Climate Activist Jessica Haller Launches Campaign for New York City Council
BRONX, NY (January 27, 2020) – Jessica Haller, a climate activist, tech entrepreneur and mother of four, has registered a committee with the New York City Campaign Finance Board as a Democratic candidate for the City’s 11th Council District, which includes the neighborhoods of Bedford Park, Kingsbridge, Norwood, Riverdale, Van Cortlandt Village, Wakefield, and Woodlawn in the Bronx. Haller will compete in the Democratic primary, scheduled for June 2021.
“I am running to bring a fresh local perspective to an array of challenges, from the public-safety threats posed by the sharp increase in hate crimes to the negative effects of climate change impacting our neighborhoods,” said Haller. “We must act now to ensure that our neighborhoods are safe and sustainable for the benefit of our children and grandchildren.”
Haller has a strong track record as an environmental expert and advocate. She earned an M.P.A. in environmental science and policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and the Earth Institute and is a LEED Accredited Professional with the U.S. Green Building Council. She is also a member of The Climate Reality Project, trained and charged by Vice President Al Gore to speak publicly on issues of climate change. And she serves as the vice-chair of Hazon, the largest faith-based environmental organization in the U.S.
Haller is the first female candidate to enter the District 11 Council race. “As someone who strongly supports diversity I find it troubling that in 2020 all of my New York City elected representatives — from the Mayor, to the Public Advocate, to the Comptroller to the City Council — are men,” said Haller. “I believe that diverse organizations — including legislative bodies — are more successful than organizations with uniform memberships. It’s time to break up the old boys club, shatter a few more glass ceilings, and bring people of all genders and backgrounds together to address the serious and life-threatening challenges facing New Yorkers.”
Haller is an active member of 21 in ’21, an initiative launched in 2017 by former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and former Council Member Elizabeth Crowley in response to the alarmingly low number of women serving on the New York City Council. Today, only 12 out of 51 Council members are women, down from a high of 18 in 2009.
“Our organization is focused on identifying, cultivating, and launching women candidates so they can not only run, but win, with a sisterhood of support behind them,” said 21 in '21 Founder Elizabeth Crowley. “Talented women like Jessica are too often told they must ‘wait their turn’ by the political establishment -- we’re working to change that.”
Haller is a life-long resident of New York City and lives in Riverdale with her husband, Chad, and children Leila, Avery, Chloe, and Mattie.