Council Member Ben Kallos (D-Yorkville, Lenox Hill) has officially chosen his proverbial horse to back in the Democratic primary. His candidate of choice? Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Kallos favored Warren for her hardline stance on taking money out of politics and making elections fair and impartial. As a candidate, she has pledged to overturn the Citizens United decision and ban partisan gerrymandering.
“We need a president who will make deep reforms to reshape our national politics into a democracy that works for everyone,” said Kallos. “Elizabeth Warren has made a career of taking on special interests to root out inequality and corruption in broken institutions. As president, she will fight to overturn Citizens United, ban partisan gerrymandering, and close lobbying loopholes that allow for pay to play politics.”
But Kallos doesn’t favor Warren for her platform alone; he admires her integrity as well. The Council Member praised Warren for practicing what she preaches, refusing donations from PACs and federal lobbyists.
“In the City Council, I have called for lifetime bans on elected officials becoming lobbyists,” said Kallos. “I will work to elect Elizabeth Warren President so she can fight for all Americans to get access to the democracy they deserve.”
Although other Democratic candidates have voiced their intentions to end Citizens United and take the money out of politics, Kallos said that Warren is the only one to have laid out a “concrete” plan for doing so.
“It’s not only her proposals, but the fact that they are concrete proposals,” said Kallos. “A lot of them are in line with what I’ve been doing at the local level. I really care about this, and I think there should be a lifetime lobbying ban for elected officials. She’s pushing that on the federal level. We have multiple candidates pushing for these issues, but I think she’s the leader on these issues. And I think she’s the one who will be able to get them done.”
Kallos had the chance to get acquainted with Warren in March, during a meeting at the LGBT Community Center. Former Public Advocate Mark Green (D) invited him, along with several other electeds, to sit down with her and talk about the issues most relevant to voters today.
He said that the encounter was part of what motivated him to support the candidate, though she had already won him over during the first Democratic Primary Debates in June.
“Having former Public Advocate Mark Green advocating for her didn’t hurt,” said Kallos. “But I think the true catalyst was her performance in the debates. I thought she did great in the debates, and my money for the next debate is on her.”
Kallos is the third New York Council Member to endorse Warren, after Brad Lander (D-Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens) and Antonio Reynoso (D-Williamsburg, Bushwick). He also holds the distinction of being the first Manhattan Council Member to do so.