New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell has been elected president of the Massachusetts Mayors’ Association for 2020. The mayor was chosen by his peers from across the state during the Annual Business Meeting of the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) in Boston on Jan. 25.
Mayor Mitchell took office in 2012, and this year began his fifth term and the first four-year mayoral term in the history of New Bedford, a city of about 100,000 and the nation’s top commercial fishing port. Under his leadership, New Bedford’s unemployment rate is now less than half of what it was when he took office, the city’s school district has been released from state monitoring and its test results and graduation rate have shown significant progress, the city’s bond rating is the highest in its modern history, and New Bedford has become a far safer city with a considerable decrease in violent crime.
Mayor Mitchell served as vice president of the Massachusetts Mayors’ Association last year and has served as Chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Committee on Energy since 2016. A New Bedford native, he is a graduate of Harvard College and George Washington University Law School. Before his election as mayor, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Boston, prosecuting cases in the areas of white collar crime, firearms, narcotics, environmental crime, and public corruption. Mitchell served six years in the Army National Guard.
For 2020, Mitchell identified several priorities for mayors at the state level, including working to secure funding for improving roadways and focusing on issues of education equity affecting students in both urban and non-urban districts across Massachusetts.
“Across the country, mayors are getting the job done when it comes to the important work of governing, and Massachusetts is no exception,” said Mayor Mitchell. “I look forward to continuing to advocate alongside our state’s mayors on the issues that matter to improving the quality of life in cities in Massachusetts, from infrastructure to public education.”
By virtue of his election, Mayor Mitchell will continue to serve as a member of the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) Board of Directors, which he joined two years ago. The Mayors’ Association is a member group of the MMA, the statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization for all cities and towns.
“Mayor Mitchell is recognized and admired by his fellow mayors and local officials as a thoughtful, innovative and energetic leader in his community and across the Commonwealth,” said MMA Executive Director Geoffrey C. Beckwith. “The mayors of our state have asked him to serve as a key leader to advance the needs of our cities and towns, and we are very pleased that he has accepted this important post,” Beckwith said.