He’s not afraid as an outspoken and progressive leader on Queens Community Board 2, where he’s pushed developers for more affordability, proudly stood firm for bike lanes and safer streets, and questioned shady dealings for five years.
He took on the big challenge of starting a small business – and then grew it into a Queens hometown institution with a national reputation. Named best marketing agency in the borough five times, Digital Natives Group started working with the local ice cream shop and has grown to work some of the biggest brands in the world as well as some of the most incredible organizations in our own community. Every day, Ben is helping push innovation, create change, and build a progressive workplace. He knows what it’s like to build something, to make payroll, and to get things done.
But in addition to being an entrepreneur, Ben is also a union member in CUNY’s Professional Staff Congress. He’s a top-rated adjunct at Baruch College, one of the nation’s most effective engines for social mobility, where he’s helped hundreds of students launch their careers, and continues to mentor many of them years after leaving the classroom.
As a member of the Board of Directors for both the Long Island City Partnership and the Queens Economic Development Corporation, he works to help entrepreneurs and small businesses thrive in a city that needs their vitality. As a co-founder and host of Queens Tech Night, he’s fostered community and innovation in this borough. And as a member of the QNS Rail board, he’s supported a visionary and much-needed plan to increase subway service in our communities.
None of this is new. When he was a teenager, Ben worked with members of Congress to push for solar power on the roof of his high school. On a frigid morning soon after, he boarded a New Hampshire-bound Greyhound bus to intern on the campaign of a young upstart named Barack Obama. And as a student leader at Baruch College, he dusted off after getting his butt handed to him in the previous election, and ran an underdog campaign to became President of the school’s Undergraduate Student Government. It was there that he rallied the student body to create a public plaza on 25th Street and fight back against increased rental fees.
Born in Queens to two proud Queens College alums, and married to another Baruch College grad, Ben is a true believer in the power of CUNY to lift generations of New Yorkers. A grandson of an immigrant who fled the Holocaust to be welcomed by the family of New York, Ben knows that the plight of the oppressed anywhere is the responsibility for us everywhere. As the brother to a special-needs sister, Ben understands that we need to build an accessible city that works for all of us.
Ben is running because the task ahead of us is hard. Because there are too many of us for whom the opportunity of New York is becoming further and further from reach. Building a better city is not easy, but it starts here.
I’m running because New York City is at a breaking point, and we need to pull it back from the brink.
Over and over again for nearly a decade, Ben has tirelessly worked to build the community and economy of western Queens.
Queens has no stronger advocate, no louder voice, and no more passionate fighter.
“New York’s technology boom has a new beachhead, and it’s in Queens.”
“You might expect an app commissioned by a civic group to lag behind when it comes to design, but This Is Queens has a striking, clean interface, with iconic pictures of the borough and smooth navigation”
“Show your Queens spirit with this new iOS sticker pack”
“Inaugural Queens Tech Night comes to LIC”