City Council District 5 - General Election 2013

   
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Endorsed Candidate - Benjamin Kallos (D)
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 also 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 East 91st Street 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 by the city. Citizens Union believes that Kallos will be a strong voice for reform in the City Council, and that he has in-depth policy knowledge on our issues; we therefore endorse his candidacy.
 
 
  

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  David Garland (R, I, DTD, Li, Lt, S2A)
Age: 43 Occupation: Full-time Candidate
Education: Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service (BSFS); University of Pennsylvania (MA); the Wharton School (MBA)

David Garland is running for office to improve the quality of life in his community, and to bring a nonpartisan perspective to city government. He has worked in the private sector in executive roles and in government relations, most recently as a management consultant. Garland supports the entirety of Citizens Union’s reform platform. On reform, he would focus on improving transparency of government through technology and better communications with the public, and seek to reform community boards to give them a greater role through 197-a plan. He views himself as an independent candidate and believes that nonpartisan elections would be an important step toward more balanced governance. Garland also supports rules reforms to redistribute power to rank-and-file members of the City Council, and the elimination of member items, instead allowing community boards to have a greater role in determining local funding. Regarding local issues, he opposes the construction of the marine waste transfer plant on East 91st Street, would like to see relief provided to local businesses affected by the Second Avenue Subway construction, and proposes to have schools meet in churches to address overcrowding. While Garland is philosophically supportive of Citizens Union’s issues and thoughtful regarding his consideration of issues, he lacks the specific knowledge and experience working on reform issues as has his competitors.
 
   
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 Micah Kellner (WF)
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 to the City Council. Citizens Union is deeply concerned, however, with the sexual harassment allegations surrounding Kellner’s tenure in the assembly. We believe that a thorough investigation of these allegations is essential before being