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Jan 12, 2016

My Distinguished guest today is New York City Council Member Benjamin J. Kallos—Kallos Represents District 5 in the City of New York: Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side.
Kallos has spent his entire political career fighting for New Yorkers. As a member of the New York Democratic Lawyers Council he rose to the position of Statewide Coordination Committee Chair, organizing and managing over 4,000 attorneys and 350 law students, to protect New Yorkers’ ability to vote in the most recent presidential elections. Kallos also created the program to help protect the right to vote for over 12 million New Yorkers when he learned that some 2 millions voters had been removed from the voter roles.
As a member of Community Board 8 he rose to the position of Co-Chair for the Communications Committee, implementing open source technology  to reduce waste and save the City thousands, publicizing the open application process and opportunities to become a public member.
Kallos attended SUNY Albany, where he served on the studentfaculty and university governments and boards. Kallos paid his own way through University at Buffalo Law School, the State University of New York’s only law school.
During law school Kallos fought to protect working class seniors who had seen their life savings and retirements lost. Kallos became increasingly involved in public service as an Editor for the Buffalo Public Interest Law Journal and interned with the Hon. Renee Forgensi Minarik in the New York State Court of Claims, a regional office of United States Senator Charles Schumer, and the New York State Attorney General’s Internet Bureau.
In this episode we discussed
  • What is "Open Government"?
  • Legislation and initiatives in New York City focused on keeping government open.
  • Best practices for engaging communities and empowering citizens with tools to be active participants in their governments.
Free Law Founders
OpenGov Foundation
NYC Council Labs
The City Record Online
Participatory Budgeting in New York City
Getting Things Done
Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness by Richard B. Thaler Cass B. Sunstein