrowding by bringing three new elementary schools to the East Side, and has been a vocal proponent of gun control and marriage equality. Kellner prioritizes middle class issues and believes in policies that will bolster existing infrastructure for the future. For the candidate, this means reforming property tax laws, strengthening uniformed services, and opposing the construction of the East 91st Street marine waste transfer plant. On reform issues, Kellner supports the majority of Citizens Union’s agenda, with particular emphasis on eliminating lulus and reforming discretionary funding distribution. He has refused a lulu at the state level, and pledges to do the same if elected. Citizens Union is deeply concerned, however, with the sexual harassment allegations surrounding Kellner’s tenure in the assembly. We believe that with these serious charges we cannot support him for this office.
 
  
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 Edward Hartzog – Dem
Age: 50 Occupation: Executive Director, Kids Voting NYC
Education: N/A

Edward Hartzog is a relative newcomer to New York City politics. Since moving to New York, he has served as the executive director of Kids Voting NYC, an affiliate of Kids Voting USA, and on Manhattan Community Board 8. Hartzog is running to solve the rampant over-development problem he sees in his district. According to him, residents who must bear the burdens of development projects rarely benefit from any community service efforts made by the developer to offset these burdens. For this reason, Hartzog wants to limit development and increase access to open and green space. Like his opponents, Hartzog is opposed to the placement of the marine waste transfer plant on East 91st Street. First and foremost, his priority is land use reform. He, however, lacked knowledge of other reform issues and, thus, of Citizens Union’s City Council rules reform agenda.