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What You Don't Know About Jessica Lappin

New York Other

Position: President, The Alliance for Downtown New York. (She'll be giving the opening remarks at Bisnow's Future of Downtown Manhattan event on Dec. 17.)
Her goal: To make Downtown a dynamic, 21st-century business district to live, work and play.
Important initiatives: Supporting, retaining and growing the 800 TAMI tenants who've moved to Lower Manhattan by launching a physical space for them to interact and collaborate; LMHQ will open at 150 Broadway in the summer of 2015. Also, working with City Planning to change zoning regulations along Water Street to spur retail growth.
Grew up: On 19th Street between Third Avenue and Irving Place.
Now lives: East Midtown, where she represented Manhattan’s 5th District in the NYC Council (2006-2013).
Schooling: Part of Stuyvesant High School’s first class to graduate from its Lower Manhattan location; Georgetown University.
What drew her to public service: Spent a summer working for Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, whom she says was an inspiration. Came back to NYC to do public relations for Christian Dior and realized her heart was in public service.
History: Joined Gifford Miller as his assistant while he was on City Council, and later, Speaker. Jessica ran for City Council in 2005, won, and stayed on until the end of her term. She was appointed president of The Alliance for Downtown New York this February.
First job: Coat checker and bus girl for her uncle’s catering business.
Job in another life: Hosting a food travel show like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives or Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.
Person she’d love to meet: Françoise Gilot, Pablo Picasso’s muse and mother of his children. She later married Jonas Salk. “She was a successful painter and author in her own right and has surely lived the most interesting life.”
Favorite movie: Toss-up between Fletch and Distinguished Gentlemen.
Favorite vacation: Nepal in 2001, where she visited Kathmandu Valley and the Himalayas. She'd only been dating her boyfriend for a few months when she asked him to go, and he agreed. She knew they’d either come back never speaking to each other again or would eventually get hitched…
Family life: …and she did wind up marrying Andrew Wuertele. They have two sons: Lucas, 7, and Miles, 3.
Bucket list: She checked off running the NYC Marathon this year. Another item is to drive across the country.
Hobbies: Running and cooking (her family loves Southwestern and Mexican cooking, so they buy hatch chiles by the bushel and freeze them to use in all the dishes).
Startling fact: She doesn’t like The Beatles.