Meet Jessica Haller
Jessica Haller, a climate activist, tech entrepreneur, and working mom of four, is running a grassroots, people powered campaign to represent and unite the 11th District in the New York City Council which includes the Bronx neighborhoods of Bedford Park, Kingsbridge, Norwood, Riverdale, Van Cortlandt Village, Wakefield, and Woodlawn. Jessica knows we can’t wait for change -- we need to step up and act.
Jessica has spent her life making change, by finding answers to the questions others weren’t even asking yet. In the corporate world, Jessica used data to help the biggest companies make better decisions, but in the early 2000’s when she started connecting the dots about the growing threat of climate change and pollution, Jessica knew as a young mother, she couldn’t sit on the sidelines. Fueled by concern for her children, and all the children of the Bronx, and urgency of the crisis, she left a career and stable job in the private sector to do her part to repair the world. Asking questions no one was yet asking, she founded Svante Scientific to understand the changing climate’s impact on our cities, filmed a documentary to address climate change’s impact on our children, and later co-founded a start-up to help companies move into the 21st century.
Jessica, a lifelong New Yorker, moved to the Bronx in 1997 with her new husband Chad. They came to the west Bronx in November of 2000 and have had the privilege of raising their four children, ages 8 to 18, in the Riverdale neighborhood. Jessica’s grandparents met in highschool in the Bronx in the early 1930’s. Her grandmother was an immigrant from Eastern Europe, and her grandfather was the youngest son of a widowed mail-order bride from Poland. Jessica’s father, who had been born in a DP camp in the wake of WWII, came to New York in 1970, and with $36 in his pocket. Their stories of coming to New York and building community were part of Shabbat dinner conversations.
Jessica has leadership experience in the private sector, not-for-profit, and government sectors. She co-founded two start-ups, helped grow Hazon into a $9M organization, and mentored socially-responsible entrepreneurs to scale their ideas. Using her technical skills and ability to forge solutions, Jessica developed a custom system for the NYC Comptroller's office to improve the communications and response of the Citywide office to constituents.
Jessica earned her undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and a master’s degree in environmental science and policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and the Earth Institute. She also is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED, accredited professional with the U.S. Green Building Council.
Jessica is Vice Chair of the Board of Hazon, the largest faith-based environmental organization in the United States, a board member of the Riverdale Nature Preservancy and an advisory board member of Eden Village Camp, a non-profit sustainable-living "farm-to-table" camp. Jessica is a transit-activist and has been a member of Transportation Alternatives and Riders Alliance for many years, and has written for StreetsBlog. In 2014 and again in 2016, Jessica organized local communities of faith to attend the People’s Climate March, first in NYC, and then in Washington DC.